If you haven’t already heard, the new DiRT game, DiRT Rally, launched its Early Access program yesterday. Right now it’s $31.49 on Steam, and I’ll give you my initial impressions of the game in the state it is in now.
*Disclaimer*: This review is of a game that is still very much in development. Many of the things I will tell you now might change over time. I don’t personally have any footage of the game yet, but you can go look it up yourself.
Let’s begin by going over what “Early Access” gets you. This list is going to expand as the early access continues, but this is what you get right now.
At the moment, your $32 allows you to drive 14 different cars from different eras of rally, starting in the 1960’s Mini Cooper, Group B, and all the way to modern WRC machines. It also gives you access to three rallies in Wales, Monaco, and Greece. These three rallies are comprised of 36 stages in all types of weather conditions.
Now we’ve got that out of the way, here are the things I love and hate, in no particular order, about the game so far:
- Codemaster’s DLC Program- Codemasters has forgone the norm, confirming that there will be no paid DLC. Once you pay for the game, everything they add (cars, rallies, etc) afterwards is free. That’s a rarity in this age of “release a half-baked game and charge for the rest in DLC.”
- Graphics- What can I say? The game looks stunning. *There is a con to this, but I’ll get to that in a moment*
- Game Content- Gone are the days of Gymkhana, DC sponsorship, and Ken Block (no offense, Ken). This game is pure, 100% rally. The stages seem to be much longer than those of DiRT 3, and there is no magical “rewind” function to make you God. New Team Management features allow for new upgrades, and the tuning system is more comprehensive than before.
- Physics- The physics engine is much improved compared to DiRT 3. Granted, I haven’t driven a Mk. 2 Escort on the Col de Turini, but it’s definitely improved.
- Bugs- This is only due to it being in Early Access, but it’s almost a game-breaking bug. There’s no co-driver. No co-driver means no pacenotes. No pacenotes means crashing. I’m sure it will be fixed in future updates, but it makes the game nearly unplayable as it is.
- Difficulty- You almost need a wheel to play this game. The assists are toned down, and the increased physics engine doesn’t help. Using a keyboard is impossible, and using a controller isn’t much better. I’m sure it’s better if you have a wheel.
- No Console Versions Planned- This goes along with the graphics. Codemaster’s focus on improved graphics essentially put the console gamers in the back seat. This isn’t an issue for me, but will be for many others.
This game is not, as some have said, a successor to the Richard Burns Rally game. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t a massive improvement over DiRT 3. If Codemasters keeps this up, they very well could make the next RBR successor.
Should you buy it? Do you like rally? Are you perseverant? Are you willing to deal with the bugs that come with an Early Access game? Then yes.
Well those are my opinions on the DiRT Rally Early Access build. If you guys want I can continue to review the game as it progresses through the development process. Thanks for reading this very long-winded article.