Dirt Rally 2.0 Xbox One Review
RALLY RACING TO THE MAX:
Yes, developed and published by Codemasters comes the mega realistic, car swerving, bumper bashing, rally raging racing game Dirt Rally 2.0. Do you have what it takes to race head to head and compete for international championships? Can you muster around the tight corners, dirt roads of the savannas of Africa? All of this and more in this mental-epic racing experience…
In order to play Dirt Rally 2, you kind of have to know your stuff: there’s quite a learning curve in regards to the literal mechanics of the cars and in order to get the most out of your vehicles, your going to need to learn a thing or two. Before even going onto the track, you’re able to tune your car in the best setup that suits you. This includes setting your driving locks, breaking locks, adjusting the damping…you name it, these settings are for the pro elite players to fine tune their cars when that small edge could mean a victory.
Unfortunately though, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing in this area of expertise, and decided to stick with the default settings. From my playthrough though, looking back, it seems a look into these settings may have been useful: as Dirt Rally really showed me up to be quite a terrible driver.
Before you start playing you have the option to “customize” your character. The character customizer isn’t the best, but it’s about right for a racing game. You can choose from several preset characters and edit your name, other than there’s not much else.
The selection of races in Dirt Rally 2 is actually quite impressive. You have your main modern Championships which are the balls-to-the-wall races, which I found the most fun in. The historic Championships, which start with earlier cars from the 60/70s then progress through the years the more you complete the races. I really liked this idea of working your way through the history of rally racing, it felt more fulfilling when, by the time you hit the modern period: you know had a firm understanding of what it took to get there. There’s also a time trails mode, where the best of you out there can compete against the clock in the car of your choice.
Racing itself is another kettle of fish. There is a massive difference between “regular” racing and rally racing. If you think you’re a decent driver in Forza and come into Dirt Rally 2.0 with the same frame of mind, your going to get quite the shock.
This is my second game in playing a rally car game and I can tell you from experience, they take a lot of getting used to. You’ll start to be thankful when you get a portion of road that’s actually paved, as some maps are entirely all dirt.
The controls are pretty standard, the different feel when driving differs from car to car, but I found a love for the modern rally supercars. My first time on the game, I went straight to driving a mini cooper on a track in Africa. Beautiful map, but much rage as I tried to figure it out.
Crashing your cars is a thing, and it’s a big bloody thing. You can screw your car pretty darn good in this game and it really doesn’t take all that much. One misjudgment of a tight corner can you land you with a popped tire for the rest of race and trust me that’s no good mojo.
Cars don’t fix automatically (unless you change it to auto repair in the settings) right away, if you miss in one match, you’ll start the next race in whatever condition you left in previously. This came as a shock to me when I started a match with a mini that had a sizable amount of steam coming from the bonnet. So be careful with that and go over all of the settings before starting the match.
There are some settings to help with the more inexperienced players (such as moi) that try to make a difference. These range from assists to different stability controls and they’re just there to really help you, but the assists didn’t help me out all that much, I was still a bad driver with them on.
Visually, the game is stunning. The awesome dirt clouds created by cars in front of you look amazing and as you go through the match the state of your car progressively gets that ragged dirtier look. When you look past the sun, there are some beautiful lens flares and it just looks really polished. Even on the African map, there was a bit where you have to go over this small wooden bridge over a river and there were little hut houses and I just wanted to stop and explore it all.
Overall, Dirt Rally 2.0, despite being incredibly difficult and at times quite infuriating, I can safely say that I had a positive experience playing this game. Yes, I wasn’t the best of players and it took me a fair bit to really start driving somewhat decently on the track. The really crazy maps where you have nothing but dirt road is where this games gets into the thick of it. When you have your co-driver reading out directions to you as you’re hurtling round a corner is what Dirt Rally 2.0 was made for. The game is beautiful and it runs really smoothly: for what it’s worth it’s pretty damn good game. I would however recommend that relatively new players to the racing genre – even the rally racing genre – look up your stuff, because dear me I wish I had. It may prove to be beneficial and trust me, you’re going to need it.
Price – £54.99