The debate is endless: is the rally the hardest discipline of motor sport? For many real-world drivers, this is the case. If you talk about it long enough, you'll get a bit of variation on the line "Runners run a turn 1000 times, rally runners make 1000 turns once".
And if you have already played the original Rally DiRTyou certainly thought there was some truth.
Four years after this title (and the average years 2017 DiRT 4), Codemasters is back with DiRT Rally 2.0. It's as authentic as the last, but the formula has been developed to exceed all the criteria of the racing space. Stick, because it's going to be a thrilling adventure.
DiRT Rally 2.0 will be launched on February 26 on PC, PS4 and Xbox (or this Friday for owners of the Deluxe Edition). Codemasters has provided a preliminary version of the game for review on Xbox. I played it on Xbox One X, with a pad and wheel Fanatec CSL Elite PS4 (with the rim P1 Elite).
Content and value for money
The numbers game is not kind DR2, but judging only on paper statistics only serves Codies. The complete list of cars has 50 people, divided into 14 categories. Some are equipped with machines more similar than others, like the Rallycross, but it is the old metal that gives all its depth to the composition of the car. Cars like the classic Mini rub shoulders with rare metals such as the Opel Ascona and the Skoda Fabia R5.
The unexpected stars of the line of cars are the Rally GT machines. These animals, like a Camaro and Aston Martin Vantage, are generally designed for the tarmac and feel amazingly at home, playing in the mud. It's just the right amount of incongruity that makes sim racing so appealing.
If part of the game falls, it's the number of tracks. There are eight tiny rallycross circuits, all from the official world championship, alongside six rally sites. On the plus side, each point of the map offers its own frame. You can not confuse something like the Australian Bondi Forest with the Polish scene Jezioro Rotcze. The same goes for all the offers from Spain, although that's because it's the only fully tarred deal. The absence of a snow / ice location is also a failure.
Codemasters dropped D4"Your Stage" for hand-created tracks. There is no doubt that this approach leads to more impressive provisions, each step feeling more authentic than the inevitable similarity of Your Stage. And it is certain that the hand-crafted stages here will take a long time to really master all the cars available. But for my money, there is something about "gathering" in Your Stage, to never really know what will happen.
Although I enjoy the existing rallies (and there will be more via the Season Pass), I hope that the team has not definitely abandoned the work on Your Stage.
My personal boredom was the Valle de los puentes in Argentina. It's an absolutely ruthless run of five miles between walls of jagged rocks, leaving no room for error. The slow trick is easy enough to ship, but once the speed starts to rise it becomes really scary.
Single-player content makes the most of what Rally 2.0 has to offer. My team is the mode of choice, with careers in rally and rallycross alongside daily and weekly challenges.
Careers are simple and should be familiar to those who have already played previous games in the franchise. Each season offers a random number of races. During the race, you will earn credits, which you can use to improve your car and strengthen your support staff.
DiRT Rally 2.0 However, most of its content is not locked behind progression. You can access everything from the Time Trial and Custom Championship modes. There are also Historic and FIA World Rallycross Championship modes, which follow much the same structure as My Team, but without all credit management.
Fortunately, this time, an artificial intelligence slider helps put computer drives at a level that challenges you. Even at the default setting, they are pretty fast, but now, those who learn the ropes will not immediately feel out of place.
In the end, there is no doubt that the number of unique steps is quite low. You will repeat the places early in the campaign. But above all, what is here has a depth that simple figures do not quite reveal.
Here you will find the standard list of online features. Rankings are present for each class on each stage, which is very useful. The Custom Championships mode also serves as a multiplayer section, as players can determine if their alignment is available to others or just for themselves. There is a lot of customization available here – befitting the name – allowing players to tailor their experience to their liking. Well, unless you want rally cars on a rally scene: unfortunately, this is still not possible.
There is no driver classification system like the other race titles, which will likely result in a huge gap between an eight-player lobby. Again, with rally being a case against the stopwatch solo and a rallycross contact rather necessary, a ranking system should be quite different from the design point of view. GT Sport.
The biggest frustration of the game would be the connection to RaceNet required to access My Team. It was locked at the beginning of the review period, which allowed me to first explore the other parts of the game instead of what was to be the main attraction for a single player.
I had the chance to drive about 40% of the alignment of the car and I have the impression that I just scratched the surface. Codemasters impregnated every single DiRT Rally 2.0 to ride with a unique and realistic character.
The Lancia Fulvia front-drive is focused on the conservation of momentum. It does not have the power to hide errors, it needs computed and smooth entries to really surpass the rankings. Nevertheless, its nose-oriented configuration and light weight make it an excellent learning car.
Go from a few classes to something like the delightfully old-school Opel Ascona 400 in class H3 and get ready for an intensive course – literally – in gas control. DR2 It's not a manual learning experience: there are driving aids, of course, but that's it.
The machines in Group B are really out of order. Their driving gave me even more respect for the drivers of the 80s of these crazy machines. Trying to keep an RS200 in balance on the edge of grip, while fighting the destabilizing habits of the old-school turbo lag and not missing speed on the H gearshift, there is simply no other option .
Pad users will find DR2 much more friendly than the first match. The analog controller on the Xbox One controller still prefers lightness, although there is now a level of consistency that is welcome. Balancing a car on the throttle in a corner is easier than before, even in the wet. There is also the right amount of snoring to accurately gauge the remaining grip.
Of course, the best way to do the experiment DiRT Rally 2.0 is on a wheel. By switching to Fanatec, I was impressed by the feeling of being out of the box. The wheel was a little too heavy at first, but all I had to do was tinker quickly in the game to lighten the load and reduce the automatic centering. The light sweep has disappeared, the Fanatec was a joy with DR2.
It is with a wheel that the subtlety of the rally is really put forward. The chatty rim with constant comments, telling me what the front wheels are facing. Drive a rear-wheel drive car into a corner and get a bit greedy with the accelerator pedal, and the FFB gets lighter and lighter until you sit up. There is no harm in guessing when you try to counter-pilot: you feel intuitive and natural.
Dancing on the pedals is also extremely satisfying. Instead of the point-and-squirt approach that the controllers also lend themselves to, the CSL Elite pedals allow me to count every pony I let out of the corral. Running without ABS does not make you want to die either, as it is a child's game to master the stopping power.
The two sources of the previous title were low speed physics and road driving. I am happy to announce that both are (largely) cured. Low speed physics seems much more natural now: it is both easier to rotate the car in power, while avoiding this strange feeling of walking in crabs. Asphalt feels better now too, even if a slight sense of wandering and floating around Spain, even in a situation as seemingly anchored as the 911.
Much of the pre-release discussion focused on the degradation of the scene. You will certainly notice that the ruts do their best to turn your Datsun into a roller coaster. However, I will have to spend more time with her: there are big differences between sweeper (first pilots), ideal (half-pack) and smashed (towards the end), but we do not really know how much the change is between them.
Jump in the game after all the others and an unknown feeling will invade you during the races: a feeling of fear. DiRT Rally 2.0 do what none of the runners really understand, that is to say the feeling that a single wrong move can completely discard you. It's the four wheels Dark soulsbut this approach is quite appropriate for rally racing. To get the best time on a circuit is to find the absolute limits via small adjustments each turn.
Rallying is risk management, knowing that there is no solution. Exit a little too much on the right side of the right side, staple the left rear tire on the only big boulder found on the roadside, and hang in while the car turns to the left, grabs a raised ground and barrel rolls . Even if it remains possible, you have lost a ton of time and the rest of the race is compromised by the damage.
Whenever it happened, I was not even angry: I was too busy.
DiRT Rally 2.0 is a dirty treat for your eyes. Each car is modeled with care, from the very pretty Citröen DS to the latest batch of rugged rallycross machines. They may not be at the level of something like GT Sportbut they are more than acceptable and have a level of destructibility that shames most competitors.
Really, however, even more than cars, it's the specials that are the stars here. The design of the levels really shows the progress made by Codemasters since the first Rally DiRT burst on the scene all these years.
The heat of the flat plains of Australia is as striking as that of New Zealand on the coasts. The autumn awnings of New England give it a very Norman atmosphere, such is the density and wealth.
What else, DR2 maintains a silky softness 60fps in the gameplay. This drops to 30 frames per second in replays, which is also a great job to show the surroundings. It's too bad you can not save them. The same is true with the absence of a dedicated photo mode.
Weather effects are another feature of the game's cap. A rain-covered stage in the middle of the night is the ultimate challenge, and that seems to be the case.
The biggest problem with graphics are very jagged shadows that appear from time to time. Most often, you will see them on the windshield banner of your car or on a rock projecting at the side of the road. The black daggers are pretty shocking – maybe it's in the era of Codemasters' exclusive Ego engine demonstration.
I love the sound of this game. It's a holistic ensemble, with authentic sounding cars lamenting through the stages. The Ford RS200 is all aggression, an edgy hornet's nest that is not what you call melodious, but still remains an iconic note.
Finally, there are the V8s in the Rally GT category: the Camaro's big cube bellows are absurdly moved on a muddy rally stage in the best possible way.
The Porsche 911 is the only car in this category that does not have a V8. His six-time high-flat sounds great. There is a note slightly finer than that of the GT3 RS real world, reflecting its clean interior. It's this attention to detail that permeates DR2.
This limit obsession also extends to rhythm notes. Phil Mills is doing co-pilot work here, and Codemasters is sure to record everything three times to best suit the situation. When the conversation is heard, Mills's calls become faster and more intense, and when you (inevitably) err, he watches you. Her end-of-term discussion might be more colorful, but otherwise, Mills is a welcome partner throughout the stages.
Other sounds coming from outside the car are consistently good. The stages feel alive, with various atmospheres at the top of the experience. Special mention to the effects of damage: you will sometimes hear a problem around the car before reporting on its actions. As a more blocking person than Loeb in their gathering prowess, I discovered this on the rough on more than one occasion.
The best, DiRT Rally 2.0 is still as painful as the first game, if not more. But he deserves this reputation for a very valid reason: Rally races are difficult.
Codemasters has achieved the double feat of maintaining this reputation while making the game more accessible. Driving a car is not particularly difficult, but getting through a three-digit New England forest is much better. DR2 It's so natural, whether on skates or on wheels, that you do not feel like you're working to try to master every car and every step. Despite that, you'll get a huge adrenaline rush when you blitz on a previous record special, because that (rightly) looks like a real feat.
Like Codemasters' other great race title, F1 2018The biggest hurdle of DiRT Rally 2.0 is the perception of the niche call. But just as I said with this title in our review last year, DR2 transcends the niches. It's a complete race simulation circuit, not just a rally, but a valuable addition to your library. It's exciting and exciting, as few titles handle it, and it looks like Codemasters has put in place a long-term plan for expanded content.
DiRT Rally 2.0
The new standard for all rally riders. A small content can not erase this diamond.
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