It’s been a very long time since I’ve played a rally racing game. The last one I can remember was Microsoft Studios’ amazing, RalliSport Challenge 2 and that was on the original Xbox. It was very fun and a good arcade representation of rally racing, but sadly, the series stopped there with no new additions. Then there was the whole series of rally games by developer Codemaster, mainly the Collin McRae series, which I never got into but heard they were quite good. It wasn’t until the PlayStation 4 that I would be reintroduced to rally racing with Codemasters’ latest, DiRT Rally, and unlike their previous efforts, this one is more of a realistic sim than it is an arcade racer.
DiRT Rally focuses on realism and as a realistic simulation, some players might find the game quite difficult to play at the beginning. Even me, who has played a lot of racing simulators in the past found DirT Rally to be very unforgiving at the beginning.
I am really, really bad here.
Most gamers who have had some experience with racing sims like Gran Turismo or Forza, should be able to get into DiRT Rally fairly quickly. Note that DiRT Rally is not an arcade style racer. This is a true sim that is very, very unforgiving and very difficult if you don’t put in the time to learn how to properly handle your vehicle.
DiRT Rally requires you to be quite accurate with all your steering, accelerating, and braking. Any little mistake will cost you time and a possible game ending accident. If you go to fast into corners, you’ll either go flying off a cliff or head on into a barrier. If you enter too slowly, you’ll love valuable time and position. With that said, you’ll have to learn the ins and outs of braking technique, when yo hammer down on the accelerator, and when you ease off. There’s a lot to think about during the race. Lucky, your navigator will tell you everything you need to know about what’s coming up. You just have to listen and learn. There will be a lot of information constantly told to you that you will not understand at first, but after a lot of seat time, you’ll start to understand what each of his directions mean and what you should do as a driver.
Getting much better.
It’s all quite fascinating really and because of this game, I have a deeper understanding of just how difficult rally racing really is and the type of trust a driver really needs with his navigator.
It is entirely possible to play DiRT Rally with a controller and this is probably how most of you would be playing this game. Playing with a regular controller isn’t bad at all and if that’s all you’ve ever played racing games with, than you should have no problems acclimating yourself to this game. However, in my opinion, it’s not the best way to play the game. The best way to play DiRT Rally is with a steering wheel and pedal setup like the Logitech G29 Driving Force, which is what I’ve been using the entire time I’ve been playing.
The Logitech G29 Driving Force allows you to fully experience what a driving a sim is like because you actually feel like you’re driving. It’s got a real steering wheel, it vibrates when you hit bumps and corners, and the intensity changes based on your situation. The pedals are also quite good and allow you to accurately set your speed and braking force, just like in a real car. Those who have never used something like that will need to take some time to adjust, but if you’ve driven a real car before, it will take you very little time to get used to this.
Now I know that this type of set up can be quite expensive and not everyone will be able to play with a set up like this so luckily, the game is still very playable with just a standard controller, you just don’t get that full on, racing sim experience.
If you were to ask me what is the best racing game currently out on PS4 is, I’d answer with DiRT Rally. Sure it doesn’t have a roster of 100+ vehicles or famous race tracks or vehicle customization. Sure it’s incredibility hard to play at first and takes patience and time to get good at it. Despite all of that, DiRT Rally is one of the most satisfying, realistic racers I’ve ever played. This is a game where you really do feel like you’re driving around in a real car that has real physics attached to it. This is the kind of game where if you don’t give up because of its difficulty, you’ll be rewarded with the feeling of pure joy when you finally do master it.
And if you want the best DiRT Rally experience, play it with a steering wheel setup. I love driving and this game really gives me that real world driving sensation. There’s just something about being able to drive a car fast while sometimes doing it dangerously close to the edge of a cliff that can make you excited and scared at the same time. Luckily, I can do this in the comfort of my own home now without risk of dying.
Review code provided to us by the publisher/developer.
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