Review: DiRT 4
Codemasters’ newest entry into the Colin McRae Rally world and sixth DiRT title immerses players in a new standard for rally racing gaming. A fully-fledged career mode and procedurally generated tracks will keep racers interested and on their toes for more in the intense and fear inducing play. Unfortunately what DiRT 4 sorely lacks is a true feeling of customisation and uniqueness found in other racing titles that invite a real personal experience.
Immediately introducing players to the first disappointment, a quick setup and handling tutorial to discover a recommended physics style of “Gamer” or “Simulation”. While neither is hard to control or confusing, yet are both quite enjoyable styles of play, they lack a real rally car feel and diminishes the simulation of the title. Elite racing fans will find both modes too simple and left wanting a stronger challenge. The custom stage-making tool leaves much to be desired as well, with its extremely limited option sliders that don’t allow for a true creation of an interesting course and rather more procedurally created tracks. Similarly, the aesthetic customisation of each car is clearly rushed or an afterthought, restricting to simple colour and tint changes lacking a true sensation of being a unique driver.
Deep heat, dusty tracks and blissfully snow abundant wonderlands present DiRT 4’s success in the visuals department. It frequently amazes with incredible environments, beautifully sharp cars, and satisfying particle effects. Despite the majority, Codemasters titles still suffer from cardboard cut-out looking crowds and flat screen effects at times like a plague that will stick with their current engine. Without being too picky, the title still excels at looking great on all platforms. What may come as a major letdown is the free-roam area. A small hub-world provides practice for drifting and manoeuvres, but the size, obstacles and sheer variety of the level is quite dull and useless outside of the first few hours of gameplay.
A racing title relies on powerful sound design and effects. Roaring engines, meaty crunches of crashes, and a satisfying feeling to it all. DiRT 4 delivers on this front and its astounding sound is exemplifies with high-quality headsets and setups that truly amplify the superb car audio. Despite a less intricate control system, a true feeling of speed and dread projects on the rough rally tracks. Mechanical tuning of cars is as expected of a Codemasters game with all the necessary functions still available to casual and elite racers. What the developers really expand upon is the career aspect, opening up for dealership relationships, class progression, racer ability, and a real sense of satisfying succession as players win competitions. This is mirrored in the always brutal and uncompromising Codemasters patterned multiplayer experience that hasn’t changed for a long time, and for good reason. Winning online is tough and it feels so good to be on top of that podium.
Codemasters gave the world the initial grand experiences of Colin McRae rally titles, however fell off somewhere in between. With DiRT 4, they are back to prominence with exciting off-road racing and incredible sounding cars that capture the adrenaline of rally racing. Despite quite simple physics, controls, and lack of true personalisation, those looking for a fun title and a return to pure entertainment will find it here.
By Omi K
|With DiRT 4, Codemasters are back to prominence with exciting off-road racing and incredible sounding cars that capture the adrenaline of rally racing. Despite quite simple physics, controls, and lack of true personalisation, those looking for a fun title and a return to pure entertainment will find it here.||4.2 4.2 ( on 5 rating)|