Dirt Rally 2.0 offers a nice variety of adrenaline infused rally racing in many different types of vehicles. The game nails most of the rally classics from Subaru Imprezas to legendary group B death traps. The sound design of these machines is near perfection and does a fine job representing every vehicle with its signature pops, swooshes, and bangs. The gameplay offers a unique feel for every type of car. Whether the selected drivetrain is a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, or a mid-engine all-wheel-drive the player can easily feel the difference in driving dynamics, weight, and how it all affects the driving experience. Almost every aspect of a rally car can be adjusted before a race to fill everyone’s taste. Unfortunately, there are not many options to affect the visuals of a selected vehicle, except by visiting friendly ditches to get that sweet crushed beer can look: on purpose, of course.
Track selection offers a nice amount of diversity on different surfaces and environments, which are seasoned by different weather conditions and the hours where the race takes place. The gravy of the game is on loose surfaces like gravel, mud, and snow. Pavement tracks are not the worst, but they lack feel, as the point of losing grip becomes hard to estimate. Unfortunately, the tracks are also Dirt Rally’s biggest criticisms as there are not enough different rally courses and tracks to keep the environment fresh. This especially affects the casual players who aren’t as interested in perfecting their driving for every track by shaving seconds and diving deep into optimizing their vehicles.
Rallying is hard, like “souls” hard. Trying to get a grasp on how to steer a rally car sideways through a mountain pass while not spilling any tofu juices all over your classic Toyota is a perfect anecdote to describe the challenge this game offers. Surviving through a championship means that the player has to know how to balance different inputs of braking, steering, and accelerating while listening to the always so calm map reader. Driving also takes up a lot of planning, as the player must know the next turns, and where to position the car to make it through them successfully. In case of a slip-up, championships have limited amounts of retries and resources for fixing mechanical issues and driver errors.
At its best Dirt Rally 2.0 is a rush that makes up for all those hours of practicing completely worth it. The wide variety of weather conditions, rally stages, and different cars offer a nice package of content for those who have an itch for a more realistic driving game. It is perfect for anyone who wants to find a bargain bin gem with amazing sound design and challenging driving experience.
Publisher: ELECTRONIC ARTS
Platforms: PS4 (reviewed on), Xbox One, PC
Release Date: 26.02.2019
Genres: Racing simulator, Racing
Pictures: Screenshots from the game, taken by the author