Dirt 4 is available now on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
I’ve played Colin Mcrae games since the early PlayStation 1, I never knew what I was really doing I was only around 8 but it was enjoyable, no games offered the same rally experience these games could. Throughout the years more games were released and then the name was changed to Dirt in the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 days, the games were notoriously good rally games. All I ever did on Dirt 2 was rally stages and then replay them back in slow motion with different camera angles capturing the drifts that I’d pulled off, that was my highlight. After Dirt 3 I guess I just lost interest, stopped playing them, didn’t play Dirt Showdown or Dirt Rally on the PC. Luckily a chance to review Dirt 4 popped up and I asked myself, why did I ever stop?
Dirt 4’s biggest feature that I was most excited for was the procedural track generation. This meant infinite possibility in the tracks and I felt my enthusiasm for the series returning. Once I had logged in, that was the first feature I had to take advantage of. In the track selection, you can customise the track to have mostly a straight run or many turns and hazards, you can change the weather and time more to your needs and wants. I decided to try a track in every different region and each track was as exciting as the previous and it was never going to stop. Dirt 4 is a game that really benefits from using the procedural generation as you’ll never get bored of playing the same track over and over. Moving onto the career mode I didn’t enjoy it as much as previous titles. Whereas the previous titles made it into these events that felt like they had their own narrative with your journey travelling the world in your trailer in Dirt 2, I felt way more disconnected this time round. It was more getting on with it and selecting the next event, levelling up, getting some money and moving on. While I didn’t get overly attached to the career, the career is still fully loaded with so many options to personalise your racing style and car. From tuning your vehicle from every aspect and controlling the difficulty of the AI and asking your team to fix you up it all feels very real. Dirt 4 has a lot of realism this time around while I felt old Dirt games didn’t take themselves overly serious with the themes. It felt like Dirt 4 let you personalise every single aspect and that makes up for the lack of attachment to my racing team. Other game mode Rally Cross can be quite a change from rallying on your own in single player and lets you race across several circuits. I always preferred the rally game modes and didn’t spend much time on rallycross but it definitely balances out the gameplay. Multiplayer with friends adds to the playability and it’s a nice change from the AI telling me what to do but when you don’t follow the right instructions it can be disastrous evidently.
The graphics in each location are beautiful and run really well on a GTX 760, I rarely ran into issues but I did keep crashing into trees when I was paying too much attention to the environment. From the PlayStation 1 graphics all the way to a very realistic experience, I’m really impressed with how far the series has come. Each car sounds unique and the environment around you is also brought to life with its ambience and soundtracks in the menus.
I had a lot of fun with Dirt 4 I feel that the procedural generation of maps is a welcome addition that provides a lot more replayability and a game I see myself going back to now and then for a bit of classic rally fun. Dirt 4 is the game when it comes to rallying.