Title: Dirt 4
Available On: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Version Tested: PC
Official Site: https://www.dirt4game.com/us/home
Release Date: June 9th, 2017
Where to Buy: Steam, Xbox Store, PSN
I’ll be the first to tell you that when it comes to racing games, I’m inexperienced. They’re just not my forte. When I do have the chance to actually play games in my spare time, it’s often FPS titles that I jump into with my friends. Well, awhile back I was asked to review a game called F1 2016. Sure I knew what Indy Car racing was but…I’d never really dived into the sport. Regardless, I figured I would give it a shot. I had an absolute blast with it. F1 was published and produced by the company “Codemasters.” I felt they did an amazing job of creating an immersing experience that could be fun for both the casual and hardcore gamer. Recently, despite the title already being out for a few months, I was offered another game by Codemasters. This one was Dirt 4. This time, Rally Racing took center stage. Again, I was anxious to jump in.
Dirt 4 is the official game of the FIA World Rallycross Championship. Just like F1, what stood out to me about Dirt 4 was being able to tailor the game to your play style. You’ll be asked to choose before beginning your game whether you want to play either “Simulation” or “Gamer.” As you might suspect, the simulation mode is for a player who wants more of a challenge. While the “gamer” mode will assist you more and create a more casual playing experience.
When I first began playing in “Gamer” mode, on thing became readily apparent. Winning…was easy. Unless you consistently go careening off the track, you’re going to place near the top every race. This is definitely your casual fun mode. Simulation is another beast entirely. You have to be extremely conscious of how you handle the turns and when you accelerate otherwise you’ll find yourself going through a fence or spun out. You can’t be too rough on the car either or you’ll find yourself trying to limp to the finish line. On one occasion I found myself hugging some dirt mounds far too closely. I then distinctly remember the thought going through my head that it sounded like a tire was flat. Sure enough, the ass end of my car was all over the place and I was struggling to get to the finish. There is an option to restart the race but beware…the higher the difficulty, the fewer chances you’ll have.
The beefiest part of Dirt 4 and the mode I enjoyed the most was “Career.” Just like F1, this mode goes way beyond just selecting a driver and completing a multitude of races. Not only will you design your own car but you’ll select from a group of Sponsors. Just like you see on TV, this sponsors logo will be placed on your car. By completing certain stipulations from that sponsor, you’ll earn more money and increase your relationship. More money means more sponsors and better facilities, equipment, and crew all of which you’ll have to select. Upgrades to your facility will allow you to purchase better parts for your vehicle. Hiring better crew members will beef up your repair process. It’s this type of in depth detail that really makes Dirt 4 stand out. If you want to try other games in the Dirt series, Dirt Rally will be coming to the Xbox Games Pass in August.
I also really like the damage and wear & tear in Dirt 4. Bumpers will fall off, windshields will crack and transmissions will slip. Not to mention, it’ll be clear that your car has been through some mud. When a stage ends, you’ll have to be very cautious of where to focus your engineer’s attention. While fixing the cosmetics will sure look nice, that transmission can make or break your placement in the leaderboards. Another highlight is the “Dirt Academy.” This is the best place to learn the ropes of Rally Car racing. Not only is there a free roam to get a feel for the car but various lessons. The lessons will first assist you and then take off the training wheels allowing you to go against your ghost rider. It’s a great way to hone your skills for the races to come.
One area that I did not dabble in at all really was Multiplayer. While sessions were offered to be set up, I tried my luck with matchmaking and had none. This is one downside I see to having the game through Steam. If you have friends to play with then great but if you don’t…you may struggle to find players with generic matchmaking. There is, however, a competitive gaming mode which offers daily, weekly and month long challenges. You’ll go against fellow players here on a leaderboard for the top spot.
Have you played Dirt 4? If so, what did you think? What stood out to you about the title and would you have liked to see anything done differently? Be sure to let us know in the comments below. Also, be sure to check out our recent review of the game Everspace.
Verdict: Dirt 4 is a symphony that hits all the right notes and fully immerses you into the world of Rally Car racing. Stunning visuals, Damage & repairs and an in-depth career mode make this title more than worth picking up. Multiplayer may leave you a little in the dust when it comes to finding players when it comes to generic matchmaking on PC. If you’ve always wanted to check out the Dirt series, this is a great place to start.
- Immersive Career Mode
- Stunning Visuals
- Built for both casual and hardcore players
- Matchmaking for Multiplayer