DiRT Rally is back with another return to the roots of rallying with DiRT Rally 2.0. Much like DiRT Rally (2016) The game returns to the core of rallying with more of a simulation experience compared to the likes of DiRT 4 (2017) which was friendlier to new comers or those that casually play racing games.
Sticking to the same lines as Dirt Rally (2016), DiRT Rally 2.0 offers no tutorials or direct AI difficulty settings in career mode (Slider for AI difficulty in freeplay), it is however more forgiving from the start and gradually increases the more you play. Some may disagree, but I feel that this does offer more incentive to those wanting to try their hand at the game to continue playing, rather than being battered by a 30 second plus time gap first time out. Scaling the difficulty as players progress slowly pushes them to tighten their lines, get better at braking and accelerating and continue playing. There are of course options for those that want to push themselves to the limit, such as turning off traction control and so on.
As mentioned above, the DiRT Rally titles have returned to core rallying so only feature two disciplines. Rally and Rallycross. with an eye for making the game more realistic, so for example if you have a career championship in progress the car you have selected for it will not be available to use elsewhere, such as challenges or in freeplay. The same goes for damage, which unless fixed stays with the car even after completing a championship in career.
Career mode is accessed through ‘My Team’ in the main menu, this area of the game features your garage. Here you can purchase upgrades for your vehicles as well as new and used vehicles, with used vehicles being refreshed daily. So if you have an eye for a certain group B monster you may have to check back regularly. Staff are also accessed through My Team. Here you spend your hard earned Rally winnings on training your current staff and hiring new ones. Finally of course you access your career through the ‘Events’ menu, this consists of the two discipline careers that you can run side-by-side, and a bunch of daily and weekly challenges that involve either taking on the community or AI in various one-shot settings.
Freeplay offers up a few options. With a historic Rally to take part in, custom championships that you can take part in solo or online, time trials and last but not least the FIA World Rallycross Championship.
The game plays good out of the box. I like to just get on with things when it comes to racing games. I don’t usually mess around with settings and I’m glad to say that with a controller you can simply plug-and-play, though this may differ for some that may want/need to tweak the dead zones etc. Of which there’s a slider for pretty much everything, as well as input bindings. So you are able to configure your setup to your heart’s content. Though if you want to get into the guts of tuning cars there’s not much help if you’re new to it all other than trial and error.
It does sadden me to see the abscence of some stages, the much loved Powys, Wales for one. Which we can only assume will make an appearance as some form of DLC later down the road, after the already confirmed DLC. There’s loads of cars on offer, from Historic to Rally GT and Cross Karts to RX Supercars.
I would expect nothing else visually from Codemasters, gloriously detailed stages/circuits including the surroundings and of course the cars themselves are highly detailed, though I do wonder why there’s no FOV slider on the console version.. Audio is also what you would expect. glourious engine sounds accompanied by gravel/dirt hitting the underside of the car while playing, offset by the calm chillout music that plays while in menus.
A copy of the game was provided for this review by the developer/publisher