Dirt Rally

released on Dec 07, 2015

Dirt Rally is a racing video game focused on rallying. Players compete in timed stage events on tarmac and off-road terrain in varying weather conditions. On release, the game features 17 cars, 36 stages from three real world locations, and asynchronous multiplayer. Rallycross and player versus player multiplayer modes are planned. Codemasters announced a partnership with the FIA World Rallycross Championship in July 2015. The early access version contains cars from the 1960's, 70's, 80's, Group B, Group A, 2010s Modern Rally, and Pikes Peak.

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Para mi mejor que el dirt rally 2.0, bastante dificil al avanzar en los torneos y categorías

Though the driving physics would be greatly improved in it's sequel, Dirt Rally is still one of the best rally games out there, even if a little outdated visually.

Best rally game (havent played dirt rally 2 yet), and yes it IS better than rbr, grow up.

"The Dark Souls of racing games." - Anonymous

You know it's a simulator when you can tune your differential preload and it can make or break your performance. This is why I played all the other DIRT games before this one, even though this game actually came out before DIRT 4. It's nothing like any of them.
Codemasters got sick of people complaining at them about how unrealistic the DIRT games were, or for their lack of focus on rally events, and this is their response. A spin-off from the series focused almost exclusively on rally events, and delivering the most realistic experience it can without alienating the people without thousands of dollars in sim racing hardware. Difficulty isn't a choice anymore, because the point of the game is no longer to win, it's simply to finish in one piece, and finishing each stage is a highly challenging experience thanks to the physics actually feeling like you're on dirt this time, rather than a vaguely loose ambiguous surface like every other DIRT game, plus the stages - which are real-world rally stages now! - being narrow and full of hazards, and the innate drive to go as fast as possible through them. To accommodate for this refocusing of challenge, your opponents in career mode are spread minutes apart rather than seconds, so every position you gain is both hard-earned and a tangible display of your current skill level... though I personally wish the best drivers were a few seconds faster. And then you get in a new class of car and start all over again, because every class is dramatically different.
All personality is gone from the game, because it's no longer necessary. You're not here just for a fun thrill, you're here for a real challenge. In place of a personality is a laser focus on presenting you with the means to step up to that challenge. With the objective being simply to make it to the end in one piece rather than to take first place, the entire appeal of the game rides exclusively on how satisfying the driving experience itself is, and they nailed it. Cars are extremely responsive, twitchy but not punishingly so, and they are entirely predictable as long as you avoid pushing too far in your dance on the edge of control. However, that predictability can be undermined if you ruin the handling yourself with your tuning setup, which is something you will want to adjust in this game, because unlike the main DIRT games, tuning actually matters here... big time.
The default setup of every car is good enough to make work anywhere, but some well placed small adjustments here and there can make enough of a difference in the car to gain you a position, be it by actually improving the handling to suit the stage, or simply giving you more confidence as a driver to push harder. But of course, pushing harder means higher risks, so that confidence - while important - can be your undoing if the tune can't support you. There are no flashbacks in this game to save you either, you can only restart the stage if you mess up. All of this becomes even more important, challenging, and satisfying when you move into the online events, because in those, you can't even restart, you get one shot. You either finish or you retire, there are no other options. Apparently nobody plays those though, because according to Steam achievements, less than 4% of people have completed a weekly event. Shame, I love the idea of one-shot solo competition.
One thing I really hate about this game, though, is that for some ridiculous reason, the ability to properly set up your car is locked at first. You have to buy the car and then drive it long enough for your engineers to unlock "advanced setups" which happens to contain settings as simple as camber and toe angle adjustment, which is so often one of the most important settings for me to get comfortable with a car. On top of that, you have to drive cars for long enough to unlock weight reduction and increased engine power, which wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't such a massive performance gain that all of your opponents have from the start. Being forced to drive a worse feeling and worse performing version of every car for several races before being allowed to really use it properly is a flat out stupid design decision and makes the game less fun.
Also, rallycross is here. This is the game that made me realize I just don't like rallycross. It's not fun, even in a game this well made. I do not enjoy running 26 laps across six different sessions on teeny little tracks with AI drivers that can't compete with me, especially not when the tracks also flat out suck to drive on like Höljes. Even with the significantly better driving experience, even with the significantly better head camera that actually moves, even with the significantly less annoying spotter, I just find the real-world rallycross format miserable. These races pay very little too, so after doing one championship I decided to pretend rallycross doesn't exist.
Much cooler than rallycross is hill climb, which is also here, returning for the first time since the first DIRT game nearly a decade prior. I love Pikes Peak so much, it's some of the most intense racing I've ever had in any realistic game, and attacking the mountain all alone with only the incredible sounds of the dirt and rocks underneath and the engine in my ears in a game as challenging as this is immensely satisfying. It's also an experience you can't get anywhere else, because Polyphony have been greedily sitting on the loathsome exclusive license to Pikes Peak since 2017. The biggest tragedy isn't that, though, it's that hill climb events in general seem to barely exist outside of this game without mods, and hill climb is one of my very favorite motorsport disciplines. There are probably some great mods out there, but it's a shame that there's so little official recognition for the discipline, and that it will likely stay that way for the foreseeable future thanks to the repugnant practice of exclusive licensing.