DiRT Rally - Review

Author: Lorenzo Antonelli
Date: 2020-07-30 17:01:24
There are two cases: either my PlayStation 4, overnight, "automagically" turned into a PC, or the console version of DiRT Rally has sensational, prodigious, phantasmagoric!

Reading (and then translating into this article) the words of Codemasters chief game designer Paul Coleman, I was a little skeptical. I wondered how it was possible to play the same identical game on consoles, after a PC version so satisfying, refined and demanding on the simulation level. The proclamations of the development team - "Quality without compromise on consoles" - moreover, are (and must be…) part of the promotional machine of a videogame product. When the game finally came to the editorial team, however, an overwhelming amazement swept away any skepticism. To the two cases above, therefore, a third is added now: run to read (if you have not already done so) our review of the PC version of DiRT Rally, which apparently also applies to the console versions, provided that the abbreviation "PC" is replaced with "PS4". Because already ... the truth is that it is the same, identical DiRT Rally, or quality without compromise. Paul Coleman knew a lot!

So what is this review for? To rattle off all the astonishment for a more than "virtuous" conversion, to repeat for another hundred times that it is the same game (which is good), to praise the work of Codemasters, but also and above all to try to find some tiny concession or difference between the console version and the PC version. Provided you have a microscope ... nuclear!

The two console versions (PS4 and Xbox One) have introduced new ground-to-ground racing cars in DiRT Rally (available simultaneously on PC), such as the Peugeot 208 Pikes Peak by Sébastian Loeb, the glorious Renault 5 Turbo, the Renault Alpine, new Mini models and 1600cc cars. And again: it is finally possible to face the classic rallycross with the Mini, and the original Pikes Peak arrives on dirt.

Regarding the design, the assets, the contents (rally and game mode), the options for configuring the simulation level and the control systems, as well as for the physical / dynamic system, there are no relevant differences, it is all as already enjoyed and reviewed on PC. It is not a mammoth product in quantitative terms, but there is everything you need to have fun for a long time, including Career, online events, Rally Cross races, hill climbs (the Pikes Peak), championships and personalized events to train alone and become familiar with the merciless and enjoyable driving system.

It is worth spending a few words on the excellent control system via controller: the feeling behind the wheel is made perfectly even via DualShock 4 and is once again credible and authentic, simulating in an exemplary way loss of grip, understeer, oversteer, not to talk about the precision of insertion in curves and the different surfaces on which to control the car. If driven with a steering wheel, then, the satisfaction returned by DiRT concerns the order of the wonderful, transforming itself into a simulator that has no equal and that exudes realism in its pure state. Even the sound is absolute enjoyment, both as regards the roar of the engines, but above all for the "noises" associated with the multiple mechanical damages (puncture, broken axle shafts etc.) in which you can run. To play, therefore, with a good pair of headphones, or with the sound system fired to the maximum, with all due respect to the neighbors.

The Ego Engine literally sparks even on consoles, firmly anchored at sixty frames per second, strong of 1080p resolution on PlayStation 4 (the version reviewed here) and dynamic - from 900 to 1080 - on Xbox One. By carefully sifting through the individual motorized textures in neutral and cars approached at the edge of the roadway, it is possible to find slight cosmetic differences between the console version and the PC version.

Some tiny compromises are there, admittedly, but these are the kind of compromises that are almost unnoticeable when playing on the move. Moreover, no driver behind the wheel of a bizarre Lancia Stratos, in the midst of a storm in the Montecarlo Rally, will be able to notice that the texture of a certain rock at the edge of the track is more washed out and less detailed than seen on PC. In short, to certain (laughable) details, driving at a hundred an hour along a mountain road, with the "death" peeping at every meter and the snow-covered windshield (or, worse, cracked), you do not really case. Or it is good not to notice and stay focused on the road and on the next hairpin bend, with your hand ready on the handbrake lever.

After literally abusing the PC version, driving it day and night with the steering wheel and pedal, I tasted the version for PlayStation 4 relying on the DualShock 4, discovering a reactive control system, precise, configurable in every aspect and very effective in transmitting the correct sensations in the hands of the pilots. Excellent loading times, never too long, as well as the presence of 48 Trophies to unlock. Too bad for the absence of a local multiplayer.