I’m not someone that can be classed as a petrol head, but I do like driving games. I have to admit though I was a little daunted when I was asked to review Dirt 2.0.
You see, I bought the first game and I was surprised by how hard and unforgiving it was. I found it so hard that, if I’m totally honest, I ditched it due to the fact that I just could not make any headway with it as I just kept failing and either wrecking the car or limping home in terrible positions.
When I started Dirt 2.0 history seemed to be repeating itself, but after failing my first race I started to get a feel for it unlike I had done in the previous title. Now I don’t know if it’s me being better or if the game is just a little bit more forgiving (which I am leaning towards) but this made me really enjoy my time with Dirt 2.0 way more than I did the first title.
Lots of little things impressed me about the game, most importantly the driving. Obviously being a rally game you’ll find yourself bombing down dirt roads, through forests and over hills. This means you are constantly encountering different surfaces and the developers have done a great job in making you feel those changes.
When driving on loose gravel you will find your car is much looser and likes to dance all over the road, requiring you to always be cautious of your speed and braking distance or you’ll end up in a ditch. Run that same track when it’s raining and that soaked gravel stiffens up and you can really feel your car get bogged down, allowing you to brake later and steer harder into corners.
The graphics of the title are also excellent. Night driving is a highlight, sometimes the only light you have is your own headlights and you can obviously damage them and find yourself trying to drive in pitch black, rather than restart an eight-minute race that you are 30 seconds from finishing.
The daytime graphics are also impressive, with some fantastic lighting effects making some scenes look excellent. Some of my favourite races had me bombing through forests while the trees were spouting their autumn leaves, all the while the setting sun is breaking through the gaps in the trees. The world feels alive and the developers have gone to great lengths to make sure the background whizzing by looks as realistic as possible.
There is also plenty of modes available for you to get stuck into. First off there is your career mode where you can either play standard rally or rallycross races. As you progress you unlock prize money that you invest in more cars so you can tackle the higher power races that require something a bit better than the second-hand classic car you start out in. There are also a variety of challenges that pop up for the community to tackle to try to achieve the best score. You also have the option of the standard rally which has open car selection within the engine class, so you don’t have to worry about buying every car just to have a shot of them. Just dive into your quick race options and you are good to go. You will also find your online modes located here so you can show your racing skills off to the rest of the world (or get owned like me)
There is a huge selection of cars on offer, ranging from old second-hand classics to the creme de la creme of modern rally machines. The developers have gone to great lengths to make sure the details you would expect are all present inside and out. Overall the graphics really are top notch. I touched on it before, but when the lighting effects come together with the stellar background graphics, the courses are just a joy to drive around.
No matter how much I play rally games I never really understand the co-drivers instructions. “Long easy left maybe”, what the hell do you mean maybe? Pitch black, bombing down the road at 90 mph in the pitch black and these guys giving it maybe… In all seriousness, I’m going to watch a video or something to understand what all that means as I know I could improve a lot if my anticipation was better. Unlike games such as Forza and DriveClub, there are no big flashing guide arrows or lines on the roads to follow, so if you are not paying attention it’s easy to lose where you are and with instructions flying at you thick and fast you really have to stay on your game.
Overall Dirt Rally 2.0 is a fantastic game that I find it really hard to say anything bad about. Yes, it’s still challenging, but unlike the last game, the challenge seems less daunting and really rewarding when it starts to click. Some may see that difficulty as a negative, but I don’t and I’m not going to mark it down for it as that’s what the developer was intending when they made the title.
If you like a good challenge which feels realistic (at least to me) then I wholeheartedly recommend Dirt Rally 2.0.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*