Review: DiRT Rally (Steam)

Dirt Rally (1)

DiRT Rally captures the essence of what makes rally unique – that sense of trying to remain in control of your emotions, as you hurtle along at breakneck speed, aiming to squeeze everything out of your car whilst knowing that one crash could irreparably harm your stage time.

Dirt Rally (4)


  • Graphics are nice, The locations are really detailed as are the cars.
  • Benchmark test.
  • Full 360 pad support.
  • Steering wheel support.
  • Profile containing your preferences like manual/auto gears,co driver shout timings, jump starts etc. All these affect your overall reward percentage.
  • Controller settings allow you to re bind buttons, adjust sensitivity and linearity and vibration strength.
  • Online leaderboards for each race and can be filtered to friends only.
  • Full body and mechanical damage.
  • Handling is tight and responsive, Back to the classic sim feel.
  • Game modes so far: Championship,online events and custom.
  • Championship is a case of you must work your way through the difficulties starting off at open to Clubman. Each championship obviously gets harder and adds more courses to race on.
  • Custom events is your arcade mode, Pick a location, track and weather conditions.
  • Online events are daily, weekly,monthly and special events.
  • Gameplay is a proper old school back to basic sim rally game.
  • Full stats breakdown of your career.
  • Steam Achievements.
  • Cloud save.
  • Vehicle setup: Tweak brake bias,gear changes,suspension, dampening and even differential before each event or in between rounds.
  • Your Team or crew are the people that you hire/fire to work on your car in between events and repair as much as they can within the 30 minutes allotted. They rank up and become more time efficient as you play.
  • Earn unlocks and upgrades by simply playing the game. Racing in the same car over and over will actually upgrade the car for you.
  • Replay mode: fast forward,fast rewind,pause and the ability to move frame by frame with the stick allow you to see everything that transpired and even take good photographs!
  • League: Create and join leagues from the official website. You can set it as open or invite only, Set up races add car choices, penalties and any other conditions you like.
  • 17 cars total at the moment covering the eras of racing in the 60’s,70’s,80’s,Group B,Group A and the 2010’s.
  • Three locations as it stands covering Monte Carlo, Wales and Greece. Each location has 12 courses in each.
  • Six racing view to jump between from the bumper cam to head cam to chase cam.
  • Race Day/Night in rain,snow,cloudy and sunny weather.
  • Quick loading times.
  • Vehicle reset button.
  • Sound effects are so realistic and you can even hear the ice breaking as you drive over it or hear your radiator burst. It really is beautifully captured within the game.
  • Auto saves but also has a save and quit option in game and on the Championship menu screens.
  • Co driver shouting out the course as well as on screen directions.
  • HUD is minimal with a status bar on the left, timer in the top right and your speedometer.
  • Create setup pre sets for ease of use.
  • Time/Cash penalties for restarts,vehicle resets and DNF.
  • Earn cash by winning championships and use this to buy new cars.
  • Liveries are available for each car and can be changed every time you pick a car at no cost.

Dirt Rally (3)


  • No 720p resolution at the time of playing.
  • Keyboard controls work fine but feel a little bit loose and spongy.
  • Music tracks are not very good.
  • A lot of instances where you get stuck or come to an immediate stop.
  • Reset vehicle option doesn’t always pop and you have to do it through the pause button.
  • Frame drops happen more so in built up areas like forests and in bad weather.
  • What little crowd there is look like pixelated cut outs.
  • No proper tutorial section like Rally School.
  • Alt-Tab causes your graphics setup to mess up and you lose full screen.
  • League setup is fiddly, All done in a browser but still relies on everyone being registered on the site instead of through Steam.
  • You have to own the cars to do the online events.
  • Random lockups and crash to desktop all though this has got better.
  • AI feels too difficult a lot of the time, It is very rare to see anyone getting first place on their first play through or even their second.

Dirt Rally (5)

In Summary, Finally we have a proper rally game! Codemasters have returned to their roots and given us the rally game only Codemasters could pull off. It plays like the original Colin McRae games on PS1 and ditches the rewind feature, over the top physics. Instead full damage on as standard and makes you work for every second. The joy I get personally from this game is phenomenal. The sense of speed mixed  with adrenaline is unparalleled and I havent felt like this with a rally game for years. Codemasters have smashed it out of the park, Constant updates, player feedback acknowledged. All I ask is they leave the actual gameplay alone, Its perfect. Now just add more content and touch up a few annoying bits. The game is solid, The game is fun, Rallying has finally come home! and don’t worry skid marks are part of the experience even if they are in your pants!

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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