Review: Gravel (PlayStation 4)

Gravel is the ultimate off-road experience. The most extreme racing game that will let you try out amazing stunts in the wildest places on the planet!

Pros:

  • Average graphics.
  • 17.21 GB Download steam.
  • Platinum trophy.
  • Opening race with tutorial pop-ups.
  • Can rebind controls.
  • Five modes- Off roadmasters, Free race, MP, Time attack and weekly challenges.
  • Full online leaderboard support.
  • Gravel TV show presentation.
  • 40 plus cars to unlock and drive.
  • Modifiers- AI difficulty, Braking help, Transmission, Damage, TCS, changing these affect your bonus percentage.
  • Rewind feature.
  • Five AI difficulties-Very easy to very hard.
  • Day, Dusk, Dawn, Night, Sun and rainy weather.
  • Show points- Earn points by doing things like skidding, Jumping, high speed etc. Multiplier kicks in when you string moves together and you lose all points if you crash.
  • Six driving views form bumper too far to dashboard in car.
  • Off roadmasters is your campaign mode. Race and earn stars to unlock new races and face off against bosses in one on one races.
  • Earn style points and level up to unlock new cars, liveries etc.
  • Car setup before each race where you can tinker with suspension, transmission, brakes, differentials, and alignment.
  • Can replay events.
  • Quick loading times.
  • Photo mode with in-depth controls from filters to exposure.
  • Autosaves regularly.
  • Race events range from standard races to time trials, championships, cross country and time trials.
  • Easy to get into.
  • Official car names like Subaru, Mitsubishi, Ford etc.
  • Four racing disciplines-Cross country, Wild rush, Stadium and speed cross.
  • MP- Quick match and create match where you can set to friends only, Tinker the HUD and car settings for everyone.
  • Many racing locations and a mix of real and fictional locations.
  • Some really impressive open landrace layouts.
  • Full damage model available.
  • Controls are as you expect.
  • Weekly challenges for extra rewards and bragging rights.
  • All cars handle very differently and the work gone into the terrain is incredible as you feel when you switch surfaces.

Cons:

  • Have to unlock tracks first before you can use them in other modes.
  • Dirty AI.
  • Hitting cars and walls is far too dramatic as you bounce and spin off them with relative ease. Cars can easily get stuck in our bonnet and all sorts.
  • Slight slowdown in places.
  • Night time tracks are very hard to drive on with limited sight and signposting.
  • Commentary has just one set of sayings so you get them repeated over and over.
  • Driving on the tarmac in many of the cars is actually the worst surface. Shopping cart on ice as you fishtail forever.
  • Slight learning curve with handling as early cars and not good but it gets better.
  • Some ugly car models.

The Numbers:
  • 7/10
    Graphics - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Accessability - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Sound - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Length - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Fun factor - 8/10
7.6/10

Summary

Gravel is fun to play and for me, it is very safe, I mean it’s not pushing the envelope for driving games but it also isn’t sucking. I can happily sit there and go through the campaign mode and have fun but it’s building up the enthusiasm in the first place. More because of the AI and having cars stuck to me, But when you nail a massive combo string in a race its next level. I doubt online will set the world on fire but it does have a lot of content and the unlock system is rewarding and fun. In short its a decent game with a lot of offline play, And a huge garage of cars and awesome tracks to race on. And photo mode is what you see in any triple-A game these days.

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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