It is good to see a gaming studio staying faithful to its old franchises in this day and age when most of the classical games’ sequels become distant of the original idea are in one way or another. Codemasters and their Dirt games are one of the examples of that kind of developer, making driving games for the last couple of decades and improving the formula with every iteration. Okay, we admit that previous sequel, Dirt 4, wasn’t the most fortunate experiment in arcade driving over procedurally generated tracks, but with the current game, Codemasters returned to what they do the best-rally simulations.
That 2.0 intertidal might remind people on Colin McRae Rally, which was also made by Codemasters, but Dirt Rally 2.0 actually takes a lot from another game named by departed British motorsport legend, Richard Burns Rally. The later is still the ultimate simulation of off-road driving despite being 14 years old already.
First of all, let’s say that a physical model of this game is one of the best we have ever seen. The feeling of friction between tires and gravel is unprecedented and so convincing it makes every track a pure joyride. If you remember the first game, then you know it also strived toward achieving a simulation level, but it had some tiny quirks in handling model which made your car spontaneously nose dive into a puddle aside of the road. In this game, all those quirks are fixed, so if you find yourself tumbling down the hill into a river be sure that’s entirely your fault. So step off the gas pedal if you wanna keep the traction.
Although you can play this game on any standard controller, for the full feeling of off-road driving and force feedback we recommend at least half-decent wheel and pedal set. The sense of car constantly shifting weight whilst traversing the uneven, gravel-covered trek is executed with the finest details, and new stage degradation tech means that you will drive on a different surface every lap, skipping across the trails you and your opponents made.
Concerning the content, Dirt Rally 2.0 has a similarly sized package as its predecessor. There are 6 rally locations, each having a variety of different stages with the option of night and rain for each of them. Our favorites are Argentina stages which are filled with narrow hairpins amid the barren, high altitude mountainside.
There are also some additions to the rallycross portion of the game, including four new courses, among them Silverstone, which makes for eight rounds of World Rallycross Championship.
Basically, it doesn’t matter which car you will drive and which stage you will take on because every lap in this game will make you feel the thrill of the off-road ride. This is the absolutely triumphant game which brings the best off-road driving model, we dare say, ever. For all the people who consider themselves petrol-heads this is the Holy Grail of a game and a masterpiece, they will enjoy every second playing.