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Next-Gen

02 Nov 2020

DIRT 5 Review: Glorious, fast-paced action meets blockbuster narrative!

The release of DIRT 5 is just around the corner.

Codemasters has gone all-out for their new racing game, but does it match expectations?

This review was conducted on PC

Cars – Spoilt for choice

As a fan of all things classic, I spent many hours in Quick Play testing out the Classic Rally, 80’s and 90’s categories.

Each of the categories came with a distinct group of cars that, when on track, behaved differently.

dirt 5 cars 1
PLENTY OF HORSEPOWER HERE: The cars were a joy to drive

As my copy of DIRT 5 was for PC, I cranked the visual settings up and the cars were stunning.

With lifelike reflections and some of the most immersive in-car driving I’ve ever experienced in a game; this won’t be one to miss.

It was also fun to tear around Cape Town for one race, and then nip over to China for some Super Lite action.

The various categories each felt unique and incredibly fun to drive, with their nuances slowly becoming apparent as we spent time driving them.

Tracks – Locations to die for

Once again, this may have been due to the graphics settings being set to ultra, but the tracks looked amazing.

From cities to large open expanses, DIRT 5 has it all in abundance, and has nailed each of them.

DiRT 5 TrucksBrazil
NEW PLACES TO SEE: The track variety in DIRT 5 is awe-inspiring

Cities actually feel like dynamic, enclosed spaces, converted temporarily for racing as they would be in real life.

Likewise, with the more traditional rally tracks, the locations feel unique, meaning the race experience is never the same.

Events – Something for everyone!

The games events add some much needed variety to the rallying game genre.

With a number of offline quick play options, Playgrounds as well as career mode and multiplayer, there is plenty to do.

dirt 5 sprint cars 1
RACE HOW YOU WANT: The game has a huge variety of events to play

The various events also feel new and refreshing, with anything from classic rally stages, to sprint race and even the addition of bouldering.

Career Mode – immersion at its finest

The career mode on DIRT 5 is phenomenal, aided by the voiceovers of some of gaming’s biggest names

As you battle your way to the top, you really get a sense of the rivalry between the drivers and feel the need to prove yourself to an unforgiving pack.

dirt 5 career arc 1
FOLLOW YOUR DESTINY: The career mode follows an awesome narrative

Career progression is also good, letting you slowly develop your skills before moving on the next challenging race.

The podcast by Donut Media is also a welcome addition, adding personality to the time spent between races, and further aiding the immersion.

Customisation – Your car, your way

The customisation on DIRT 5 was a welcome feature, even enabling players to showcase some of their sponsors on their livery.

As you progress and unlock further liveries and patterns, the options become limitless.

dirt 5 career cars
WHACKY RIDES: Make your car you own by customising it!

We are sure that there is the next rallying Picasso out there somewhere and can’t wait to see what wonderful creations they come up with.

The inclusion of real-life companies in DIRT 5 even enabled us to put some of our favourite manufacturers on our livery!

Sound – Crank the volume up, way up!

This is one of the standout features for me in DIRT 5 and had me grinning from ear to ear.

No matter which car we were in, the car sounded perfect.

From the outside, the exhaust matched the wild engine of whichever vehicle we were in.

dirt 5 soundtrack poster
SONGS TO RALLY TO: The game even features a soundtrack full of major artists

Then, when playing from the in-cockpit view, the true chaos of rallying was apparent as I was hit with a wall of noise: rattles, exhaust notes, a howling engine and more assaulted my ears.

The sound of this game alone is enough to make me want to turn it on and play for hours!

Problems – does DIRT 5 have any issues?

The issues were sparse, in fact we only found one, as the game was such a joy to play.

There wasn't as much difference between surface types as you would expect, other than ice.

dirt 5 storm
BRING SOME WARM CLOTHES: The dynamic weather can change in a split second

Seemingly as a result you aren't having to make constant steering inputs on the super-uneven surfaces like you'd expect.

While it helps controller play and makes the game more accessible, it does break the immersion a little. You can basically ignore steering when on a straight, even on a bumpy and broken-up surface.

You can absolutely enjoy DIRT 5 on a wheel, though we did have to turn the in-game force feedback settings up to the max to get a good feel for it.

Verdict

DIRT 5 is incredible fun, and a true testament to the chaos of off-road racing.

The cars felt unique and full of character, and the tracks lend themselves perfectly to the aesthetic of the game.

It's an in-your-face racing title, and delivers in a big way. With an engaging career mode and plenty of dip in-dip out game modes it's a title you can enjoy if you've got 10 minutes or two hours to play.

RealSport Rating: 4.5 Stars (out of 5)