Every off-road racing fan who also finds time to play rallying games found out that DiRT 4 was released just before the weekend this Friday (09), mixing previous DiRT games into different modes of play.
Compared to DiRT Rally, the 4th is more complete in terms of options available, making easily noticeable that DiRT Rally was more like an high class experimentation lab for Paul Coleman and his companions at Codemasters. Career was improved by an outstanding amount while Freeplay and online Event modes remained untouched, with the addition of an Academy mode and a Joyride mode with Free Roam and Challenges bundled, thanks to a partnership with the DirtFish driving school, bringing the USA-based facility to be used to the player's liking.
The biggest new feature in DiRT 4 is for the rally events, as the Your Stage option creates new routes by adjusting length and complexity of the track, and at the push of a button a new stage is done, with a ridiculously broad amount of combinations to be created around the five locations available: Värmland (Sweden), Powys (Wales) and the newcomers Tarragona (Spain), Fitzroy (Australia) and Michigan (USA), with surfaces varying into asphalt, gravel and ice and snow. Rallycross features Lydden Hill, Höljes and Hell with Montalegre and Lohéac as the new ones in the lineup, and the returning Landrush mode has circuits in Baja, Nevada and California.
About the cars, some cars were lost in the transition from DiRT Rally, such as the Hillclimb and the 2010s generation of World Rally cars, while new ones were added to existing classes like the RX Super 1600 and the World RX Supercars, and entirely new classes were brought in, like the R2 and R5 for rallying, bases of the WRC2, WRC3 and JWRC championships, and Group B rallycross cars, a long time request from the fans as the rally monsters of the 80s became the rallycross monsters of the early 90s, specially in Great Britain. Also in the list of newcomers are the Trophy Trucks and Trophy Buggies , being known because of the LUCAS Oil Off-Road Racing Series, and the Supercar Lites and Crosskarts, which are part of the rallycross ladder.
About the gameplay itself, car and track models don't have much changes although improvements in illumination give a nicer and more realistic touch to the scenes. Physics-wise, the modern cars remain as good as in DiRT Rally, and while appraisal should should be given to the asphalt and snow physics, the gravel seems to have much grip than expected. The AI poses quite a challenge at higher levels even if you tune your setup well, so polishing your skills is key for victory.
Pre-orders of DiRT 4 will give you nice things to add to the game like a Founder Icon in the leaderboards, some high quality staff for your career mode (including a world class co-driver) and the Hyundai i20 R5, one of the most recent additions to the WRC2 field, including access to a special leaderboard event during between June 9th and 11th.
DiRT 4 is available for PC, Playstation 4 and Xbox One. Here is our first video with the Opel Adam R2.
PHOTOS: DiRT 4 in-game screenshots