I love racing games and natural landscapes, so obviously I enjoy rally games. As far as I can remember, I think that my first proper rally game was Lombard RAC Rally for Amiga. The game had some of the real rules (you played solo against the clock, the car got damaged), it was played in a behind the driver view, inside the cockpit (it was amazing by the time) and it was hard. After that first experience, I remember some other less realistic rally games, like one with World Rally Championship developed by Spanish company Gaelco for arcades (with isometric view, similar to a game I tried later, via Neo Geo emulation, Neo Drift Out) or, obviously, Sega Rally. Watching Sega Rally arcade in person was incredible, but was expensive, so I tried once or so, and mostly enjoyed the correct PC port.
During PS2 era, I tried Evolution Studios WRC games, but never, unfortunately, bought one of them, even they look beautiful and play really well.Those days I really enjoyed rally stages in Gran Turismo 3. On PS3 most of my driving time was with Gran Turismo, but didn’t enjoy rally parts as much as with GT3. I also played Dirt 2, not bad, but too focused to the show part of the rallies and also Sega Rally Online Arcade (I missed the physical release and this was an enjoyable but more limited version).
During last months I’ve been reading about the development of Dirt Rally, a new entry of the franchise started with Colin McRae and that was focusing more on the realism of the rallies, contrary to previous dirt games. First it was launched on Steam Greenlight so the community could help with their input and they went adding more content during the development. Finally, the game was released for PC and also confirmed console versions, released past week.
I had some doubts (the game isn’t full of content), but after reading great comments from other players and the game’s structure (career mode, but also daily, weekly and monthly events… I love asynchronous online) I’ve decided to jump in and my first early impressions are excellent. The game is hard but feels great even if I’m played with a pad instead of a wheel (my old DFGT isn’t compatible with PS4). I’ve just started playing it but I think that Dirt Rally is a game that will probably replaceDriveclub (at least in part) as my driving game of choice next weeks. Coincidentally, today we’ve learnt that Evolution Studios members are joining Codemasters, great news.
Now, some gameplay videos, playing the slow 60’s mini across Greece’s stages: