Drifting to Success!

It’s fair to say that I do like to play a racing game now and again. I absolutely love titles such as Micro Machines and Destruction Derby, both series that come with a lot of fun. Codemasters are probably one, if not the best developers of racing games, and simulation is something DiRT has a lot of. DiRT 4 has had a lot of hype surrounded around it, and although I’m more into fun racing games, I was interested to see how I would fare with the new installment in the DiRT franchise. It’s pretty safe to say that I really enjoyed my time with it.

I’ve not really had much time with the DiRT series before but thankfully, as soon as the game starts you are completely eased into it. There are too many games out there that just throw you right into the deep end and whilst that’s good for some, I like to get to grips with the core mechanics before I throw myself into the game. As I said before, the game eases you into it but having a little stage acting like a little tutorial. From then on, there is the DiRT Academy which steps it up a hell of a lot, letting you learn right from the beginning all the way to how to handle different conditions etc. It’s a really good move from Codemasters to do that, and after a few initial hours with the game, I felt confident in my ability.

I have to applaud Codemasters on the visuals, especially in the vehicle you are driving. I’ll talk about the overall handling in a little while, but safe to say that when you damage your car, you can feel and see the damage you have caused. There is a lot of detail that Codemasters have put into with DiRT 4 and it’s clear to see. I do think the overall environments could be a little better, but in terms of overall detail as a whole, it really does stand out. Racing in the snow or rain is a visual delight, especially when you have the cockpit camera angle and you can see the window wipers in action. It actually feels like you are in that car.

DiRT 4 has a vast of options available to you, with the core one being the central Career Mode. Starting off a rookie, it is up to you to impress racing scouts of other teams and do your best in national and regional championships in order to get yourself up the ladder. As recommended by the game, I started my Career Mode using the pro difficulty. It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be, but when I ramped it up, I soon saw that my stage times were nowhere good enough to place in the overall standings (Tip to self, do not think you’re better than you are!). You can also buy your own vehicles in a sort of Gran Turismo kind of way, which in turn also allows you to create your own team and have your own brand racing away in your honor. I really enjoyed the Career Mode to be honest, and I can definitely see myself playing it for the longer term.

Perhaps the most import thing in DiRT 4 is how well the cars handle, and simulation was what Codemasters went for, and that is exactly what they got with this game. The game allows you to have as much assistance as you want in the races, but even then, you still have to fully concentrate in order to keep your car from not tipping over. What is good in each stage or race is that you’ll have your co-driver assisting you with the map, telling you what the upcoming turns are going to be like in terms of how tight a turn is going to be. This part really got me feeling nostalgic, it was like when I used to play SEGA Rally all those years ago. I did try and turn all of the assistance off, and I absolutely crashed. Probably why I don’t drive in real life, my driving and turning became atrocious and it was plain to see that the learning curve in DiRT 4 for myself was going to be huge.