Racing games are getting rare these days with just a few franchise left to survive in the current gaming landscape. Codemasters is no stranger when it comes to racing games as they have released some timeless classics in the past. Dirt is arguably their biggest racing franchise and after the release of the excellent Dirt Rally, Codemasters have returned again with Dirt 4, the next mainline game in the Dirt series.
Dirt 4 is a game that is aimed at the fans of the series, the dedicated racing games fans and the casual users who are just in the market to pick a racing game that is easy to play. Dirt 4 is exactly the game that ticks all the right box for them. I will admit that racing has never been a genre that I have particularly enjoyed in the past. I used to play games like Burnout and Need for Speed that have the arcade racing mechanics without having to worry about how to properly handle a car. Dirt 4 can be either that, or you can try to learn more about the driving and simulation to see just how much of an impact such parameters can carry on the actual racing experience.
Dirt 4 offers two different control schemes: Gamer and Simulation. As the name implies, these control schemes are tailored towards a specific play style. If you are like me and prefer to focus just on the basic driving elements, you will prefer Gamer. This mode lets you control the car with the game taking care of most of the essentials leaving just the controls of the vehicle in your hands. Simulation is a much more advanced controls method that is similar to the controls featured in Dirty Rally. It requires you to focus on the car parameters, suspension, and basically have to take care of the car like you would do in real life.
The difference between Gamer and Simulation mode is not just limited to control schemes. The gameplay also drastically changes between both modes. Gamer will have an easier AI, weather and track conditions will be less pronounced and you won’t lose control of the car with your mistakes. It is generally speaking, a more forgiving difficulty option however there is no shame in picking this mode if you just like to deal with casual driving and challenges. It is not exactly easy difficulty since the game still carries some challenging races even if you use this mode, it however requires far less patience than Simulation mode.
Simulation mode is where the fans of the racing genre will find the most content. It requires you to know the inside of the car and drive it with actual skills. Racing conditions on the track and the weather will have a huge impact on how you can control the car and knowing it all is a necessary requirement if you want to succeed in this mode. Cars can face damage due to your mistakes, tires can burst making you take the risk of either moving ahead to the finish line or stopping to replace the tire. All of these decisions will play an integral part in achieving success in this mode.
The game offers a career mode that takes you across a journey across the globe. If you are new to the racing genre, there is also a pretty handy tutorial mode that goes in detail about every essential step in a racing game. Dirt 4 has a huge variety of vehicles available to drive and while you won’t have much cash in the start, you can progress in the career mode to get more than enough to purchase the vehicle you desire. The game offers a variety of different rally racing modes and you can also attempt the officially licensed Rallycross events. Once you are able to purchase your favorite vehicle, you are free to approach each challenge as you desire.
The new mode that has been added for Dirt 4 is the Landrush mode. This usually features a short circuit that has to be attempted along with a of AI drivers. The Landrush mode lets your control buggies and features a variety of dirt courses set in USA and Mexico. There is a sense of chaos in this mode which might not make it ideal compared to the standard races. Still, it is a welcome addition in the game as it adds more variety to the gameplay. If you just want to relax and enjoy the sights and sounds offered by Dirt 4 without any of the management aspects of the career mode, you can try the Joyride mode. This is accessed outside the career mode and offers the time trials and stage creator. You can mess around and spend some time in this mode without having to worry about your career progression.
Dirt 4 is a bold entry forward for the franchise and one that should please the fans and newcomers alike. The game also offers online multiplayer that should keep you busy with its dynamic challenges. While the game is an iterative update over Dirt Rally, it doesn’t really offer much improvement visually although the performance of the game is remarkable and I never managed to find any major issues with the frame rate during my time with the game.
Dirt 4 Review (PS4)
Game Reviewed on: PS4
Game description: Dirt 4 is a rally-themed racing video game developed by Codemasters. It is the twelfth game in the Colin McRae Rally series and the sixth title to carry the Dirt name.
Dirt 4 offers the complete arcade racing experience for the casuals while also providing the hardcore fans with a variety of options that should satisfy them.