How Good Is This Game: Dirt 4 PS4 Review 2021
If 2015’s Dirt Rally was Codemasters flipping over the couch cushions and locating the key to something special, Dirt 4 may be the studio prying open the barn door and rediscovering the complete car. With an adequately meaty career mode, literally endless racing because of its procedurally made stages, and the very best sound and visuals Codemasters has ever mustered, Dirt 4 has redefined might know about expect from modern rally games.The most beautiful part of Dirt 4 is its new custom stage creator, which Codemasters has dubbed ‘Your Stage’. It’s a remarkably simple tool to use. There are simply two sliders – one for length and one for complexity. That’s it. The procedure is instant and easy, and time-of-day and weather could be adjusted for just about any stage you create. Stages could be up to 12-or-so kilometres long and the off-track respawn limits have already been pushed right out so when you crash, you can crash big.The Your Stage tool supports five countries in Dirt 4 – Australia, america, Wales, Sweden, and Spain – which each offer completely different terrain and demand various things from us when driving. Australia is gravel-based, with a variety of wider areas with uncluttered verges and tighter zones that twist through the bush. It’s quick and it could be somewhat forgiving, provided you have the area to make one. Spain is pretty different; it’s a tarmac-based affair lined with curbs, railings, and high stone and rock walls. It’s quick too, because there’s far more grip, but there’s a lttle bit less margin for error here. I’ve clattered down lots of Spanish hillsides blazing into bends at maximum attack.
There’s nothing about Your Stage courses that means it is clear they’ve been built by an algorithm instead of a couple of humans.
You can’t raise or lower items of your custom tracks yourself, nor is it possible to push and pull certain sections around to customise the finish product, however the impact of having a distinctive stage curated for each and every career event (and a bottomless way to obtain them close at hand beyond the career mode) can’t be understated. Also you can save the types you prefer most and share them with friends. Brilliant stuff.
Most impressive of most, there’s nothing about Your Stage courses that means it is clear they’ve been built by an algorithm instead of a couple of humans. Segments are seamlessly blended together. Trackside detail is varied and the game’s pace notes – supplied by Welshman Nicky Grist and Canadian Jen Horsey – are always accurate.
Five environments is just about the smallest amount Codemasters needed (the traits Dirt Rally’s Finland, Monaco, and Germany could have taken to this game are missed) but we’ve definitely gained a lot more than we’ve lost here. Forget about cheeky reverse stages or repetitive shared track sections, no more belting along the actual same stages for months at a time; Your Stage is a gamechanger for rally games.
As yet, Codemasters’ Ego engine games have always looked just a little muted. Not Dirt 4. The lighting is the foremost that’s ever emerge from Codemasters, from just how it plays off different paint types and car surfaces to just how low sun lights up thick fog in a bright orange haze.
The visuals still lack a small amount of the sharpness of a few of its peers in the racing space (plus some shadows get somewhat choppy) but there’s a whole lot of great detail here. Heat haze wafting above the wide starting straights in the stadium-based Landrush events; the compacted dirt surfaces baking beneath the harsh sun. The leaf litter lining the unsealed backroads of Michigan, churned up and dancing in slipstreams. Dark new mud being caked after dried, pale dust during the period of several heats of a Rallycross event. The absurdly good water splash effects.
I also love just how Dirt 4’s cars often look quite battle-weary, and not simply after events when they’re carrying damage. The Dirtfish Rally School training cars are excellent examples; they don’t appear to be they’ve just rolled off the lot. They appear to be cars that contain are punished and pummelled every day, with grubby glass and battered tyres, caked with dirt.
Then there’s the sound, which is brilliant. Blasting over cattle grids appears like the burp of a minigun, and the frequent sweet, sweet exhaust overrun appears like Satan half-choking on a pistachio. Sometimes I play in chase cam just therefore i can better hear the crackling pops of the exhaust, but it’s a genuine treat in the cabin, too. A symphony of squeaks and clunks and buzzing bodywork at high revs, the sound design plays a essential role to make Dirt 4’s cars feel just like real machines being pushed with their limits.
Weight shifting is improved, as may be the feeling of aero grip at higher speeds.
Dirt 4 has two physics modes – Simulation and Gamer – and leaderboards and online challenges segregate both. Simulation is my preference since it makes the complete experience a genuine wrestle with a wheel. Weight shifting is improved, as may be the feeling of aero grip at higher speeds. If you’re concerned about Dirt 4 losing the brutal edge of Dirt Rally, don’t be.
But don’t worry about Dirt 4 being too much for you personally either, because with the Gamer physics setting and different assists available it’s a lot more welcoming. I find the Gamer setting feels fine with the assists off but overall it requires away the necessity to put weight over leading for turn-in and will feel a lttle bit too attentive to me. But having that option adds layers of option of the knowledge without ever crippling the serious rally sim at its core.
Career mode is a major intensify from Dirt Rally, too, fleshing out the knowledge with team facilities and upgrades to invest your cash on. The facilities and resources you have will regulate how effective and useful your engineers and other staff will be for you personally. There’s a lttle bit of micromanagement involved – particularly if it involves staying along with sponsor deals – but it’s an enormous improvement from the admittedly soulless Dirt Rally. You’re also encouraged to create a personalised fleet of cars as a way to enter as much championships and series as possible. I love how it’s simple to apply a regular theme across your cars but I believe the livery editor could do with even more functionality; since it stands a whole lot of it really is pre-set and finally results in cars that look somewhat amateur prearranged beside cars adorned with existing professional liveries. Something simple, like better control of the logo placement may possibly be adequate; more vinyl factors (like stripes and such) will be a nice bonus.
The automobile mix is good, covering all major eras of rallying. Some categories are actually well populated, while some aren’t. There is plenty of great retro stuff, with the ’80s and ’90s quite nicely represented. The 2000s aren’t aswell covered; the modern-day Group N/R4 cupboard is just a little bare, and the 2000CC class is somewhat of a weird one, bundling up a 2001 Subaru Impreza WRC and 2001 Ford Focus WRC and pitting them against the WRC manufacturers’ world title winning Focus from 2007.
Speaking of Focus…
Also noteworthy may be the Official World Rallycross Championship mode, which returns from Dirt Rally with almost all of the most notable World RX Supercars, the RX Lites, Group B rallycross, and some more tracks (although not absolutely all the tracks in the real-world series are included, so that it feels a lttle bit truncated). It really is such an excellent racing format for video gaming, though; short tracks, unique format, and astonishingly powerful cars going door-to-door. There’s also the Dirtfish Rally School, which can be an awesome open area used for joyriding, testing, rally lessons, plus some genuinely fun time attack events. And there’s the return of Dirt Rally’s regular community events, only this time around it’s with stages that are always not used to everyone who participates, plus curated and custom PvP competitive multiplayer modes for lobbies as high as eight (but no splitscreen).
Multiplayer stood up well during testing with friendly players, though I fully expect the uncompromising and close-quarters nature of rallycross and Landrush (American, TORC-style short course off road racing) could be a frustrating cauldron for all those trying to race clean(ish).
It’s perhaps symbolic that Codemasters has included Colin McRae’s old co-driver in Dirt 4 for the very first time in another of its rally games since Colin McRae Rally 2005, because Dirt 4 quite definitely feels like a go back to the good days of the past of the series. Hearing Grist’s pace notes again – a voice drilled into my brain in the late ’90s and early 2000s via my ravenous consumption of most games beginning with the term ‘Colin’ – has taken me back practically 20 years. In the past Codemasters’ rally games were the yardstick against which all the racers with off-road aspirations were measured (at least until famous brands Richard Burns Rally and WRC: Rally Evolved). Well, days past are back. Accessible yet tough and grimy yet gorgeous, Dirt 4 sets a fresh standard in rally racing – and its own well-consi