What is an arcade rally racing game anyway? That’s the question I continue to ask myself while playing Codemasters latest entry in their arcade rally racing game, Dirt 5. Much like previous entries in the Dirt series, you will be battling it out with several AI opponents in a variety of different racing game modes. Saying that this is a rally game is a bit of a stretch because unlike an actual rally game in that of World Rally Championship 9 that I also reviewed, Dirt 5 tries to be a rally game by offering various types of terrain such as mud, puddles, rain, and even ice in the form of an Icebreaker event which has you driving over sheets of ice while trying to control your vehicle. There are a ton of real-life rally type vehicles in the game that you can choose from and use the money earned in Career mode events to unlock different vehicles.
Dirt 5’s career mode is essentially just a series of races in the form of chapters that you will be trying to complete as well as having commentators throughout your journey providing some rather hilarious commentary on your status in career mode with driver A.J. Janieck giving you guidance along the way as well as the antagonist of the mode, Bruno Durand (of which both characters are voiced by Troy Baker and Nolan North respectively) giving his own opinion during your career. Career mode will have you attempting to earn 3 stamps for each race which depends on how well you place in each event. Also, each event you play in Career mode will feature three random objectives that you can attempt to complete for even more XP. The events in Career mode are not at all lacking and one of my personal favorite events Gymkhana, returns even better than before, however, this being an arcade rally game it can be a bit of a task to control vehicles since this event will challenge you around a huge playground of drift circles as well as items to smash through and earn points. The Career mode also has you earning XP which goes towards a more overall level as well as choosing different sponsorships that you will also level up as you progress in Career mode in which you will unlock various customizations for your vehicles such as different liveries as well as options for your player card like stickers, lanyards, backgrounds and more.
One event in particular that I was rather frustrated with was Sprint. Sprint has you behind the wheel of the rather fictional Jupiter Hawk 410 of which these tracks feature you slinging mud as you mostly attempt to make left turns. I say attempt because out of all the racing events Dirt 5 has to offer, Sprint is by far the most difficult of the bunch. Try as I might, I attempt to make sure that I can keep my car from not doing a 180, I found that Sprint was an almost impossible race to win as I was only able to finish in 6th place, however, this might not be a challenge for Dirt veterans that are able to make what seems to be impossible possible. Dirt 5 also features a Playground mode which allows you to be creative and create your own tracks using all of the various events the game has to offer. Some of my favorite tracks to play were the Gymkhana tracks of which some featured loops and jumps through firey hoops. Dirt 5 also features a multiplayer mode in which you can challenge others through all of the event modes the game has to offer. The game also has some very impressive visuals as you will feel every single puddle you drive through as well as the many different locations having their own day/night cycle and realistic weather patterns that can show up during the course of an event.
For those looking for a fun, Rally-Esque arcade racing experience, the Dirt series is the top of the food chain when it comes to an exciting experience as well as one that will challenge you as you progress through its Career mode. The game also offers different performance modes for those that wish to focus on the game having great graphics or for those on an Xbox Series X and a proper television, you can even play on the 120fps option as well as running in 4K 60fps on an Xbox One X. Dirt 5 is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and is also available on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series line of consoles via Smart Delivery.
Thanks to Codemasters for providing Brian with a review copy of the game which was reviewed on an Xbox One X.