Reviews 15 Mar 2021 10:08 AM +00:00

DIRT 5 Review: Glorious, Fast-Paced Action Meets Blockbuster Narrative

+ 4
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The release of DIRT 5 was an absolute blast for rally fans.

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The game is packed full of new features for fans of the franchise to enjoy.

We think the game is nigh-on perfect, so let’s take a look at what we make of Codemasters’ DIRT 5!

Tracking Well Above Average

With the graphics settings set to ultra, the tracks look amazing.

From cities to large open expanses, DIRT 5 has it all in abundance and has nailed each of them.

Cities actually feel like dynamic, enclosed spaces, converted temporarily for racing as they would be in real life.

Likewise, traditional rally tracks feel unique, meaning the race experience is never the same.

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Four-Wheel Thrive

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As a fan of all things classic, I spent many hours in Quick Play mode testing out the Classic Rally, 80’s and 90’s categories.

Each of the categories comes with a distinct group of cars that, when on track, behave differently.

With DIRT 5 on PC, crank the visual settings up and the cars are stunning.

With lifelike reflections and some of the most immersive in-car driving I’ve ever experienced in a game; it's easy to feel like you're powering around corners or clinging to clifftops.

It’s also fun to tear around Cape Town for one race, and then nip over to China for some Super Lite action.

The various categories each feel unique and incredibly fun to drive, with their nuances slowly becoming apparent as you spend time driving them.

Our only issue was the lack of feedback while playing PC. While the Dualsense mitigates this for PS5 players, playing with both a wheel or controller on PC just felt unspectacular until we cranked the feedback settings up.

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+ 4

A Career Highlight

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The career mode on DIRT 5 is phenomenal, aided by the voiceovers of some of gaming’s biggest names, Troy Baker and Nolan North.

As you battle your way to the top, you really get a sense of the rivalry between the drivers and feel the need to prove yourself to an unforgiving pack.

Career progression is also good, letting you slowly develop your skills before moving on the next challenging race. Optional objectives add replayability, too.

The podcast by Donut Media is also a welcome addition, adding personality to the time spent between races, and further aiding the immersion.

It's cliche to say, but there's honestly something for every offroad enthusiast to gravitate towards throughout the lengthy series of events.

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Outside of the career mode, there are a number of offline quick play options as well as multiplayer.

The various events also feel new and refreshing, with anything from classic rally stages, to sprint race and even the addition of bouldering.

Crank the volume up, way up!

No matter which car you’re in, the car sounds perfect.

From the outside, the exhaust matches the wild engine of whichever vehicle you choose.

Then, when playing from the in-cockpit view, the true chaos of rallying is apparent as you’re hit with a wall of noise: rattles, exhaust notes, a howling engine, and more assault you.

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Pimp My Ride

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The customisation on DIRT 5 is a welcome feature, even enabling players to showcase some of their sponsors on their livery.

As you progress and unlock further liveries and patterns, the options become limitless.

We are sure that there is the next rallying Picasso out there somewhere and can’t wait to see what wonderful creations they come up with.

The inclusion of real-life companies in DIRT 5 even enables you to put some of your favourite manufacturers on your livery.

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+ 4

The Verdict

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Dirt 5 is a true testament to the chaos of rallying, and a love letter to offroad racing as a whole.

The cars feel unique and full of character, and the tracks lend themselves perfectly, with there's plenty to do and experience both in the game's career events and online multiplayer.

With the potential for a future update to change the feel of the surfaces, DIRT 5 could be an undeniable great of next-gen.

4.5/5

Reviewed on PCReview copy provided by the publisher

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