We are very excited about the forthcoming release of Codemaster’s off-road racer DiRT 4 which follows in the footsteps of our 2017 VVV Awards Best Racing Game winner DiRT Rally. We recently got a hands-on with the title (using a controller) where we had the opportunity to sample several of the different disciplines on offer.
We have split our preview into two sections, the first half is reserved for the accessible “Gamer Handling” whereas racing veterans are the consideration in the latter half as we dive into what the “Simulation Handling” has to offer.
We start proceedings by looking at an Australian rally stage courtesy of the “Your Stage” course generator. We are very impressed with the overall result of the random track generator, seeing the track carved out from the surrounding landscape is particularly splendid.
We immediately got on very well with the gamer handling which was fun and intuitive and very much brings back memories of DiRT 3. We find the larger buggies to be particularly fun with gamer handling, they slip and slide around but you never feel like you’re not in control. The smaller buggies however were a real handful with their skittish nature, even in the gamer handling mode you’ll still need to have your wits about you if you want to stay out of the barriers.
We also dived into some rallycross action which we find very satisfying to play, you can really chuck the cars into the corners: aggressive driving is very much the way forward here. Historic rally is another element in DiRT 4, we got behind the wheel of a classic Mini which proved lots of fun.
We start the sim handling portion of the preview at just over the 12 minute mark in the video (seen below). We opt for some rally gameplay using the dashboard camera, the sim handling feels intuitive and works very well. In terms of comparing it to DiRT Rally, we would simply need more time with the game, particularly using a wheel, to make any accurate comparisons.
Heading on to the snow proved very challenging but not frustratingly so, a nice balance you could say. The four-wheeled drive trucks found in the Landrush mode were tricky initially, but lots of fun to play with the simulation handling model. You can certainly feel the vehicles moving around a lot more compared to the gamer handling and overall we were left wanting more Landrush content as it stood out as one of the most fun elements in DiRT 4.
The rear-wheel drive trucks in the simulation mode were very much a handful, here you really need to be cautious with your braking, accelerating and steering inputs. However once you got your head around how they handle, they become very satisfying to drive and were probably our most favourite vehicles to drive in the preview session.
You can view our DiRT 4 preview in the video below, and you can expect more preview videos on DiRT 4 to come shortly.