Absolute Drift gained a cult following a few years back, the simple yet intuitive nature to the gameplay worked well in capturing a scene, generating a fun atmosphere to drive around and explore the limits of your car while developing your skills. Moving on a couple of years and wee see a very early version of art of rally revealed at the EGX Rezzed show. Move on two more years and finally at EGX 2019 the game has taken shape and I caught up with the developer Dune Casu in our video interview.
Art of rally is clearly a passion project, and it oozes that passion in every aspect, from the detail of the environment, to the range of cars, the atmosphere of the rally stages, to those small details scattered throughout that give you a wonderful sense that this world has it’s own sense of life to it. That those enthusiastic but blocky rally fans run around that world inhabiting every aspect. It is a wonderful adventure playground of rally. Art of rally features all of the usual modes, Career, Time Trial, Single Rally options. The career sees the player meeting Buddha and learning about the history of rally, before going back in time and working their way through from 1966 up to present day.
It’s the little details, the cubic crowds splitting apart as you storm though that stage. Giving that wonderful essence of Walter Rohl and those legendary Group b videos that saw the crowd passing just inches from the car. Everyone wants to get closer, to feel the essence of the car, to feel that energy, that danger, the rush that only racing fans will understand. I loved this feature and it is something I’ve wanted developers to include for a long time, if only a compromise could be found. In the case of art of rally the solution seemed obvious due to the nature of the art style and it works perfectly.
I also liked the vision option for seeing through buildings, trees and any objects that could potentially block a player’s vision of the car. Little touches that bring it all together, often design decisions that would be impossible with larger development studios can make all the difference.
Handling works well but does take some getting used to and there always is room for further refinement. It is all a matter of weight; the undulation of the road can sometimes be difficult to see or determine. This can affect braking besides under or oversteer depends on if you a going up or down hill. Weight can also carry a player clean off the track. The makes understanding your car key in getting around safely.
I’ll continue to work my way through the game and update this review but you can see my initial impressions in the video below.