We participated in the first hands on of DIRT 5, the new installment of the Codemasters saga. Renewed career mode and special emphasis on weather.
Codemasters offers its two great strands in this 2020. Although in a few weeks we will emulate the Formula 1 World Championship, the British are aiming for October to return the DIRT saga to madness. Because the studio knows well enough that its followers ask for both sides of the coin: simulation and frenzy.
DIRT Rally 2.0 arrived last 2019 following in the wake of this kind of subsaga. We against the clock, fighting for each vertex like the heroes behind the wheel. That fight between driving styles is old water. They want to ensure that they can live side by side and it is the player who selects the one that best suits their preferences. As part of the DIRT 5 preview event, we put on our gloves and learn the first details of this virtual tour.
DIRT 2 + DIRT 3 = DIRT 5
As it is. The fourth installment sinned from falling into no man’s land. Neither offered the simulation of purists, nor an abysmal difference in tone. Although the brand started in this way, throughout the aftermath it adapted to a modernized, even casual, current, especially the third. Codemasters has placed special emphasis on making those differences clear.
The presentation focused on the approach that career mode will take. A renewed mode, full of tests that will make us feel immersed in the craziest conditions possible. In September they will focus on the multiplayer aspect, while in August they expect “a surprise” that will offer “a differential factor” in their offer, according to what was said by those responsible.
You will have at your disposal 12 different vehicle classes. From the Classic Rally captained by the Ford Mustang, to the Porsche 911-style GT Rally, through Rock Bouncers, Super Lite and various models between the world of rally and off road. The sprint category appears for the first time, single-seaters whose ailerons allow it to drift on ovals at maximum power.
DIRT 5 has a Motorstorm soul. It is undeniable that the spirit of Evolution Studios surrounds (in part) the project. We are promised that the variety of situations will be a determining point in the events, especially thanks to the variable weather. We can go from sunny days to blizzards in the middle of the frozen Norwegian moor.
As we said, the career mode has undergone major changes to introduce the player to a spiral as varied as possible. Our mentor will be the character dubbed by Troy Baker, named Alex Janièek. This star of the DIRT world will offer us “his protection” to guide us to the top of the ladder. But on the other side we will find Bruno Durand, our nemesis, whose voice has been provided by actor Nolan North.
We will have to choose a sponsor who will protect us financially. It works in a similar way to the structure of F1 2020: these will set us short, medium and long-term goals that we will have to meet in order to obtain bonuses and be able to keep our spirits high. Ingame money will coexist with the reputation meter, essential to access new challenges.
We will go through five plot chapters, in which we will have to complete a certain number of events to advance. Finishing all of them is not essential, since the figure exceeds 130. It is in your hands to extend your game as you wish. It does not transcend how they will be, although what we do know is that they will contain unique challenges with which to expand the final rewards. Fast forward, skid… there are several requirements.
The career mode will make us travel around half a planet. Each location has a very personal aspect, differentiating from the others. We won’t feel like we’re on the same route over and over again. We are shown the United States, both in Arizona (off road tests) and on Roosevelt Island. The city of Guilin, China, characterized by the immense rice fields and the contrast between its mountains and lakes. The Rio de Janeiro of Brazil is not lacking, crossing half the city to the heart of the favelas. The rest of the World Cup will make us visit Greece, South Africa, Morocco, Italy, Norway and Nepal.
It is worth noting the inclusion of local mode for up to four players, including the possibility of playing in unison in career mode. Doing so will activate a kind of cooperative in which the host does not compete against his friends, but instead receives rewards based on the positions achieved globally. If you prefer, you can create an event in free play and be able to choose weather, variants, location and category of vehicles. Remember that it will have a photo mode.
Although they have not specified, they did confirm that they will include content and features at no additional cost during their post-launch period. They are currently investigating the possibility of enabling cross play between generations of the same family of consoles, that is, between PS4 / PS5 and Xbox One / Xbox Series X. Mixed it will not be possible.
The truth is that the demonstration to which we have had access is somewhat sparing in functions. We are only allowed to enjoy four races without any kind of weather change. Despite not having been able to test one of its main characteristics, the truth is that at the controls it performs great.
There are clear differences between driving a Lancia Evo 2 and a 4×4 buggy. Not everyone responds in the same way to the jump between surfaces, nor does their performance when cornering. Having twelve categories means that we have to jump between them from test to test. The control is closer to DIRT 3. The driving is firm without any help, designed so that you can dominate the cars with a simple stick. It is far from being demanding when giving gas as we steer the front end.
The feelings are positive. From what little we have been able to play, driving feels arcade, it transfers the force of the terrain well to the direction. That is something that Codemasters has always striven for. As for gameplay, there is no fear. It remains to be seen how career mode works in practice, if the variety of scenarios really extends to what we are facing.
DIRT 5 will arrive on October 6 on PS4, Xbox One and PC. PS5 and Xbox Series X will receive their version, not yet dated. It will do so at Google Stadia in 2021.