The PS4 version of DiRT Rally was primarily tested for the purpose of this review.
The DiRT franchise made its rather unusual early-access debut last year, but after Codemasters built its new installment DiRT Rally up from the ground, this April the game makes its debut on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. But even though the game isn’t exactly new to players per se, does the state of the game during its official release hold up?At first glance it already becomes apparent that DiRT Rally is quite the step up when it comes to the visual representation of the game world, which should speak for itself considering the franchise had yet to make its introduction to current generation hardware before Rally’s inception on PC earlier last year. In games like DiRT, the attention to detail when it comes to the game world and its details is quite essential, and Codemasters has put great work into the elements of the environments that the player will traverse through. From the green hills and forests to the icy and cold ridges up in the mountains, there is a lot to take in.The game is definitely a step-up from any of Codemasters’ earlier offerings, with terrain and car models that far exceed the visual fidelity the franchise’s earlier installments, though there are certain smaller details within the game world that do stick out sorely, even though these are issues often found within the driving genre. Spectators and certain pieces of shrubbery are sometimes a step down in quality in comparison to their surroundings, which in their defense are aspects that are most notable up close, and can seem far less intrusive when viewed from afar or in third person perspectives.
Natural elements such as snow and rain can be quite diverse in quality. Whilst rain elements in general are well presented, snow during gameplay sometimes seems rather flat when coming down, feeling like a separate layer of presentation rather than an interactive element interacting with the player.My biggest gripe with the game would be its rather dull user-interface design, which extends from both the menus to the in-game HUD, which whilst functional is rather uninspired when it comes to its visual design. Especially in comparison to the earlier titles in the franchise the designs desperately need a flinch of character, which it currently lacks. Its saving grace is its functionality, but even to that extent this issue remained on my mind throughout my time with the game.