Evolution Studios, creators of MotorStorm and DriveClub, offers us Dirt 5 under Codemasters label, the latest installment of the sub-series derived from Colin McRae: Dirt turn has several aspects, such as Dirt Rally. The series takes one last lap on the current generation consoles and starts its journey on the next-gen.
What’s new on Dirt 5
Dirt 5 is a fairly arcade driving title, focused on off-road driving, although not limited to it. Although several modes such as Arcade give you freedom, the main one is the so-called Career, which offers us a remarkable variety of tests that range from traditional races on tracks, passing through others. The key is to find the best route over steep terrain. Also, each test can be radically transformed by different types of surfaces and vehicles.
It’s clear that Codemasters always offer new experiences in constant change, which forces us to adapt to each challenge’s difficulties at all times. Luckily, the controls are fantastic, and while going from driving on asphalt to driving on an ice track requires practice and getting used to, the cars respond so well that potential frustration turns into fun.
To add a layer of challenge, each event has three secondary challenges: performing three drifts, spending five seconds in the air, or reaching a certain speed, making each race more competitive if possible. Each chapter has some final tests for which we need to have achieved a series of medals (we can win one, two or three, depending on our performance on the track), and once overcome, we unlock a special challenge, to those of us who sometimes have to buy a car that is expensive.
The progression system is a bit easy, but very well designed. It will take you many hours of play until things start to get challenging, and while just running is fun, a little more competition wouldn’t have been bad. As a tip for those who enjoy the difficulty, it is possible to keep things artificially complicated if we avoid buying better cars or, of course, deactivate aids in the options menu. So feel free to play around.
Dirt 5 comes packed with multiplayer options. Good news! The Party Game modes’ return, which includes modes familiar to the fans of the previous titles, such as Vampire, King or Transporter. All these modes are a lot of fun. They will feel great to break with the traditional races present, with games for up to 12 players through online. More surprising is the option to play split-screen with up to four players, compete, or even cooperate to get more Career mode rewards.
Another tool they implement is creating our own tracks and sharing them with the community. We do not have the skillset to create anything interesting enough, but we are sure that we will see some crazy things thanks to the number of pieces available and options to create a point, skill or time trial challenges.
I have to admit that the game looks stunning, from the lighting to the level of detail of the stages and vehicles, and how they break and get dirty as we compete is unbelievable. Dirt 5 is supported by a meticulous artistic direction, which gives it its own personality and which takes a surprising technical title further.
Dirt 5 comes out on Xbox One, Xbox One S, Xbox One X, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 4 Pro, PlayStation 5, PC and Stadia, and developers tried to make the most of the current consoles, perhaps trying to fit all the new generation features that have been able to in them. At least on PS4 Pro, the result has its ups and downs. One main issue of the current-gen consoles is the loading times, which can exceed nearly a minute.
If you have a PS4 Pro model then you will be presented with two modes, resolution and performance, at 4K and 30 images per second and 1080p and 60. We believe that since it uses a temporal image reconstruction technique. Both modes have some tearing, and in resolution mode, we also see some occasional frame drops, but nothing serious. In terms of sound effects, accompanied by a soundtrack with artists such as The Killers, The Chemical Brothers or Twin Atlantic it’s simply very delightful to listen to.
Dirt 5 has the two pillars that any racing game needs to be fun: great control and a variety of tracks and content. I truly enjoyed my time with it, and it is one of those titles that you keep coming back for more, as it includes a free update. The two main drawbacks are the loading times and it takes a while before you start facing the fun challenges, but apart from that, it is a game that we recommend to any fan of the genre. Definitely, a must buy.
We prepared this review with a digital review code provided by Codemasters,