- Genre: Simulation Racing
- Platform: PC – Steam Early Access
- Twitch VODs: Youtube Playlist
- 11 Hours play time
- Cups played in 3 vehicle classes
- As far as I know all content current as of last play through (May 10th)
- Have not yet played recently released Pike’s Peak content
From a high level, this feels like old Codemasters to me. This is more Colin McRae than it is DiRT, and while that comes with some significant added complexity, to me it’s a nice change of pace. While it is an Early Access title, the content available so far (rally cups in 4 main environments with recently added Pikes Peak, as well as 6 vehicle classes with multiple cars in each) is already a really good look at what the type of content will be for the final release. For how early it is, it does have some problems that I will outline below, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t worth purchasing already.
What I Like
The driving feels decidedly more simulation than the last handful of DiRT games. Even with some assists turned on, when I screw up my line, chances are I’m going off the track, often time to my doom. In that sense, the physics sim being used in this game definitely feels like it’s on the right track. There’s enough assists and tuning options for people to turn down their play to be safer, but allow those interested in the full simulation experience to really push their times to the limit.
Each race feels like the result is purely based on how strong I am doing, and my often times place low on the results definitely follows when I’m being reckless. As I played more and started picking up on the feel of the cars, my times became better and more consistent. Although I wasn’t placing podiums often, I was definitely getting closer, and it felt good to see that improvement as I was going along.
As a side note, I went in expecting widescreen support to be good due to past Codemasters titles, but it’s always pleasant to see unusual aspect ratios be well supported in simulation games. I’m currently playing the game in 3440×1440, and had no problems at all with the game in the 21:9 aspect.
What I Don’t Like
Right now, the steering wheel support feels, for lack of a better term, slightly off. I’m currently using a Logitech G27, and I’ve not yet been able to shake the feeling that the game was tuned for controllers in early access. The basic problem for me is that my wheel feels like it has a huge dead zone, then once I’m past there is incredibly sensitive. What this often does is has me basically not steering at all, then accidentally overcompensating until I get into a wheel lock situation. There’s been some mention of this in blog posts from Codemasters, so I’m relatively confident that it will be fixed, but it was somewhat of a damper as I played through the game so far.
Also, given how early the game is, there was a lot of repetition of content. I’m currently waiting for more larger content patches until I jump back in for further thoughts to avoid burning out, but that is a consideration on whether or not to wait for a more complete release.