Reviewed on: PS4 Pro
Also available on: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S, Xbox One, PC
Release: 6th November 2020
DIRT 5 is the bold new off-road racing experience created by Codemasters. Conquer stunning global routes and drive an iconic roster of cars. Experience a star-studded Career mode, four-player split-screen, the Playgrounds arena creator mode and much more!
Dirt 5, is the 15th release in the Colin McRae Rally Franchise and the 8th in the Dirt series. Developed and published by Codemasters, Dirt 5 will release on November 6th. A racing game focused on off-road driving, Dirt 5 features a whole raft of different disciplines and environmental factors. Those disciplines and environments include; Rallycross, Stadium Super Trucks and even an ice rally on tracks covered in mud, snow and of course ice.
Dirt 5 is an end of generation game on the PS4 and Xbox One, and includes a free upgrade on both of those consoles. I have to say that I cannot wait to see what it looks like on the next generation of console gaming. This game is without a doubt one of the best looking games I have ever played. The environments, the cars and the weather are all among the best I've seen in just about any game. Quite often I find that graphically, racing games usually focus on one thing, and they do that one thing really well. Dirt 5 looks phenomenal, across the board. The tracks are extremely densely populated, the cars look amazing and look realistically damaged on impact, but it's the actual textures themselves that really set Dirt 5 apart from other racing games I've played. Even on PS4 without things such as Ray Tracing, the lighting and reflections look incredible. The water on the floor and the reflection of the ice is truly gorgeous and makes me genuinely excited to see what they can do on PS5 or XSX.
Gameplay wise, Dirt 5 is fun; the campaign mode, where I spent pretty much all of my time, is fun - somewhat confusing and lacking in any sense of progression or story - but fun. Let me explain what I mean. The gameplay itself is very fun, the handling easily controllable, the AI is beatable but not too easy, like a lot of racing games, and things like drifting are somewhat easy to do once you get the hang of it. Career mode offers a good variety of all the different disciplines and tracks, keeping the gameplay loop feeling pretty fresh and varied. However, there's a very clear lack of direction or real goal. You just beat a race to unlock a new race and then rinse and repeat. I'd have liked some sort of side story or motivation to keep going other than just completing the game. That being said, I did keep going and I actually kept going back for more long after I thought I would, so that's a testament to just how much fun the gameplay itself is.
There's clearly a lot of effort been put in by Codemasters and it really is their attention to detail that I enjoyed the most. Simple things such as the music is purposeful, it sounds so trivial but they have made it so that while you’re racing around the track the music is clearly in the distance, but as you get closer to populated areas, the music gets louder until you drive past the speaker and you can quite literally hear the music right on top of you. A nice touch I thought. Speaking of the music, Dirt 5’s soundtrack is one of the best sounding soundtracks I've heard in a long time. I don't know if I particularly recognise a single one of the songs in the game but they are pretty much all instant bangers and really give me a THPS, or old school FIFA soundtrack vibe.
One of the biggest issues I had with the game was the day/night cycle. It really lost some of the immersion in the game as you can be racing around a track and it be clear daylight, and literally no more than 5 seconds later its night time and the moon is high up in the sky. Almost as though time is going in hyper speed around you. It was only a small thing, but as I said, it really broke that immersion.
Overall, Dirt 5 is a great game with some of the best visuals I've seen on the PS4. If you're into racing games with a focus on fun rather than trying to be a simulator, then Dirt 5 is a game I’d wholeheartedly recommend. Even if you're not, but want a game that will look great on the next gen then I’d suggest this will be one to watch. Of course I haven't played it on the PS5 or XSX yet, but based on how good it looks on PS4 I'd say this will look amazing with Ray Tracing and 4K 60+FPS.