DIRT 5 Reviews

  • BlastingCitterSBlastingCitterS195,776
    10 Mar 2021
    10 1 0
    Adaptation of my own review written for the Steam page of the game.

    DIRT 5 is a clear example of what happens when most of your budget and time gets spent on flashy art, big names for your voice acting cast, ad-nauseam marketing, and paying reviewers to leave very positive opinions about the game. Instead of, you know, the game itself. If this game was sold for 15€, wouldn't have been called DIRT and was made by an indie developer, I wouldn't be here complaining.

    After the absolute letdowns of the Dirt Rally 2.0 DLC situation, GRID 2019 and Project CARS 3, Codemasters hit rock bottom with this... thing I wouldn't even dare to call a game. Marketed as the DiRT 2's spiritual successor and made from the creators of Onrush, Driveclub and Motorstorm (despite Codemasters Cheshire being currently made up by absolutely NONE of the people who made those games, but rather in good part by people who have never worked on a game before), ridiculously overpriced... nothing in this game, physics, graphics, gameplay, content - you name it - meets the quality you'd expect from a 70€ title, euphemistically speaking. In fact, every aspect feels very mediocre, lazy, and an afterthought. And the feature that's being advertised the most on their social media isn't the actual gameplay, but all those in-game screenshots which showcase the game's "good graphics", taken with copious amounts of motion blur and rigorously at sunset to hide the very poor and blurry textures. Oh, and the playgrounds mode, a bootleg replica of Trackmania's editor, in the hope that user generated contents could compensate the lack of official ones.

    - Game engine: DIRT 5 ditched the venerable EGO in favor of Onrush's engine, and recycled in a 1:1 copy most of its features, such as dynamic weather and "advanced" photomode (the weather is actually more complex in Onrush). While also discarding others, such as deformable terrain, replays and car damage. A maximum of 12 cars is allowed in a race... just like Onrush. When I was told that a "small" team of 70 people made this game in one year, I figured they had to spend the time and rush building a game engine (thus the lack of features), since they also told me the game was not running on the tried and tested EGO engine. But as it seems, the only thing that's "new" in this game are the tracks, with some almost certainly outsourced 3D car models.

    - Physics: they don't make any sense whatsoever (credit to friendo xdDDbx). While it's perfectly understandable that DIRT 5 is heavily arcade-oriented, that doesn't mean it should babysit the player without him having any saying... I mean, masterpieces such as DiRT 2 and 3 were arcade too, but their handling models felt... natural. DIRT 5 just ISN'T FUN. AT ALL. Where's the excitement of driving a car that doesn't let you keep a drift because it countersteers automatically? Where's the excitement of driving a car that reacts like it's make of plastic when colliding with other vehichles? Of driving with AI drivers who act like toddlers at a kindergarten being told to form an ordered line? Of driving a car when braking is heavily discouraged in favor of using walls or other drivers to turn? And if you're used to other games, you'll find yourself busy fighting your car instead of focusing on the actual race. And that's in a game carrying the name of DIRT, made by a company with decades of expertise in the field.

    - Graphics and performance: the looks don't justify calling the game "next-gen optimized". They would've been acceptable in the 360/PS3 era, but not in 2020 onwards. Xbox One X and Series X versions are undistinguishable. Edges are super blurry thanks to a rather shoddy TAA. Developers and artists of this game designed maps using techniques you'd learn in the average "Basics of the Unity Engine for dummies 101" course. Such as tiling a single, blurry, small texture over a big low-polygon count 3d object. Once you notice it, you can't unsee it (you can spot it in Morocco stage). Anybody you read saying "omggg this game looks incredible!!!!" are most likely playing only on certain tracks, and at sunset. And they ask 70€. gah.

    - Gameplay: physics were already described. Gamemodes have all the fancy names, but at the end of the day, it's the same stuff, just with different cars. With the exceptions being Pathfinder and Sprint. Certain car classes are unbearably slow, and within the same class, you're only going to use one vehichle out of them all (the one with the highest horsepower/weight ratio) because them giving a massive advantage in races, rendering the others pretty much useless. Back to the drawing board, gameplay designers.

    - Content, features and progression: lacklustre is the word to describe it. You got a few super wide tracks that all resemble one another gameplay wise, all available from the beginning, and on which you'll play the entirety of your career. Career being just a string of events next to eachother which will reward your "efforts" with shiny medals like a good boy who behaved well. The new DLC career events being merely additional casually picked events on those same tracks you could as well just play in quick play (arcade) mode. Sponsor progression very poorly explained and implemented, despite marketed as one of the key progression features of the game. Flashbacks? Nonexistant. Replays? Same. As far as progression is concerned, you win races, get money, buy cars. By the time you reach half of your career, you will have enough money to get all of the cars and have plenty to spare. There's no incentives to... proceed in career. Or doing anything in the game really.

    - AI: the most lifeless and boring I've ever seen in a racing game. Literally chasing their own racing line, at a constant distance one from the other.

    - Online: don't even get me started. I presume putting the game up on Gamepass might have helped with the online population, but that came at the cost of rendering us buyers' purchases basically useless, and our money spent, wasted.

    And you get all of this experience along a buncha dudes randomly talking while you're at the menu to put up whatever "story" is behind the career mode, and the blandest, most uninspired and generic pop/alt. rock soundtrack to accompany you during your races (yeppppp definitely DiRT 2's spiritual successor lmfao. Lies and deception).

    EA, do us all a favor and please terminate this bunch of clowns already.
    05 Mar 2021 08 Mar 2021
    7 3 0
    This is a quick sum up my personal pro's and con's to DIRT5 for anyone wanting a quick 'flash' review

    So having mainly played racing games most my life, I would summarize by saying whilst been a fun, easy to play game, I feel the game has been rushed (probably something to do with the impending sale of codemasters). But that's not at all to say its a bad game. It has some great aspects, and then some not so great aspects. So here goes

    - Visually the game looks good, bright vibrant colors and pretty good detail in the cars
    - Soundtrack is pretty decent with good variety of songs
    - There's a good variety of race modes to choose from, Pathfinder being one of my personal favorites
    - The game itself seems very easy to get the hang of, I'm sure anyone could pick it up and have fun
    - Good variety of cars, although they could've included more of the icons. But good nonetheless

    - AI cars just seem like zombies on rails. No real racing as such going on. Some of the tracks get quite narrow and AI will go into the corners sometimes 4 cars wide and just completely block the path. There's been races 3 laps long where I've spent a lap just trying to get around them. And if they jump on the brakes and you make contact it just completely saps your speed.
    - Although there is a good variety of different events to choose from, into the second half of the career it just starts getting a little repetitive and dull.
    - Load times are sometimes long
    - The detail on the cars are good, but look elsewhere and I wouldn't say they were anything special.
    - Some of the physics sometimes just seem....odd. There has been multiple times where I've barely clipped a barrier and its just stopped me dead. Events where you'll clip a rock and it just sends the vehicle skyward. I've had three times where the car is just barrel rolling on the ground with no momentum, its literally like the game has just forgotten which way is up
    - I really don't like the livery customization. They all seem like dull templates that take too long to do. Then some of the options that you unlock by levelling up then require purchasing, some being more expensive than the car you're putting them on!
    - There seems to be no benefit whatsoever to actually levelling up? Unless I'm missing something? You can win most of the events with the first vehicle provided from each class. I never had an issue of running out of money. The player card/ lanyard thing has a million options....and yet it serves zero purpose
    - The career story is completely copy-and-paste and dull. If there wasn't the reminders from the guys at Donut commentating, you'd completely forget there was even a 'story'.
    - The 'online' seems like someone just suddenly remembered online multiplayer was a thing and just quickly added it in last minute. Unbelievably bad and lazy.

    It probably seems like I really dislike the game from this quick review, but it IS a fun game to play, if you play it in short bursts. Could have been so much better if you ask me, but as I say, I think it will have something to do with Codemasters getting sold and just wanting to get this game on the shelves.

    Update 08/03/2021
    Game keeps on crashing. Two of which I was just trying to Change the color of the wheels!!
    Achievements not unlocking (1000 mile achievement)
  • PoozeyPoozey364,605
    18 Feb 2021
    6 5 4
    ETHICS NOTE: I played Dirt 5 on an Xbox Series X and won all 20 of the game's achievements.

    Dirt 5 is a fun, vibrant entry in the long-running acclaimed Dirt franchise. Compared to the Dirt Rally series, which is the Dark Souls of rally simulators, Dirt 5 feels casual but rewarding. There are some minor issues though, the career mode gets repetitive fast and there are some questionable design choices. Minor issues aside, Dirt 5 is an excellent linear racing game that serves as a decent option if the massive open-world racers are not your cup of tea.

    The career mode has a loose story that sees you as an upcoming racer working your way up the ranks where you find yourself involved in a rivalry between two champion racers. The racers are voiced by Nolan North and Troy Baker which is fun, but the story feels completely inconsequential and uninvolving. You could remove the story and it would not affect the career mode in any real way. There is a sponsorship system where loyalty provides benefits in terms of money and unlocks but this doesn’t feel necessary to the career. The range of different events is very commendable ranging from circuit races on ice to point-to-point rally races. A particular highlight is the Pathfinder events which see you in a massive off-road vehicle trying to clamber over extreme terrain. The events are very distinct and serve as a nice break from the regular circuit events. With close to 100 events, the career mode becomes repetitive despite the event variety, but you do not have to beat every event in order to complete the career mode.

    The vehicle range is impressive and it is great to see Porsche well represented in the game. The 959 is an absolute monster. Porsche is rarely available outside of EA titles due to their license agreement so it’s excellent to see Porsche’s strong rally history represented in this game. The variety of vehicle types is well utilised during the career and most eras of automotive history are represented in the game. Driving physics are stellar as always with Codemasters games. The vehicles have a nice heavy feel in the steering, and you are well rewarded for learning to drift and use the weight of the vehicle to get you around faster. It’s the perfect balance between arcade and simulation.

    An odd decision is the way optional objectives work during career races. You are presented with three objectives, but these are randomized so there are times where the objective simply isn’t possible in the event you are racing. There are options to reroll but why not program the objectives to suit the race every time? Bizarre. Another odd choice is the number of customisation options available for your lanyard and player card. It’s not a bad thing to have options but there was never a desire to update the look of anything and it just felt like the unlocks were there to give a sense of progression. In addition to the career mode, there is also a Playground creator mode where you can create your own events and courses. This is well implemented, and user-made content is easily accessible. Codemasters are obviously keen for you to check this mode out as they tied two 100G achievements to it that are very easy to unlock.

    Dirt 5 is a real showcase for Codemasters’ technical ability, the game is gorgeous and runs at a very smooth 60fps with options for 120fps at the expense of graphical fidelity if you are playing on the Series X. Textures are some of the best yet seen in a racing game, track surfaces in particular. Weather effects are phenomenal too with dynamic weather in some events. The visual style has clearly been influenced by the Forza Horizon series with fireworks, confetti and bright colours everywhere, it’s more a homage than a direct copy, however. The audio is outstanding throughout the game and it is great fun to see the guys from Donut Media hosting an in-game podcast. I also did not come across a single bug in the game or crash which is certainly refreshing in a 2020 game.

    With first-rate racing action, top-tier visuals, audio, and a great vehicle selection Dirt 5 is a worthy addition to the long-running franchise. Despite the career mode leaving me wanting more variety, Codemasters have provided a great benchmark for a how a racing game should look and feel on the new generation of consoles.