DIRT 5 Review: Glorious, fast-paced action meets Blockbuster narrative!

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The release of DIRT 5 was an absolute blast for rally fans.

The game is packed full of new features for fans of the franchise to enjoy.

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We think the game is nigh-on perfect, so let’s take a look at what we make of Codemasters’ DIRT 5!

Tracks – Locations to die for

With the graphics settings set to ultra, the tracks look amazing.

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DIRT 5 tracks
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ROUND THE WORLD: The DIRT 5 tracks take you round the world

From cities to large open expanses, DIRT 5 has it all in abundance, and has nailed each of them.

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Cities actually feel like dynamic, enclosed spaces, converted temporarily for racing as they would be in real life.

Likewise, traditional rally tracks feel unique, meaning the race experience is never the same.

Cars – Spoilt for choice

As a fan of all things classic, I spend many hours in Quick Play testing out the Classic Rally, 80’s and 90’s categories.

Each of the categories comes with a distinct group of cars that, when on track, behave differently.

DIRT 5 cars
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HORSEPOWER: The cars are varied, and there are lots of them!

With DIRT 5 on PC, crank the visual settings up and the cars are stunning.

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With lifelike reflections and some of the most immersive in-car driving I’ve ever experienced in a game; this isn't one to miss.

It's also fun to tear around Cape Town for one race, and then nip over to China for some Super Lite action.

The various categories each feel unique and incredibly fun to drive, with their nuances slowly becoming apparent as you spend time driving them.

Career Mode – immersion at its finest

The career mode on DIRT 5 is phenomenal, aided by the voiceovers of some of gaming’s biggest names.

DIRT 5 Career
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STORY TIME: The DIRT 5 campaign is incredible

As you battle your way to the top, you really get a sense of the rivalry between the drivers and feel the need to prove yourself to an unforgiving pack.

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Career progression is also good, letting you slowly develop your skills before moving on the next challenging race.

The podcast by Donut Media is also a welcome addition, adding personality to the time spent between races, and further aiding the immersion.

Events – Something for everyone!

The games events add some much needed variety to the rallying game genre.

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With a number of offline quick play options, Playgrounds as well as career mode and multiplayer, there is plenty to do.

The various events also feel new and refreshing, with anything from classic rally stages, to sprint race and even the addition of bouldering.

Sound – Crank the volume up, way up!

This is one of the standout features for me in DIRT 5 and still has me grinning from ear to ear.

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DIRT 5 graphics
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CHAOS: The game's soundscape is phenomenal!

No matter which car you're in, the car sounds perfect.

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From the outside, the exhaust matches the wild engine of whichever vehicle you choose.

Then, when playing from the in-cockpit view, the true chaos of rallying is apparent as you're hit with a wall of noise: rattles, exhaust notes, a howling engine, and more assault you.

The sound of this game alone is enough to make me want to turn it on and play for hours!

Customisation – Your car, your way

The customisation on DIRT 5 is a welcome feature, even enabling players to showcase some of their sponsors on their livery.

DIRT 5 platforms
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YOUR STYLE: The customisation is incredibly in-depth

As you progress and unlock further liveries and patterns, the options become limitless.

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We are sure that there is the next rallying Picasso out there somewhere and can’t wait to see what wonderful creations they come up with.

The inclusion of real-life companies in DIRT 5 even enables you to put some of your favourite manufacturers on your livery!

Problems – does DIRT 5 have any issues?

The issues are sparse, in fact we only found one, as the game was such a joy to play.

The main problem we find are the various surfaces on the game.

We find it very difficult to tell the surfaces apart when using a wheel, and when using a controller, as each of the terrains felt similar to drive on.

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There's no sticky tarmac coupled with greasy mud and loose gravel, which is a bit of a shame.

Likewise, when using a wheel, we have to turn our force feedback to max to feel much through the wheel.

However, once we do, we sure feel it!

The Verdict

The game is incredibly fun to play, and a true testament to the chaos of rallying.

The cars feel unique and full of character, and the tracks lend themselves perfectly to the aesthetic of the game.

With the potential for a future update to change the feel of the surfaces, DIRT 5 could be an undeniable great of next-gen.

RacingGames Rating: 4.5 Stars (out of 5)