Codemasters have pulled a sneaky move today by releasing a new DiRT game, titled DiRT: Rally on Steam’s Early Access today.
The Early Access price is a little steep at £24.99, but for that you’ll get access to:
· 17 CARS OVER 6 NEW AND CLASSIC CLASSES – Including BMW M3 Evo; Audi Quattro S1; Lancia Delta HF Integrale and Subaru Impreza
· DIVERSE LOCALES – 36 challenging stages set across Hafren, Wales; Monte Carlo, Monaco and Argolis, Greece
· TEAM MANAGEMENT – Hire up to four engineering staff to work on your car between stages
· RALLY ASYNC – Daily, weekly and month-long challenges against fellow players from around the world without the need to be online at the same time
· RALLY SEASONS – Compete in a succession of events with the aim of gaining promotion to the next rung on the driving ladder
· CUSTOM RALLY EVENTS – Take any car on any track and configure and compete in single or multi-stage events against the AI’s times
· UPGRADES – Unlock the full potential of your car with meaningful improvements to its handling and performance
· TUNING – Tweak your car set-up based on car, track and weather conditions to best suit your racing style
· PHYSICS-BASED ASSISTS – DiRT Rally allows players to experience cars in their purest form it also offers a selection of real world assists similar to those seen in race and road vehicles as traction control and ABS.
· DAMAGE & REPAIRS – Wear and tear is faithfully recreated with a comprehensive and realistic damage model. Damage can be repaired by hiring Engineers to work in the team’s Service Area between stages but with a finite amount of time available.
The game is being said to be Codemasters most realism orientated title to date, featuring much less forgiving handling and ditching the rewind mechanic entirely in favour of having to repair your damaged car between stages, assuming you have enough time to do so.
Codemasters are also promising that there will not be even a single microtransaction in the game.
“For me, this is the fourth Dirt,” Coleman told Eurogamer. “Naming aside, there are conversations going on at an executive level, and there’s a sense that if we call it Dirt 4 are people expecting all the bells and whistles of a console product with all the production values associated with it. They want to save that name for that product.
“This is a circumstantial thing, and it’s important to get this out there in its current format and getting people playing and giving us feedback on it. If people don’t like it now, we need to do something about it now and use it to inform where we go in the future. That may mean returning to the previous format. But I hope the connoisseurs, the fact the audience has shifted a little bit and there are people playing both on console and on PC, I get the sense that people are crying out for a much deeper and much more refined experience they can really feel invested in.”
Consoles versions have not yet been mentioned, but it seems likely that the game will end up on Xbox One and PS4 at some point, assuming all goes well. As a DiRT fan I’m planning on checking it out and getting back you all with my impressions soon.
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I think the games that adapt this model has made it a disgrace and it will be bad for companies that can actually meet deadlines and want to go early access in the future. In my post below, you can find some statistics and my observations regarding the system.