Dirt 4 Review Part 1: The “Feeling”

  • dotmartin

    I do agree on many of the points you are making. It does feel a bit less raw. The weightiness point is something I have completely missed. It does account for some parts of the different feeling.

    But the physics still feel less predictable in a way. Sometimes I spin out for no apparent reason, for instance going downhill is the worst. Often ending up doing pirouettes when breaking ahead of a corner.

    The really cool thing with DiRT Rally was that it was brutally fair, you could learn how to make the car do what you want it to do, and as long as you gave the same inputs. I feel that some of that is lost in DiRT 4 sim-mode.

    However the immersion (might be something you are planning to come back to) is so much better in D4. The stage ends, oh I love the fact that I get to do the run up to the marshal. Podiums are sort of gimmicky, but they do add to the feeling. Especially when you fail to get a good position and have your car sitting sad and lonely in the service area. Little details that really works for me.

    • Jason Anthony

      Hey there! Thanks for chiming in with your thoughts! I understand what you are saying about the seemingly random spins… but I think that it has to do with the extra grip in the lines that I discussed above. When you are in the lines, the car has tons of grip. When you get off line, it is very easy to spin. The reason that the spins seem to be for no apparent reason is because there are no “clues” in the sound or the force feedback that you are getting off-line and beginning to lose grip. By the time you figure out that you have lost grip, it is already too late. Also, the game requires you to be much more gentle and progressive on the brakes than Dirt Rally did. For this reason, if you lay on the brakes too hard you will lock up. Unfortunately, once again, there are no clues in the force feedback or sound that you are locking your brakes, so you don’t know until you have slid straight on or spun the car. I’m finding that if you try to drive the car like a race car with a much tighter line and gentile brake inputs instead of a rally car, those spins will happen less and less.

      I’d like to see Codemasters make the progression from grip in the lines to the lack of grip on the loose gravel a bit more progressive and also give us clues in the force feedback and sound to help us understand what is happening. I’m hoping that these things are going to get patched in as we move forward. I really do think that the handling model in Dirt 4 is realistic, it just isn’t complimented by a good feeling in the force feedback, so we aren’t realizing it.

      As for the stage ends… yes.. I’m going to cover that later on, but you are right. Dirt 4 has made some great leaps and bounds in the presentation and atmosphere. More on that to come! ;-)

  • As an avid Dirt Rally player, I was initially pretty lukewarm about Dirt 4. I pretty much exclusively rally drive in these games and only play Rallycross for the cash.

    After ~20 hours with it, however, I’ve come to really enjoy some of the faster 4WD cars. In fact, going back to Dirt Rally now feels a bit wrong. Cars feel floaty and light.

    My only legitimate complaint right now is that you can’t practically use your own cars in freeplay. The championships count against the hire time for team members and yield a trivial amount of money, so you run completely out of cash if you do anything other than career mode with your own vehicles. That’s a huge disappointment and is keeping me from wanting to play as much.

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