An Exclusive Mode You Shouldn’t Care About

dirt_rally_psvr_announce_screen_6It’s certainly been a while since we’ve talked about DiRT Rally here at PRC.net, but it’s for a good reason. Despite winning our inaugural game of the year award back in 2015 – which admittedly doesn’t mean much to the outside world – the hardcore Codemasters rally simulator certainly hasn’t aged well, offering a limited selection of stages and an underlying hand of God stability assist which has certainly sterilized the raw driving experience. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fantastic off-road point-to-point racer if you can pick it up at a reduced price, but many of us have simply moved on from DiRT Rally because we’ve seen all there is to do within the title Codemasters surprised us with during the spring of 2015.

To capitalize on the Virtual Reality craze that has rocked the gaming world as of late, the PlayStation 4 rendition of DiRT Rally will soon be graced with a hefty update that adds compatibility for Sony’s own PSVR headset. Yes, PlayStation 4 owners will unfortunately be forced to pay extra for the additional in-game functionality, but the key thing is there’s now a practical use for the PSVR headset on Sony’s flagship console. Being able to physically look through difficult corner combinations and focus on specific apexes while flying through Swedish back roads at triple the posted speed limit is a welcome addition to the PlayStation 4, compared to the relatively underwhelming inclusion of Virtual Reality in Evolution’s DriveClub. In fact, DriveClub’s VR spinoff actually made people sick.

But not everyone’s happy with the recent DiRT Rally VR announcement, as Codemasters have promised owners of the Virtual Reality-enabled version exclusive content that’s not available in the vanilla game. DiRT Rally VR will ship with an additional Co-Driver mode, where you’re placed in the passenger seat and tasked with reading out pace notes – presumably for a friend online to act as a sort of quasi co-op mode. Responding to an inquiry from Twitter user Captain Slow, Codemasters have confirmed this additional game mode will be exclusive to the PSVR release of DiRT Rally, and will not be implemented in any other version of the game.

Some are a bit choked about the DiRT Rally experience not remaining uniform across all three renditions of the game, but I’m here to say this isn’t the time to give Codemasters hell. Yes, I’m aware I’ve shit on Kunos Simulazioni for creating a vastly different version of Assetto Corsa for current generation consoles compared to what’s available for PC sim racers to purchase via Steam, but an additional co-driver mode for DiRT Rally on the PlayStation 4 is completely useless no matter how you spin it.

5rxjiv0Though the back of the box claims DiRT Rally features over 70 stages across six different countries, the number in reality is just twelve. Each country features two main routes that take approximately seven minutes for a proficient sim racer to complete, and the stage count is inflated by chopping these primary routes into halves, then quarters, and doubling that number by running each route in reverse. In theory, the entire game can be seen in just under an hour of driving. This became a legitimate problem during the game’s Early Access phase on Steam, as routine monthly updates featuring new sets of cars, or the introduction of a single country, could be played to exhaustion by the end of the evening – only for the game to be shelved for weeks at a time.

DiRT Rally was originally released for the PlayStation 4 in April of 2016, meaning the vast majority of people who possess even a remote interest in rally racing have already seen everything DiRT Rally has to offer – and then some. Even if their driving skills aren’t at the point where they can recite every corner of Sweet Lamb over a bowl of Cheerios at five in the morning, the majority of DiRT Rally owners could probably outright mute the co-driver and still post respectable stage times on some of the higher difficulties. With so few stages in the simulator to begin with, and DiRT Rally’s campaign mode artificially lengthening each rally on higher difficulties by running the exact same stage numerous times, it’s genuinely hard to imagine a scenario where the Co-Driver DLC would even warrant a shakedown run.

Unless you’ve literally just gotten into sim racing this year, or have ignored DiRT Rally for whatever God forsaken reason – which most haven’t – Co-Driver mode is one hundred percent pointless. I’m all for feature parity between multi-platform titles, and it’s great to see users taking the initiative and pushing for parity, but in this specific situation you really aren’t missing out on anything noteworthy. There are only twelve tracks in the game, you’ve probably learned them all by now, and so have your friends.

ps-vr-polo-greece

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42 thoughts on “An Exclusive Mode You Shouldn’t Care About

  1. So many missed opportunities from the so-called Master of Code when it comes to rally. A guy named Bob made a easy to use track builder for RBR in his basement, that can make 15km tracks in minutes but Codies can’t make one in-house for themselves and release new stages every week as DLC? or release it to the community A’la Mario Maker, where we can share and rate community made stages.

    DOOM 2016 has snap map, why can’t Dirt Rally? The game that needs something like this the most.

    Like

    1. One of the main goals for Dirt Rally 2 is probably developing better tools for track creation, but they will never release them to the public. There would be no reason to buy another Dirt game for a very long time if they did that (can’t lure people away from mods with laser scanned tracks in a rally game).

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  2. >if you can pick it up at a reduced price
    Even at -75%, the game wouldn’t be worth its asking price.

    A co-driver mode isn’t a stupid idea – a rally game with a mere 130km of roads is. The first Colin McRae Rally game (released 1998) had literally double the road length.

    Shitmasters, what the fuck are you doing?

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    1. The way it was explained to me was that DiRT Rally was a title they built just to shit something out to keep the studio afloat and test to see if the community wanted it.

      They weren’t expecting people to like it, or want more of it.

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    2. Well, creating a stage with modern graphics takes much more time nowadays than it did during the PS1 days.Plastering flat textures on 70 polygons + decorating it with pixelated bitmap trees has nothing on the work you have to do now.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No one sculpts assets vertex after vertex, developer tools automate most of the work. And game studios nowadays are much bigger so you have more people to work on the assets.

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  3. For me Dirt rally was a master piece , we hadn’t seen anything along the lines since Richard burns and it was a refreshing return to the grass roots of rally like I remember playing a long time ago . I know it doesn’t have that many stages but it was a polished and complete product when I purchased it for my ps4 (in comparison to drive club and project cars).

    I feel they pumped it out to see , as you said james to see if the community wanted it. ( we do don’t we). I’m not sure of the sales but it has been pretty successful hasn’t it ?

    With regards to VR I had started to feel I wasted my money until this was announced , I now feel like I will finally get to experience a full racing title in VR for the first time which actually excites me.

    As far as the co driver , something different I guess ! And I can see why some PC users would be a little pissed with that , but its no game changer by any means .

    What I do look forward to is if these guys just shit this title out for the hell of it , lets see what they can do with the latest iteration of the EGO engine with the help of evolution studios folks helping out with visual affects and so on (the masters of weather) …………

    Pretty dam exciting prospect I say.

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  4. Just couldn’t finish up a piece without shitting on Kunos for not updating consoles on the same exact day as Steam, calling it VASTLY DIFFERENT. This tabloid level stuff is really holding you back, man.

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      1. So you’re only noticing now what PC version has? I thought PC version was a shit game.. that’s what you’ve been informing us, and now the Console version should to have the same exacts things as the PC?
        No.. there’s no agenda. Devs are bad for making AC as it is… devs are bad for not making an exact copy of the main game for the console version.
        My agenda is valid as long as devs get bad on the picture in every situation.

        Maybe the original thinking of the 505games devs porting Kunos AC to the consoles was to make the experience close enough by putting what they thought was necessary and people wouldn’t miss, since pc and console experience tend to always be different between the same game.
        But is not necessary to throw a tantrum just because of this, people now have had the opportunity to give feedback on what they are missing. With updates the devs have been adding to the console version what users have been asking or needing, compared to the offer on pc.

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  5. In one of the old DiRT console games there was a mode where you didn’t get pace notes, so I had a friend sit next to me and read what was coming off of the track map. Was quite fun, really…

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  6. Your competence in professional journalism is just below lowest level. Who are you to speak in general about a new mode/ content being useless?

    Crying like a baby about a little feature not available on all plattforms in all game-modes but then just saying that the mode is useless anyway doesn´t make any sense as an argumentation.

    You don´t know how the feature will be accepted. Even if you argument that from your point of view the stages are two short (which doesn´t even matter, maybe from a sim-master race-point of view, but not from a general player point of view) it could still be the most popular feature in a rally game ever.

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      1. So James liked that post and agrees his articles and argumentation are shit. If you understood, that posted you put a like on wasn’t in the favor of PRC. Shit argumentation are a recurring thing, at least you agree with. But sometimes you take what you say too seriously, despite the “worst site for sim racing news” thingy. Which is either trolling or personality disorder.

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          1. Is calling someone autist another bait or you really believe the shit James posts here but at the same time denying it when confronted?

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  7. In all actuality James, a lot of the main DR userbase that’s still active are the type that only REALLY like rally, and rally games. They’ve been asking about this on PC since inception. So, yeah, whoop de fuckin do, they did something for the console crowd when the PC crowd was yelling the loudest.
    It’s also not like these rally guys have anywhere else to go either, the past few WRC and SebLoebRallyEvo have been utter shit.

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  8. The content in Dirt Rally would be very okay, if they went the DLC-route they did with Dirt 3 with it´s 6 DLCs i guess. But this VR-update is their first DLC and according to John from ISR it will cost 20 additional bucks to get one (didn´t check this source). So you pay this money for two additional features, which sounds a bit overpriced if it´s coming true.

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  9. A late comment here:

    “Though the back of the box claims DiRT Rally features over 70 stages across six different countries, the number in reality is just twelve. Each country features two main routes that take approximately seven minutes for a proficient sim racer to complete, and the stage count is inflated by chopping these primary routes into halves, then quarters, and doubling that number by running each route in reverse.”

    Actually the number of stages in reality is just *six*. One real life length stage is first cut to half and then to several pieces. The sim needs a DLC of stages really bad…

    Like

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