The forthcoming comments will either erupt into furious hate at bashing an indie developer, or applaud someone for having the balls to say it when the majority of sim racers feel the need to cement themselves in politically correct feedback at all possible times, but I simply can’t deny what’s being presented in the above footage. gRally, the independent rally simulator developed by a passionate portion of the Richard Burns Rally modding community as a means to establish a new, updated platform for their virtual off-roading needs, is a project I’m sick of hearing about. New beta footage depicting the title in action, uploaded by YouTube personality George Bratsos, presents an extremely laughable game to the general public; a game which has spent over five years behind closed doors, teased by major sim racing news outlets on a routine basis despite very little to captivate sim racers into caring about the title.
This is not a game people will want to play by any stretch of the imagination.
I’ve written quite aggressively in the past about gRally, and that tone will certainly not change here. The footage, quite frankly, speaks for itself, and in a time where DiRT 4 is only months away from release, promising a near-infinite number of stages and a major developer team working to make the package as flashy, as engaging, and as realistic as possible to accommodate every type of rally racing fan roaming the earth, there is absolutely no longer any use for gRally’s existence. Relying on hilariously bad bloom effects to mask visuals that are now several generations behind schedule, coupled with physics that place it firmly in the iPhone-exclusive category of mobile games, I am genuinely surprised the project hasn’t been outright canned.
In fact, there would be no shame in doing so. Though the title recently made it through the Steam Greenlight process, and all original content creators appear to have given the developers of gRally the thumbs up to use their creations in a commercial video game, this does not change the fact that gRally shamelessly recycles third party rFactor mod content because the team themselves have so little of their own work to insert into the game. The bland, barren power stage on exhibition in George Bratsos’ video linked at the top of the post will make sim racers think gRally is a bad joke by a team suffering from mass delusions of grandeur upon the title’s release, but things will undoubtedly be kicked into overdrive when sim racers discover the Mount Akagi they downloaded for free in rFactor many years ago, will be something they’ll have to pay for in an inferior simulator.
Unfortunately it appears the few outlets covering the game also appear to share in these same delusions of grandeur, as Come Over Gaming state that while major elements of the physics engine need significant refining – probably not a good sign for a game that was first announced in 2011 – the graphics are supposedly “great” – even as their own footage clearly showcases a piece of software that would be eclipsed visually by Dreamcast racers such as V-Rally 2 and CART: Flag to Flag.
It’s a project that I feel needs to be put down if the creators are to retain any sense of credibility moving forward. For a game to be in development for such a significant portion of time, only to manifest itself in a way that can’t hold a candle to software on vastly inferior hardware, the sole word to describe gRally is an ugly term typically used for Nintendo Wii games your grandmother purchases for you at Christmas: shovelware.
I’m certainly left wondering how the project got to this point in its lifespan; it’s one thing to build a little indie game and sell it on Steam for $4.99 within a year or two, but gRally has been floating around the sim racing community for the better part of a decade, promised as a spiritual successor to Richard Burns Rally that relied on third party content creators to flesh the software out into something special. Instead, we’ve been treated to little more than an elaborate Unity demo exhibiting basic car physics any game from the early PlayStation 2 days could muster in their sleep, and appalling graphics that look as if someone is trying to play Assetto Corsa on a computer that doesn’t meet the minimum system requirements.
At what point do you call it a day and scrap the project? How long will the gRally team continue to parade around their work when it is so blatantly out-dated and underwhelming? This is most definitely not the rally simulator initial previews hinted at, so why continue perpetuating the farce? In my opinion, the correct call, at least in this instance, is to outright cancel the game; any other option is just complete and utter delusion.