DiRT Rally VR (PlayStation 4) Review

By Greg Giddens 17.03.2017 1

Review for DiRT Rally VR on PlayStation 4

DiRT Rally's digital facsimile of rally racing is mighty close to a full simulation, superbly capturing the sense of speed, urgency, tension, excitement and dread that follows the racing genre. With that sense of realism comes palpable satisfaction for pulling off that perfect turn around a tricky corner, or clawing back seconds over multiple laps, but doing either of these is very difficult due to the realistic learning curve and physics. It's a marvellous simulation, and now that it's compatible with PSVR, it's even more immersive and enjoyable.

The PSVR update makes the entire game compatible with the VR headset, allowing every mode to be enjoyed in VR. Moreover, it works splendidly, with no meaningful compromises to visual fidelity. Instead it provides that extra level of immersion that racing games are crying out for, giving the cockpit view an authenticity that changes the experience to feel a great deal more like you're actually driving a rally car. It's wonderful.

Cockpit view isn't the only option either, with multiple other camera angles also available. It's a much-appreciated alternative to the somewhat hardcore cockpit angle, but at the same time, these other cameras do distract from the immersion a little. When you're behind the wheel, however, with the co-driver calling out the turns to the side, the mud, rain, grit and snow staining the windows, and the sight of the track revealing itself as you speed forwards, that extra depth perception and 3D audio brings the racing to life like never before.

Screenshot for DiRT Rally VR on PlayStation 4

It's slightly easier too; DiRT Rally has quite the notoriety for its difficulty, but tackling it in VR helps you read the tracks and sense the momentum of the car to a far more accurate degree, allowing for a slightly smoother learning curve. That said, it's still a matter of mastering consistently good driving. The slightest mistake can often place the top spots too far to reach, and there's a real grind to purchase new cars, new engineers, not to mention the progress of clawing your way to the podium. However, now it's more realistic and personal skills are more transferable. It feels enough like actually driving to allow drivers to channel their real-life experience.

Indeed, PSVR enhances the joy of DiRT Rally considerably. In the Rally Cross mode, checking AI opponents feels so remarkably real it's shocking when you don't feel the collision in real-life. Meanwhile, racing online takes that same satisfaction of seeing other human players make human mistakes and amplifies it when you can't help but turn your head a cackle as you speed past. Sure, it may still put some people off due to its lack of arcade driving controls and options, but for those seeking a true rally simulation, then the PSVR updates brings it as close to the real thing as humanly possible. It's terrific and a must for any driving fans with a PSVR headset.

Screenshot for DiRT Rally VR on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

DiRT Rally was already a great rally simulator, but the PSVR update enhances what was already there by making it that much more immersive and real. That it also makes the racing slightly easier due to depth perception, and that the entire game is compatible with VR and transitions so smoothly, is a testament to the care and attention by Codemasters to implement this technology.

Developer

Codemasters

Publisher

Codemasters

Genre

Driving

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Great read! Sounds absolutely brilliant. Glad the PS4 VR experience seems to be up to scratch compared to PC equivalents. 

I was lucky enough to try out a VR setup in iRacing last month a few times. I was blown away by it, to be honest, but that was just oval racing. As you say, for the depth perception its huge, for something like rallying, it sounds absolutely amazing! I definitely see what you're getting at regarding transferable skills, and how it enables more channeling of real-life driving experience. Just makes such a difference. 

Once you get a setup like that, I don't imagine going back to the old methods is ever quite the same. VR is still far too expensive for my liking at the moment, but I'll definitely have to get involved at some point in the future. 

Hopefully the upcoming racers can commit to getting PSVR ready for the same time as the PC VR. Last time I checked, Project Cars 2 mentioned they're working on PSVR support but wouldn't confirm anything. It would be nice if future releases were all geared up and ready for it immediately, or at least without major delays between the two major VR platforms. 

It's also great the PS4 VR experience works so well as Paul Coleman (of Codemasters) did say that PSVR support for DiRT 4 basically depends on the reception for DiRT Rally's PSVR. 

( Edited 17.03.2017 12:57 by The Strat Man )

Tom Barry [ Reviewer - Editor - Resident Sim-Racer @ Cubed3.com ]
RufDog Racing: Team Cubed3 | Current C3 Sim-Spotlight Feature | Follow RDR on Twitter |     

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