We tested the preview version of Dirt 5, one of the first games to come with a 120fps mode for Xbox Series X.
Dirt 5 is a crazy game. Direct. Fierce. It does not seek realism nor does it offer endless options to the user. He wants you to turn it on, start it up, and have fun right out of the box. In fact, that’s how the game begins with the title, making a race through the mud and then giving way to the main menu and its options. We have been able to play the title with Xbox Series X, a platform on which it comes with a special appeal, moving at 120fps. Something that we do not know what route it will have on consoles, but that at least in this new generation boot sounds very interesting. Will it really be worth it?
Everything around Dirt 5 has an arcade scent. First by the career mode, in which we basically overcome different races in which we have mini challenges to unlock new races, compete in them, earn money, experience … Unlock new vehicles and continue competing in dozens of proposals. The great attraction is in the circuits, tremendously varied both in locations and also in response, as well as in the type of vehicle that we are going to use each time. It is not the same to run through the rain-soaked streets of Manhattan than to do it in the middle of the snow in Norway or jumping mud puddles in some lost area of Italy.
In fact, that is the grace of the game: to offer us a direct gameplay, even something simple if we compare it with other games of the same spectrum, but that fits perfectly in the challenges in the form of races that are presented to us.
Brazil, China, Greece, Italy, Morocco, Norway, Nepal, South Africa, Arizona and Roosevelt Island are the main locations that we have available from the start, where in each of them there are several races and their mirror modes. What is the difference between them? Especially on the tracks and on the type of terrain on which we are going to compete. All this means that the races are never the same, since each one has its peculiarities in the form of a narrow bridge, a leap into the void in the middle of a ravine, impossible 180-degree turns and many centimeters of snow thickness, to name a few examples. This is how the career mode and arcade mode are developed especially, in which we can customize the experience with the location, vehicle class, weather (which can be varied), time of day and other details, such as number of riders and laps around the circuit.
An aggressive AI, though only sometimes
One of the surprises that we have had during our session with Dirt 5 is that the enemy AI had two different behaviors. On the one hand, some races in which they barely showed a real challenge and we could win with some ease (in normal mode). On the other, moments in which their aggressiveness was palpable and grateful: they put you in the middle of the path, they pushed you from behind or they have no problem braking late if they see a gap. From Codemasters we have been told that the AI is still being worked on and that is why we could find very easy sections, but in any case, the detailed and seen aggressiveness at certain times does seem like a good way to follow for the final product.
The arcade air is noticeable from the first moment, also because impacts and friction with other cars do not have a long-term consequence. We will either go off the track or stop short. Or we will go round the clock. But we will be able to continue racing at full speed because there is no physical damage. In fact, the settings, if it can be considered that way, or rather off-race adjustments are based on choosing whether the transmission is automatic or manual and choosing the level of anti-lock brakes, traction control and stability management, which is find everything in “low” start. Let no one expect to fiddle with vehicles for every type of scenario, because that is not what Dirt 5 claims to offer.
Surely you do not need it either, since its great attraction is that of wide circuits and with enough freedom of action, immediate braking and skidding that allow correcting any errors and reaction capacity to go back or to hold the position without causing frustration for the player . Having fun is essential in this formula, although we do not know if in the long run the game may be somewhat sparse in options after the first few hours. What we do consider is that these first ones are direct and entertaining.