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tharding67

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The day has finally come! DR 2.0 is open on my Xbox and 5 minutes after waking up, I’m on! So, in the 15 minutes or so I was able to play while getting ready for work, my thoughts:

GAMEPLAY

Overall, very pleased with the overall menu setup. It is intuitional and fairly simple to navigate. It’s a little more fleshed out that DR1, but not quite so complex as Dirt 4. First thing I tried was a time trial at New Zealand with the Citroen C3 R5. One of the first minor gripes I have is you can’t see the full car in the car selection like you previously could. I wanted to see the different liveries, and you can kind of tell how it is, but with the camera being focused on the right front corner of the car, hard to tell how it really looks. I don’t need full Forzavista visuals, but being able to see more of a side profile of the car would be nice to fully see the design. Anyway! Onto the rally. Load times are fairly quick, and it gives you a nice visual of the track and conditions. When I get into the service area in time trial, I’m surprised I wasn’t able to shakedown. I kind of set up the car for what I thought a gravel surface should be, but no way to test. While driving, the C3 R5 seems to be a little geared toward understeer, even though I strengthened my rear differential to really push it through the gravel (again, could’ve tried this in a shakedown if it were there). The car felt good otherwise. It felt like it had proper weight. It felt like I was driving through a sandy gravel, which was nice. I also tried the Skoda Fabia R5 at Poland and it felt good, the switch between gravel and tarmac was noticeable. More playing necessary for further evaluation

GAMEPLAY addendum

Career mode is now directly linked with RaceNet, which doesn’t seem a wise choice so far. As evidenced below, if the RaceNet service is down, no career mode is available. The Historical “Rally Through the Ages” in free play is similar to a career mode, but I question why CM decided to do the career mode online only. Dirt Rally, Dirt 4, the F1 games all have separate career modes with online as a supplement to it. I hope this will be addressed in a patch so we can play career mode and do the online challenges separately like before.  

GRAPHICS

 Now, just playing on an Xbox One S, the graphics seemed a little bit lacking to me. The sponsor decals on the cars have all been fuzzy. You can still read and should understand what they say, but the picture never seems to come into focus. Also, the movement of the hands on the wheel looks a little jittery. To me, it seems a bit of a step back from Dirt Rally 1, and maybe on par or even slightly less than Dirt 4. I checked my graphics setting and the only option is brighteness. Hopefully, the frame rate and sharpness stabilizes over time. The interiors of the car also don’t seem as sharp as they have been before. The landscapes look good so far, but I’m not spending too much time looking at it while driving. Hopefully some of these picture quality issues are addressed in patches, and none of it will keep me from playing, but it does seem a bit of a step back from previous titles, at least on my older generation Xbox. 

AUDIO

So far, no complaints for the audio. The cars are sounding good. Phil Mills is an enjoyable co-driver. The timing of the notes is definitely better on this, compared to Dirt 4, but I’m sure that has to do with the bespoke stages again. I’ve not had any calls come in late, and the only errors I have are my own fault. More playing will be needed to really focus on overall audio package. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Originally, I was a Dirt Rally snob, and didn’t really give Dirt 4 the credit it deserves. Going back to Dirt 4 and being a bit more open minded with it, and reading some of the suggestions others have had about its gameplay, I started to appreciate how the cars handle on there and really noticed the improvements in some areas Dirt 4 had over DR1. Dirt Rally 2.0 is a proper Dirt Rally successor, while also expanding on some of the work from dirt 4. The stages are starting off strong. The cars are feeling good so far. I need to delve a little more into it, but so far, I think it’s definitely an 8/10 with potential for higher once some day one bugs get squashed. 

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