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DiRT Rally Mid Term Report


justbiglee

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Hi all,

We're about half way into DiRT Rally's Early Access period now and we wondered how you felt about the game, what we're doing, how we're communicating, what we've added and anything else that's important to you.

What are we doing well?

What could we do better?

Let us know in the below and we'll answer what questions we can as and when they pop up.
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The big pluses:
+It's a sim game!!
+Rally stages are well done and fun to drive
+All cars feel unique
+The sound, the glorious sound
+Online events are great

Some minuses:
-No sandbox where I can try things to improve my driving. Don't need anything fancy, just a small circuit with a few turns on different materials. Just let us do sandbox runs on Höljes in any car and that would do just fine.
-Hardest difficulty rally championship repeats stages a bit too much. Either less stages per rally or more stages to pick from please.

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What are we doing well?

DiRT Rally! Seriously, given how surprising this thing popped up a few months ago and how it shaped up so far....just keep doing your stuff guys, this is going the right way!


What could we do better?

Communication/Community interaction is kind of a double sided sword....For a big studio your community interaction is excellent, and i understand that you have to be very careful about what kind of information you release at a certain time. Featurewise, the timeline until official release is well known and i suppose that post-release content wont be decided before DR's economical success can be assessed. However i'd like to see early patch logs (TBC of course) just to get a rough picture on what you guys are currently working on and what fixes can be expected. 

One thing i'd like to add: It seems that you were able to attract a very mature (and even 'old') community with DR. Make sure it stays that way as we are likely the most loyal type of gamers you will come across (RBR is still being played...). This could be a very long and great journey if you keep this game alive and its users happy. Take them seriously and they will throw their money at you for every quality DLC that might come.
I can only speak for myself but as a more mature gamer i'd also like to know more about the game and the people behind it. Give us more behind the scenes stuff (if there are resources for that, and please no standard PR blah.....), talk about details in the game (physics n stuff), show us the people behind it and let them talk about the part of the game they are working on. We could have QA sessions about certain aspects of the game answered directly by the person working on it. You seem to be a bunch of highly enthusiastic people who are dedicated to create an amazing rally sim, something we where waiting for for an entire decade. Show us the people who made our little dream come true, throw them at the community!!! Make us loving this game even more...


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Your setting the benchmark of how early access games should be handled.  You have fostered a community that for the most part is mature and respectful ( there will always be bad apples).  I think more locations for stages in the rallies would be nice.  Overall you all would be earning an A if I was grading you.  Here is to hoping that the second half will earn you a 4.0 average.  :)  Thank you.
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What you're doing well. Game play, sim handling, online challenges, cars, sounds, best force feedback tuning menu. What you could do better. Need the Toyota All-Trac, Australia stage, multiplayer mode, better xfire fps in some stages (the open scenes). Any chance of a Dirt built off this engine with trucks, buggies etc covering other dirt disciplines? Ability to turn on lights in all stages.
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after dreaming of a proper rally game coming on pc for years. you seem to have hit most of the points most people want from a good rally game.

not much i can fault . communication been pretty good. media has been done pretty well apart from this site and spam bots.that should be a simple fix.


on the game some small tweaks which would make it even better.

on custom stages you don't need roll ins. just 5,4,3,2,1 GO! so much time is wasted doing it the way it is now.
motion blur oh my that should have a option to be turned off . that shouldn't be hard to do.
doing car set ups at any point.not only before the race.this makes setting up cars a lot easier and less time wasted.
mp needs to be in rally ! that would be a big deal and transform the game.
hillclimb should have european events. not just a big wide open pikes peak. tight small windy hillclimb circuits.with all cars.
camera play back positions. for me especially i make many videos extra cam points and a free roam cam would be amazing.
error 41 is still very common.
anti-cheat measures. this should be scaled up. its obvious some are using the turbo accelerator hacks and instant brakes.few of these cheats are being used and are upto date.so there needs to be a tighter reign on this.ban their game .
customizable skins could be amazing. like a paint shop.

overall love the game. not been involved in such a good rally game for a very long time. so hopefully you carry on the good work and tweak as you go along. pls dont miss the little things as often they are what makes the " great games " people play and remember.




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Sorry to just talk about the negative points, but I think there is problems with your physics. I was told this was a sim, so I was very disappointed to drive it and see that the no.1 most important thing about a sim, the car handling physics and FFB, is a very low level compared to sims I'm used to playing, like Assetto Corsa and Live for Speed.

The RX cars are an improvement, but still this does not feel like a sim to drive. I never feel like I'm driving a rally car while playing Dirt rally. The car handling is not true to life. 
There's a lot more wrong than just what I describe, but I think this is the easiest fault for me to describe here. It's very evident you have traction control of some sort present in the RWD cars even though I have all that stuff turned off in the menus. It's probably present in the other cars too, but it's more difficult to tell with 4WD. 

RWD (I tested the Kadett most) cars don't just get magic grip from nowhere, if the wheels are spinning they don't only spin to a certain speed above the car speed then start gripping, in reality they will keep spinning and will spin more if I press the throttle more until the speed of the car starts to catch up with the speed the wheels are spinning at. 

The cars don't seem to have inertia, you can't trail brake and the FFB is not very good too. 

I hope you will keep working with the cars handling and FFB, for now I wouldn't recommend dirt rally to any of my rally/sim loving friends and I feel a little cheated that this was described as a sim. I see the potential for a great rally sim here, if you can just concentrate on getting your FFb and car handling physics to a higher level. 
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This game totally took me by surprise when I heard about it in (I believe) EVO Magazine.  It looked incredible, and at the time I had been waiting for Project Cars to finally land in the pipeline after several years, just hoping by some stretch that they may, at some point include a full fledged rally sim mode.  Enter Dirt Rally.  I had no idea it was even in development when I first heard about it, let alone already available in early access form.  So I hijacked my buddy's gaming PC for about a month and just couldn't stop playing.  Now here we are, 3 months later, and I've dropped $4500 on an insane PC of my own, the choice inspired mainly by the amazing experience I was SURE Dirt Rally would be maxed out in SLI, or in VR or anything really.  It's simply incredible.  The most exciting racing game in years, in my honest opinion.
I race cars in real life (SCCA) and I have to say, the physics engine is a feat of coding.  I can't even begin to understand the way these cars were so accurately captured.  PCars does a great job too, and it looks fantastic and plays very well, but it's so much more fun to have a serious rally sim.  You can just tell that Codemasters didn't make a single compromise in the way this game feels.  Assetto Corsa isn't even close to the realm of realism these games capture physically and visually, with Dirt Rally being at the tip top in my opinion, winning out in the overall 'feel' of realism.
I really hope after EA is over and done with, that this game is supported with new content for years to come.  If it is, it is a fire that will not burn out.  I will pay for any new content added for probably the rest of my life and beyond. 
There's something really cool happening over in pCars land right now involving the possible addition of the Isle of Man TT as 10plus dollar DLC, but it seems to be torn between that and Pikes Peak.  Seeing as DR already has Pikes Peak, I think it would be an awesome addition to this game.  It would be great in some classics, but an r56 Mini or something like that would be really cool too.

Some thoughts;
-We need more races against live AI in DR.  I've only gotten a small taste of the AI through the WRX mode, but they seem to be highly intelligent at very hard settings, so it would be amazing to do some long distance races with at least 1 other car on the course with you (not sure if that's already planned or not, but I sincerely hope so).
-I know for a fact there's more coming, but don't ever stop bringing new tracks to the game.  I don't care if the cars stop coming after a while, but I know I'm not alone in feeling that a wide variety of tracks is what truly MAKES a great sim.  Without a huge variety, things burn out very quickly.  I understand there's many divisions of each current course, but in total, there are what, 4 FULL rally stages and 2 RX tracks currently.  It's obviously not complete at this point, but I feel like we need at least twice that amount of full stages and like 6 or 7 RX tracks for it to really feel like a deep and finished game.  This game engine is just too good for it not to be the Skyrim of racing sims.  It will be legendary.  And I'm not talking about making it like previous Dirt games where it's got everything for everyone, I'm talking about taking the current formula and just opening every possible door in the house of realistic immersion and finding some courses that have never been portrayed in a game before in a proper, realistic way.  If there were to be old school road rallies and things of that nature, the possibilities are endless.

I'm going to stop here unless otherwise provoked, because this game makes me giddy like a Ritalin addled 12 year old.  Seriously Codemasters, Bravo, just keep it comin' ;)... forever.

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DoriT said:
Sorry to just talk about the negative points, but I think there is problems with your physics. I was told this was a sim, so I was very disappointed to drive it and see that the no.1 most important thing about a sim, the car handling physics and FFB, is a very low level compared to sims I'm used to playing, like Assetto Corsa and Live for Speed.

The RX cars are an improvement, but still this does not feel like a sim to drive. I never feel like I'm driving a rally car while playing Dirt rally. The car handling is not true to life. 
There's a lot more wrong than just what I describe, but I think this is the easiest fault for me to describe here. It's very evident you have traction control of some sort present in the RWD cars even though I have all that stuff turned off in the menus. It's probably present in the other cars too, but it's more difficult to tell with 4WD. 

RWD (I tested the Kadett most) cars don't just get magic grip from nowhere, if the wheels are spinning they don't only spin to a certain speed above the car speed then start gripping, in reality they will keep spinning and will spin more if I press the throttle more until the speed of the car starts to catch up with the speed the wheels are spinning at. 

The cars don't seem to have inertia, you can't trail brake and the FFB is not very good too. 

I hope you will keep working with the cars handling and FFB, for now I wouldn't recommend dirt rally to any of my rally/sim loving friends and I feel a little cheated that this was described as a sim. I see the potential for a great rally sim here, if you can just concentrate on getting your FFb and car handling physics to a higher level. 

Are we playing a different game, sir?  I'm blown away by the accuracy of the FFB, on a wheel setup or otherwise.
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Pluses:
+the stages and the cars are looking awesome!
+sounds
+graphics
+no gymkhana :)
+you're listening!

And minuses:
-there aren't enough stages, its boring when you ride six times the same route
-no track exporter! :)
-the rallycross cars are feeliling pretty nice, but the times are a bit faster than the real ones, i think there is little too much grip when turning and on the gravel, it would be nice if you would check that and adjust it before adding the new physic to the rest of cars
-no fov and seat adjustment
-carrer is boring

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DoriT said:
Sorry to just talk about the negative points, but I think there is problems with your physics. I was told this was a sim, so I was very disappointed to drive it and see that the no.1 most important thing about a sim, the car handling physics and FFB, is a very low level compared to sims I'm used to playing, like Assetto Corsa and Live for Speed.

The RX cars are an improvement, but still this does not feel like a sim to drive. I never feel like I'm driving a rally car while playing Dirt rally. The car handling is not true to life. 
There's a lot more wrong than just what I describe, but I think this is the easiest fault for me to describe here. It's very evident you have traction control of some sort present in the RWD cars even though I have all that stuff turned off in the menus. It's probably present in the other cars too, but it's more difficult to tell with 4WD. 

RWD (I tested the Kadett most) cars don't just get magic grip from nowhere, if the wheels are spinning they don't only spin to a certain speed above the car speed then start gripping, in reality they will keep spinning and will spin more if I press the throttle more until the speed of the car starts to catch up with the speed the wheels are spinning at. 

The cars don't seem to have inertia, you can't trail brake and the FFB is not very good too. 

I hope you will keep working with the cars handling and FFB, for now I wouldn't recommend dirt rally to any of my rally/sim loving friends and I feel a little cheated that this was described as a sim. I see the potential for a great rally sim here, if you can just concentrate on getting your FFb and car handling physics to a higher level. 

Are we playing a different game, sir?  I'm blown away by the accuracy of the FFB, on a wheel setup or otherwise.
If you have previously played on you wheel only in the series Need for Speed, im not surprised you're blown away by the accuracy of the FBB and physic.
Try Assetto Corsa, Live for Speed or Iracing. Now the physic in rally cars and hil climb, especialy on tarmac is.. sh..t, there is no inertia, no downforce, too much grip especially on the tarmac, for example in 250 km car (Lancia 037) you cannot drift... on gravel its better but not perfect.
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DoriT said:
Sorry to just talk about the negative points, but I think there is problems with your physics. I was told this was a sim, so I was very disappointed to drive it and see that the no.1 most important thing about a sim, the car handling physics and FFB, is a very low level compared to sims I'm used to playing, like Assetto Corsa and Live for Speed.

The RX cars are an improvement, but still this does not feel like a sim to drive. I never feel like I'm driving a rally car while playing Dirt rally. The car handling is not true to life. 
There's a lot more wrong than just what I describe, but I think this is the easiest fault for me to describe here. It's very evident you have traction control of some sort present in the RWD cars even though I have all that stuff turned off in the menus. It's probably present in the other cars too, but it's more difficult to tell with 4WD. 

RWD (I tested the Kadett most) cars don't just get magic grip from nowhere, if the wheels are spinning they don't only spin to a certain speed above the car speed then start gripping, in reality they will keep spinning and will spin more if I press the throttle more until the speed of the car starts to catch up with the speed the wheels are spinning at. 

The cars don't seem to have inertia, you can't trail brake and the FFB is not very good too. 

I hope you will keep working with the cars handling and FFB, for now I wouldn't recommend dirt rally to any of my rally/sim loving friends and I feel a little cheated that this was described as a sim. I see the potential for a great rally sim here, if you can just concentrate on getting your FFb and car handling physics to a higher level. 
The rally cars on gravel, particularly RWD are the best in any game ever. The 70s cars feel absolutely magic to drive on a loose surface, particularly the Mk2 which has the perfect balance. Perhaps the only thing they could do with, is less grip under braking so the rear of the car steps out a bit more.

Although saying all this, the physics of the cars are due another tweaking before the end of EA anyway, at the moment the plan is to get the big content updates out of the way, and then more time and people can be spent on refinements. So at the moment we just have to be patient and wait.
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My write up from the Steam forums:

Dirt Rally was the surprise of a lifetime for me. I quit sim racing a couple years ago because I was tired of circuit racing and after almost a decade I finally got bored with the aging RBR. Needless to say it came out of nowhere, I'm sim racing again and absolutely hooked!

Likes
+Amazing graphics
+Amazing sounds and effects, maybe the best ever in a racing game
+Brilliantly designed stages, I really love that you are actually modeling real life stages
+Physics are getting close, though some more tweaks are needed especially on tarmac
+All the cars feel unique
+FFB once dialed in is actually pretty good

Some dislikes
-Not enough unique stages. I've said it many times I'll say it again, and seems to be the #1 issue people have with the sim. In the longer championships you are constantly running the same sections of stages and it feels more like hot lapping than rally. This has to be addressed, DR could be a legendary rally sim with enough content but right now this is the one area it's sorely lacking. If you stick to the time line and how the other countries are we will only have 4 new stages (then cut up and reversed to form the "12" stages) by the end of the year and possibly early access. We need more stages for the current events, and in future events we need more than 2 mid-length stages that are cut up and reversed. The stages are amazing already, we just need more!

I would love to see Dirt Rally become a platform with updates and content being released past EA, in the very least DLC packs. I would be 100% will to pay for DLC countries/stages after early access is done and I think most other players would as well.

All that being said, just want to give a big thank you to Codies for finally bringing us the sim we have been waiting for for a decade!!

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Great game so far, but I think the game need some improvements to become a legendary game, here are some suggestions :
  • A pace note editor (a modder made one editor for Assetto Corsa with the possibility to record our own voice and to write down our proper pacenotes and it worked quite well ! So it shouldn't be too hard for your team : http://www.assettocorsa.net/forum/index.php?threads/copilot-for-ac-v-1-2-0-update-24-11-2014.15108/). And at least a correction of mistaken notes.
  • A better french voice : we need more intonation and the vocabulary used is sometimes very different from the vocabulary used by french rallymen (I can help for vocabulary if you wish).
  • An improved FFB, the update was good but you can do better. Again you can make a benchmark on other games such as Assetto Corsa
  • Seat adjustment and more commands such as wipers, lights
  • Random events in stages (crashed cars, mud on the road...)
  • Tire choices and better grip management in physics
  • Improved sounds for more immersion

Thank you for your amazing work so far, and it is great to see thaht you care about players' opinion !



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'What are we doing well?': 

In general, you're all hitting the nail on the head with Early Access. We're half way through now, but it was a massive confidence boost to see that the quality of the game so early on was awesome, considering the stage of development it was in. It's also great for us in the community to have an active role in development by way of suggestions, and your interaction has been hugely appreciated. 

The physics are pretty much perfect, and the visuals are stunning and the sounds are very nice.
So far, the content is fantastic; cars and locations are superbly designed which makes the game immersive. The added content has been great fun, and grabbing the license for the FIA RX league was a massive positive.


 'What could we do better?'

I think there needs to be some refinement when it comes to the video options in the game. I'd like to see the shader option broken down so that we can choose to enable or disable certain things like motion blur. That would be massively appreciated. I also think that there are some inconsistencies that need to be rectified, such as weather effects being set to low actually has more of a performance hit than if you were to max it out. 

If it's even possible to optimise the game any further, then it would be awesome to see some performance boosts.

I know there are certain restrictions which stop you from getting certain licenses for certain cars for the game, but I was pretty disappointed to see the DS3 RX missing from the game, as well as the Celica. Is there any way that the people from Codies who are in charge of this sort of stuff can be more ruthless in the way they try to acquire licenses? 

I've already mentioned this somewhere else in the forums, but I'd really, really love the ability to put my own name on the window or bodywork, as well as a co-driver of my choice (probably my Dad, because he was one!), to give my cars a personal feel without having to request a skin from somebody. 


Final words

DiRT Rally is a truly superb game. I'm at around 200 hours now, and that is by far the longest I've spent on an Early Access game, and it'll probably end up being the most hours I've spent playing any rally game in my 25 years. 

Thank you for cutting my gym session short on the day when you gave us all an awesome surprise. 
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rther, then it would be awesome to see some performance boosts.

I know there are certain restrictions which stop you from getting certain licenses for certain cars for the game, but I was pretty disappointed to see the DS3 RX missing from the game, as well as the Celica. Is there any way that the people from Codies who are in charge of this sort of stuff can be more ruthless in the way they try to acquire licenses? 


Dude the DS3 has already been confirmed for RX
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rther, then it would be awesome to see some performance boosts.

I know there are certain restrictions which stop you from getting certain licenses for certain cars for the game, but I was pretty disappointed to see the DS3 RX missing from the game, as well as the Celica. Is there any way that the people from Codies who are in charge of this sort of stuff can be more ruthless in the way they try to acquire licenses? 


Dude the DS3 has already been confirmed for RX
My bad, I've been out of the loop for a good few weeks. Point still stands with one leg; I'd love the Celica. 
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It's already a good game (simu, focus on rally etc.. )
but it could be great
- more rally stages! (I start to know all the corners :/ rally driver is suppose to rely on the pace notes, not his memory, we need to double the tracks/stages on each country)
- a pace note editor/mod would be nice, at least so we can easily mod it to plug new voices and correct the actual errors
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Brilliant game.
 Great stages. 
 Good selection of cars.
  Handling a lot better now
  Rallycross great addition 
  Graphics fantastic
  Sound stunning.
Things I would like to see next.
 More country's added with more different stages
  Full Rallycross season and cars plus some old classic Rallycross cars.
  A good selection of 90s rally cars Ford,Subaru,Mitsubishi,Citroen,Seat,Peugeot,Skoda,Hyundia, ect 
  All weather options for all stages.
  Full TV cameras option for all stages. That would be awesome.

Keep up the brilliant work. Best Sim ever.
 Kenny.

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What are you doing right?
  • Surprise!!! I like that you dropped the bomb on us with Early Access - no waiting and teasing! :)
  • I like that Dirt Rally is about getting back to traditional Rally roots but, I also enjoy the RX and hill-climb aspects. Thank You!
  • Sounds are amazing - give those sound guys a nice big raise!
  • Physics: I think there is a lot to like but, the handling isn't quite there - especially on tarmac, the grip seems too high.
  • FFB: the FFB is really, really good using the AccuForce with SC4-driven FFB; also liking the Vibration effects.
  • Advanced controller & Sim-gear support - thank you!
  • VR support: Love that but, I hope you can keep up with all the changes coming.
  • Communication: Nice job there - this thread is another example! Just the fact that you are asking is great.
  • Community Involvement!
What could you do better?
  • Expand on what you are doing, keep going! more stages, more cars, more RX, DLC, whatever, bring it
  • Handling: hardcore physics and realism - another notch or two in that direction please (RBR RIP)
  • Drive-train Elasticity: R3E and iRacing do this well IMO
  • Open Race Mode: RX racing with any class / car
  • Damage: option to turn it up even higher if wanted
  • Sound options: more sliders - R3E doing a good job there but, also need adjustment for replay volume

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Positives
-Love the weekly info and the consistent updating of the game, seriously fun to get to keep coming back.
- Best rally game I've ever played (not played RBR soz) and the difficulty of the stages means I want to keep coming back instead of just finishing the game for the sake of finishing it.
- Great sim, the more realistic the better and you guys have nailed it.
- Car selection is great and I love the process of getting a car, upgrading it, getting good at it and trying something completely different next
Improvements
- Career can get a little tedious with when you are moving up the ranks. It's cool to have such long seasons in some ways, but playing the same tracks every season gets old. Maybe you could fix this with more content.
- Damage modelling could be a lot better. I don't mind it being forgiving, it just doesn't "feel" like your damaging your car as you drive it.
- Sometimes the co-driver calls are late and it's annoying, customizing would be nice.
- More feedback on traction loss and wheelspin, sometimes it's hard to tell if you're spinning your wheels, so louder sound with gravel hitting wheel-well? I dunno.
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I love this game. I haven't been playing any sim since six or seven years, previously addicted in RBR, and I've built new PC just for it. Just keep develop DR, add more cars and stages. Track exporter or editor would be very nice add-on too, together with user friendly ingame tracks and cars expansion menu. It was a bit complicated in RBR as far as I remember.

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The Good:
  • Amazing stage design and level of detail (although a little sick of repetition now)
  • Some great handling cars
  • Simplicity of game menus (although there's room for improvement)
  • The number of views (the cockpit view is quality!)
  • The overall graphics
  • The sounds
  • The little bits of wildlife on the stages :smiley:
  • The longevity I've had out of an EA game!
The Bad:
  • Lack of practice option (i.e. ability to alter your setup mid-stage)
  • The number of sections repeated in the 4 rally locations
  • Random camera jolts on certain sections of stages (noticed more on Greece stages and in hood cam)
  • Weekly/Monthly events - allowing car setup but only after the first 2 stages.  Either full setup or turn it off completely!
  • G27 wheel disconnects.  Only happened since rally x update and luckily only a handful of times. Reboot cured it.
  • The grouped leaderboards for rally x (i.e. the clubman and full circuits share the same leaderboard) 
  • Game always starting in windowed mode
  • The game sound completely broke on one of the rally x tracks.  Had to restart the game.
  • The lack of online leaderboards
The Ugly:
  • Random automatic window wipers.  Inherrent from the early CM days, please get rid of it or give us control over wipers
  • The default setup of the Sierra Cosworth.  Been mentioned so many times and still it sits there redundant.  First gear needs to be longer!
  • The strength of the little bushes that bring you to a complete stop. 
  • The head shake of the driver in cockpit replay cam on straight sections of road.  Doesn't seem to shake that bad through turns.  Needs a more lifelike ragdoll effect
  • The full revs when starting the first stage of a rally (i.e. the cut scene where the car pulls up to the start line and then the revs fire up for 5 seconds or until you hold the handbrake)
  • Not being able to quit a championship.  Annoying having to discard all the events.
  • The lack of direction the AI have on Lydden Hill short circuits
  • The rally x buddy who insists there's an accident up ahead


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Good: Everything! Handling, Graphics, Quality of cars and tracks,
almost everything whats already in the game, but...
Bad
: too few cars and tracks (locations) and no wet RX races yet,
bad german translation and bad german spotter in RX,
some small things that could be better, like car preview in 3D.
Menus are practical but ugly, and the layout, look at DiRT2


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