No Jokes, Please: Dirt Rally Goes To Baumholder

The simultaneous announcement and Steam Early Access launch of Dirt Rally [official site] in April was the kind of surprise I’d thought Big Video Games had become incapable of pulling off – someone always squeals. Content updates are less of a surprise, as that’s sorta what Early Access is all about, but still just as welcome.

Five new cars are now squealing around an all-tarmac German track, offering a different style of race.

Version 0.5 (also going by the fancier name Tarmac Terrors) launched on Steam yesterday, bringing those new bits and a fair chunk of fixes and improvements. Check the changelog for the rundown on all that. As for the 12 new rally stages in Baumholder (ho ho!), Codies say:

“As a full Tarmac rally, Germany feels completely different to the other stages currently available in DiRT Rally and requires a different mindset to Greece, Wales or Monte Carlo. Stages are wider but conquering them is about fast sprints and picking braking point into junctions, with tight turns and chicanes through bails testing players’ concentration and skill.”

With my knowledge of cars, I cannot dispute any of that.

Dirt Rally is £25.99 on Steam Early Access for Windows. Codies plan to issue monthly content updates leading up to a proper launch at the end of the year, with the price increasing along the way.


  1. padger says:

    This is a pretty good rally game. Really enjoying it. The drip feed of EA is really working for me, too.

  2. P.Funk says:

    We will quickly find Reiza’s Stock Car Extreme as the only driving sim not getting any coverage on RPS even though just about every person who plays all these sims knows about it.

    So, Reiza has posted a crowdfunding campaign to support a continuation of the free content that they’ve been making for Stock Car Extreme since 2013. I think they’re just about the nicest developer ever and they spend a lot of time directly interacting with their customers, making bug fixes based on direct user input, and in general being really generous.

    Check them out here. link to

    And here for questions. link to

    PS. just an excited player who thinks if their crowdfunding campaign fails it’ll be pretty lame compared to PCars2’s “we don’t need your money but we’ll take a few mil anyway”.

    • Guvornator says:

      Oooo, this looks Touring Cars-esque. In your humble opinion, would it suit a gamepad driver with fond memories of TOCA Touring Car 2?

      • P.Funk says:

        I have no idea how it plays with a pad but I know its a fairly serious sim so its preferable you use a wheel.

      • Faldrath says:

        It can be played perfectly well with a pad, yes, although that might require some fiddling with the settings. It’s a bit more to the simulation side than the TOCA series, but it’s well worth the effort.

  3. Alfy says:

    Using “squeal” twice in any article, what were they thinking? Should be made illegal in the civilized world.

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      Alice has been channeling her inner Peckham lately. As someone originally from within the M25, it makes me feel strangely at home.

  4. Freud says:

    It looks very realistic. At first I thought it was a photo in the article.

  5. Gothnak says:

    This is a great game. i got my forza loving (And finishing) workmate to have a go last week in an Audi Quattro and he fell off the cliff about 5 times in one stage… One of the rare driving games that is genuinely scary!

  6. piphil says:

    I had a play with this last night. The German stages are a lot of fun (although quite dangerous, as Phil Mills once found out). They’re fast, in places a lot wider than the tarmac roads of Monaco, and without the snow and ice that can make the Monacan stages very tough for beginners.

    The sharp corners around the Baumholder complex (which is a military training center) encourage a more racing style of driving, rather than powerslides, although I found that a touch of handbrake helps around the numerous hairpins. The stages are also rather unforgiving in places – they might as well leave out the “Don’t Cut” pace note here, as most of the corners have large rocks or concrete slabs on the outside and inside, placed to stop tanks from sliding off damp roads.

    Here’s a video of me around one of the new stages in a Ford Fiesta. I haven’t had a go with the new cars yet, but the inclusion of a couple of FWD models is interesting.

    It should also be noted that the 0.45 patch, released a couple of weeks ago, has massively improved the force feedback for me (Thrustmaster F430 wheel), making the cars much more responsive and, funnily enough, a little easier to drive as a result.

    • mukuste says:

      Nice. The panning bird’s eye shots look like they’re from a car commercial.

    • Gothnak says:

      i only played the daily event on it last night, but the rocks on EVERY corner did make me feel it was a street circuit with every mistake punished.

  7. Foosnark says:

    Well, now I can’t wait to get home and try it. Monaco had been my favorite area.

    So far I’m still a clubman and just did my first event with an 80s vehicle, so I have a long way to go. But I’m also steering with the keyboard until my Steam controller arrives. Keyboard seems to work best for the 60s front-wheel cars, and acceptably for the 70s cars but now things are starting to get weird.

    • DanMan says:

      I can’t imagine getting far with the keyboard. At least not in any of the more powerful cars. Like, the Stratos is a bitch to drive even on a gamepad. Just steering a bit too much even on a straight can send you spinning off the road.

      • Foosnark says:

        I really noticed the limits of keyboard control with the 80s RWD class. I don’t think I’m going to get beyond that actually.