Dirt Rally Update 0.8 Adds Finland Stages, New Cars

I’d like a future Dirt Rally [official site] update to add the ability to turn your engine off. Codemaster’s have focused their efforts on making cars which feel fun to throw around the game’s muddy rally tracks, but I’m bad at that. Instead I appreciate it for its hills, its snow, the way the headlights reflect off surfaces in the dark, and the forests which stretch off to the horizon. I don’t want to race around the latest update’s new Finland stages; I want to park in them. Watch a trailer below to breathe in the atmosphere for yourself.

Doesn’t it look lovely?

Update 0.8 adds 12 new stages to race/Sunday drive around, each one set near Jämsä, Finland, alongside other additions such as two new cars, the ability to customise the events, stages and AI in Custom Championships mode, mouse support and more. You can find the full list on the game’s Steam update page.

Dirt Rally was announced and released on the same day, slipping into Early Access back in April. It follows on from the great many racing and rally games Codemasters have released on the past, but it’s unusually focused. There is no flashy music, there is no Gymkhana drift mode, there are no animated menus boshing at your screen. Instead there’s just a really good rally car simulation. That endeavor has won the game a lot of fans, particularly among those who had been clinging to Richard Burns Rally since it was released in 2004.

If you’d like a friendly group of people to race against, of all skill levels, there’s a lovely RPS community for doing just that. I hear a new event will be starting soon.

But I’ll just park, and wish I could hear the wind for the rumbling of my idle engine.

22 Comments

  1. Morte66 says:

    How is this as a beginner’s game?

    Do you need to own a steering wheel and/or pedals? Is a HOTAS any good as a substitute?

    Will it teach you to drive in rallies?

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      Grizzly says:

      You can play it with KB (And now mouse!) if you want to, and plenty of people are competetive with gamepads. If you managed any of the previous codemasters games you will be able to get around this one just fine. The difficulty is very tunable, to boot.

      • Premium User Badge

        Grizzly says:

        To expand on that: Basically, there is a lot more depth, but you don’t have to go there if you don’t want to (but you will want to!).

  2. Penguin_Factory says:

    I have no interest in rally driving (racing?) but I kind of want to play this just to look at the nice scenery.

    • El_MUERkO says:

      I just had a thought. They could add a ‘Spectator Mode’ where you hike around the map in first person with a gps and a camera, you could go to key corners, hazards or jumps on the track and take photos and videos of cars as they pass, It could be online and you could take photos of people competing :D Or you could just wander

      … but be watchful, there’s stories you know… stories of spectators that went into the hills and never returned.

  3. Hunchback says:

    I got this with my new GPU and tbh i am quite happy. I am not a huge racing fan, i’ve been playing racers every now and then since NFS3, invested various amounts of times in different games with friends, i enjoy pretty cars as much as anyone i guess, but it’s not my particular kinda game i’d dump many hours in. Still, from all racers, i am mostly interested in the “rally” or offroad kind, maybe because there’s no other cars to push you around and ruin your run. It’s more like you vs the road, rather than you vs the AI. And i like taking big turns with the handbrake :P

    Anyways, from this noobish, amateur point of view, the new Dirt game is quite fun. It looks faboulous, the sounds are very nice (some sounds are still missing, but it’s not released yet so it’s ok), the “feel” is fine. I find it quite hard to do well, but the game has gone in a nice direction compared to older racers where you MUST be in the top 3 to progress. Here you can suck and still actually play and progress (read: buy a new car every now and then). I usually end a season ~5-6 place, and that’s ok, i don’t have to restart and restart and restart… It actually has this system that gives you bonus cash if you play with harder settings and also you start a season with like 5k bonus on top of that and every time you “restart” a run you lose 1k of that. So the game incites you to suck it up and play rather than restart 9000 times to get the perfect run. I like that.
    However, i am sure that it’s way too “arcadey” for hardcore racer fans. There’s not much freedom to fiddle with the car settings, atleast nothing compared to the F1 or GT series where you can tweak EVERYTHING nowadays. The driving is hard for a noob like me (using KBD) but i feel i am getting better, so that means a proper hardcore fan will probably find this ridiculously easy.

    So in short, i am glad i got this for free with my GPU, i wouldn’t have bought it since as i said this isn’t my typical kinda game and i really have no money to spare right now even for games that i WANT to play, BUT it’s nice and fast and fun and generally great to fill some 20-30 mins in an evening while waiting for something else to do.

    P.S. There’s a lot of online activities too, that i haven’t delved into yet. There’s player run seasons and also something called “pvp” that i suppose is more like a classical racer where you have other cars with you. But to participate you generally need a high end car, which i don’t have yet. So maybe there’s more hardcore challenge for drivers there.

    • Synesthesia says:

      If you unlock a certain upgrade for any car, you can delve quite deep into the setups. Not that I’d knew what the hell I was doing there anyway.

  4. kael13 says:

    I don’t mean to be a spoil sport here, but I’m pretty sure they’re not even using PBR for their renderer. The environments look flat and lifeless and the cars look like they’ve been cut out of a magazine and stuck on, collage style.

    It’s ugly.

    • kael13 says:

      I just realised half of my problem: there’s no wind.

      • BladeRunner says:

        dude, just eat some beans, you’ll get wind in no time…

        • Perjoss says:

          Sure beans do the trick, but they pale in comparison to cauliflower and/or hobnobs.

    • Windows98 says:

      Maybe, but the only game you can measure it against is Richard Burns Rally, which looks like a 90’s arcade game in comparison.

    • Synesthesia says:

      Really? I kinda love the way it looks. Some wind simulation, or hell,just some looping animations for wind would go a long way though.

  5. NukeWithG says:

    Suomi mainittu. Torilla tavataan.

  6. DrollRemark says:

    I really must get back into this. I enjoyed the two whole events I managed in the RPS league, but then I drifted away from game. There’s so much new to play with now.

    • DrollRemark says:

      Also, worth noting that there’s no problem with joining the league mid-way through a season. You’ll have missed the previous races, but any upcoming (or currently taking place) can still be contested. It’s also incdeibly easy to join: Load the league page, login with Steam and click “join.” Now when you next start the game, the current event will be listed in the multiplayer games. Done.

  7. thanosi says:

    Do the cars still rotate on an invisible central axis when turning? That always put me off previous codemasters games, though I have fond memories of the original Colin Mvrae Rally, but it’s possible they changed it while I’ve been away.

    • vahnn says:

      I almost exclusively drive RWD cars in this game, and it certainly seems to me like I can feel the back end of the car kick out when I gun the engine hard. I actually haven’t played a CM racing game for over a decade so I don’t know if I can be call the difference between previous games and this one, but for what it’s worth, it feels accurate to me.

  8. raiders says:

    You MUST own this if you have ANY interest in racing games/sims. The daily events alone are worth it’s weight in gold, but the gameplay as a whole is outstanding. And, yes, I use my XBOX 360 gamepad. This is a casual gamer’s dream. No VR or wheel&pedal set needed!

  9. Foosnark says:

    I am in love with this game. It may not be perfect, but it’s as simulation-y as any I’ve played, as a semi-casual fan of racing games. It’s very gamepad-friendly, and I played it for a ridiculously long time with a keyboard and didn’t do too terribly.

    As for quiet appreciation of the landscapes… I want to drive the Tesla Model X in this thing. I have no idea if they’re suited for rally, but the sheer acceleration with no noise would be fantastic for the 2.3 seconds before it ran into one of those lovely Finnish aspens. And *then* you’ll have plenty of time to just look around.

  10. pipos666 says:

    Hey Graham, actually if you switch to manual gear shift and release the clutch without pressing the accelerator the car engine will turn off, you can park and try :D