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Dirt 5 [Xbox Series X & S/PS5/PS4/XB1/PC] - October 2020


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  • 5 weeks later...

So after reaching my limit of frustration in Demon Souls last night, I bought Dirt 5 from the online store (I had it on pre-order from Target, but they never shipped it...it just went to backordered, I got tired of waiting)

 

I've played about a dozen races, still in the first segment of career mode. So far, I'm just a tiny bit underwhelmed. Keep in mind that for almost 6 years, the only racing I've done is in the Dirt Rally games (aside from a brief flirtation with WRC 8), which are brutal. My perspective on this is fully skewed, but the handling in this game is so easy it almost feels like it's on rails. You can floor it into a hairpin, brake at the last second, and fling the car into the turn and it feels like you're being pulled through the turn. And that's with all assists off.  Drifting is almost like flipping a switch. Just steer hard enough into a turn and you can feel drifting activate (at least on non-paved surfaces). Not every race is that easy, though. The ice racing is genuinely challenging, as you do need to pay attention to your line, which means you need to slow down well before you enter turns.

 

Suffice it to say, the handling very arcade-like and very 'friendly.' What's not so friendly is the mass of AI opponents. Each race (so far) has 12 cars, and you start last, so most of the difficulty in the game is managing the bumper-cars effect that inevitably occurs. One smart thing they did is that a lot of the courses are very wide, which allows some breathing room for overtakes, but usually the beginning of races is pretty chaotic.

 

The controls are well tuned to the DS. The trigger feedback is pretty cool. It might take more getting used to, but there is a sense of grip that's passed through the triggers. I would say it's not the level of feedback you get from a decent FFB wheel, but it definitely beats racing with a 'normal' controller with no feedback (or just rumble feedback). As a result, I think the DS could be a game-changer when it comes to arcade racers.

 

One major disappointment is the utter lack of support for my wheel. I can technically use it to play, but there is no FFB, and it keeps the wheel in a near lock-up so steering is forced. Also, it doesn't even see the pedals when you try to reassign buttons. I read that wheel support was limited, but it's very hard to get solid info about it. Now I know. I think CM said they are working on supporting wheels, we'll see.

 

Graphically it's quite a beauty. The best looking CM game to date. Solid 60fps, big textures, lovely optical effects. Not quite at the fidelity of, say, Demon Souls, but great for a game where the scenery is rushing past.


The load times are pretty wild. They are not as instantaneous as some other games, but it still feels incredibly fast. You barely spend any time waiting for anything. This, combined with the game's loud graphics, loud audio, and flashy presentation all add up to a form of sensory and entertainment overload.

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11 hours ago, Starhawk said:

I've been eyeing this as my next buy for PS5 and your review echos the one's I've read elsewhere, mainly that Dirt 5 takes an arcadey approach compared to its predecessors and that wheels aren't supported. I was kind of glad to hear that as I'm really in the mood for something in that direction.

 

I've said as much before but the Playstation platform really needs an arcade racer. It's a real shame they were so happy to let Driveclub die. I wish I had the funds to stretch to picking Dirt 5 up as it doesn't appear to be selling well.

 

I'm a bit worried about the arcade racer genre in general. It doesn't seem especially popular these days, which is upsetting as it's one of my favourites. :( I'm still sad we couldn't get a reboot of Ridge Racer with the PS5.  

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13 hours ago, rustyjaw said:

One major disappointment is the utter lack of support for my wheel. I can technically use it to play, but there is no FFB, and it keeps the wheel in a near lock-up so steering is forced. Also, it doesn't even see the pedals when you try to reassign buttons. I read that wheel support was limited, but it's very hard to get solid info about it. Now I know. I think CM said they are working on supporting wheels, we'll see.

 

 

10 hours ago, Dan B. said:

I’d read that they were working on adding wheel support, but I’ve not heard anything specific recently.

 

Expanded support is due at the end of the month:

 

"...on launch, there will be limited wheel support for DIRT 5. On Xbox consoles, wheel support will be temporarily disabled, whilst very limited options will be available for PlayStation consoles and PC. 

We know this will be disappointing for some players. Releasing so many SKUs, including being a day-one title for next-gen consoles, creates an array of challenges. Rest assured that the DIRT 5 team has delivered a fantastic racing experience on pad, and we're committed to making sure that feeling will be there for wheel users too.

The team is already working on an update for wheel support, currently scheduled to roll out by the end of November. This update will further open up wheel compatibility for PS4, PC and Xbox One, allowing you to configure your setup to suit your wheel preferences. We are also working hard with our platform partners to ensure we have broad wheel support for PS5 and Xbox Series X|S. We'll include as many next-gen options as we can for November, but some may have to follow."

 

https://steamcommunity.com/app/1038250/discussions/0/3004424478064497510/

 

Their latest tweets replying to people asking suggests it's still on schedule.

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Because the game is so arcade oriented, I'm not sure a wheel would add that much. It would help it be more immersive, but I doubt it would make one better at the game unless they tweak the input specifically for wheels. But the whole thing seems clearly meant to take the more sudden motions of the stick.

 

Some more observations after putting in a few more hours.

 

The Sprint cars are by far the most difficult car in the game to control, holy crap. They require a serious finessing to keep on the track. the best I've been able to do so far is place 11th. My first few races I was getting double-lapped because I ping-ponging around the track. Some of the other crazy offroad vehicles are also hard to manage, one open-wheeled class in particular (can't remember the name) feels downright sloppy.

 

The adaptive triggers also convey gear changes. They go slack for a moment while gearing up/down, it's a cool sensation, if a little distracting. They do the same while airborne, which makes sense. On smooth surfaces the triggers don't do much except provide some acceleration resistance. There is some resistance on the triggers for the duration of races. It's slight, but it's there. You can feel it activate just before the countdown starts

 

I'm warming up to the game overall. It's nice to have a causal racer to jump into after the intensity of, say, Demon Souls. But I appreciate the fact that not every car class is easily mastered.

 

11 hours ago, Angry the Clown said:

"...on launch, there will be limited wheel support for DIRT 5. On Xbox consoles, wheel support will be temporarily disabled, whilst very limited options will be available for PlayStation consoles and PC.

 

While I appreciate their transparency on what they intend, saying there is 'limited' support is kind of annoying. Just name the wheels you support, or partially support, and end the guessing game.

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Speaking of performance, I played a level today that had a lot of slowdown. Dropped frames all over the place. First time I’d really seen it do that more than just very sporadically. 
 

In other news, after trying several dozen times, and VERY slowly creeping up the leader boards (against the 11 AI opponents), I finally beat the first Sprint Cars level. It’s crazy difficult compared to every other race in the first tier of the career mode. The chaos of the 11 other cars makes it super easy to get left behind. I can’t even count how many times I found myself pushed up against the wall, which is basically the end of the race. The only strategy I found that works is to cut to the inside (Sprint car races are on a small oval track, all left turns), and hope you come out the other side unscathed. It’s technically faster to stay on the outside of the turns because you can keep up speed. And indeed if you cut in, 90% of the time you’ll get passed very quickly on the straight. But staying out the outside subjects you to the whims of the AI drivers who will fuck you up.
 

 

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Man I had a whole raft of game crashes today, I think 6 or 7. It only happened at the end of races, so I didn't lose progress. I dutifully reported each one. Thankfully, the incredible fast load times make this much less of an issue. But it is a little disconcerting. Hope that next patch will fix this and the wheel support.

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