I'm not a racing fan, never have been. I enjoy the Forza Horizon series because of its blue skies and sense of fun, but anything more hardcore than that causes me to break out in hives. I've just never found sim-heavy racers to be much fun.
But DiRT Rally has changed me, this is a belting game, full of physics and yaw, slides, braking and horrendous race ending crashes. Yet somehow it remains fun, and it makes me want to try again. I don't know what's happening to me.
The tutorials may have helped, a comprehensive set of videos explaining absolutely everything you need to know, from when to put your foot down and dig deep to explaining all about that mysterious language your co-driver has been barking at you all race. I found these worked better than the usual in-game do it this way method of learning, I could process more information when I wasn't wrestling the controller too.
Career mode is excellent, using a credits system as your carrot so you can unlock those new cars, but if you just fancy a quick roll in the mud there is always the custom events mode, here you can race with a selection of cars and tracks without all that unlocking bobbins. DiRT Rally also presents pretty great online competition too, offering daily, weekly and monthly online events, each with a timer that counts down the days and hours until an event expires, it's always nice to have those motivational juices flowing. The usual options for playing against your mates are present and correct too.
Graphically DiRT Rally is as smooth as butter, well unless you are banging your face into a tree, which is often. With great effects used for differing weather patterns. You can even see the dust building on your windscreen as you race. Multiple viewing angles are available too, but I only used the in-car one. I'm not usually a fan of this view, preferring to look at the back of my car like in Pole Position on the Atari 2600 (yes, I'm old and may be set in my ways), but here it just feels right. You can 'feel' the pull and traction of the car more, resulting in a much more immediate and rewarding experience.
Boasting over seventy stages and forty cars DiRT Rally is a really impressive streamlined package. Out have gone all the Americanised bells and whistles to be replaced with Codemaster's superb stripped down presentation and authentic handling model, It's a bit of a joy this one, and it finally has me racing again.