When Codemasters first revealed that they were working on development of DIRT 5 during the Inside Xbox show back in May 2020, our ears pricked up and our excitement levels started rising. For years DIRT has been the go-to title for fast, frantic, fun racing, and the initial trailer most certainly delivered on those fronts. And so when we were given the opportunity to take in more of DIRT 5, via a hands-off developer presentation by the team at Codemasters Cheshire – those behind the rather brilliant but hugely underrated ONRUSH – we just couldn’t say no. And come the end of the session, we left safe in the knowledge that what Codies are promising with the next chapter in the franchise has promise to be the best DIRT experience yet.
Since 1995, when Colin McRae Rally first burst onto the scene, the Codemasters development team have consistently pushed the franchise to new levels, with the hardcore rally roots moved slightly to one side upon the release of the original DiRT in 2007. Over recent years though, it’s been DiRT Rally 2.0 that has really helped players to have the opportunity to get down and DiRTy, heading back to the initial premise with a sim-like experience that took no prisoners. Now though, DIRT 5 is once more working the fun route, taking what was present in both DiRT 2 and DiRT 3 to the next level.
It is this tone and theme which is likely to be the overriding focus of DIRT 5. The team working on this latest iteration have been up-front in the fact that providing gamers with a fun racing experience is right at the top of their priority list, probably having looked at the draw of Forza Horizon 4 and wanting in on a similar pull. But that’s not to mean it won’t be hugely deep either, and it’ll be in the career where we see this most relevant.
The career will be slowly drip-fed your way thanks to a star-studded cast, one that is lead by Troy Baker and Nolan North as the main focal points, with many special guests such as Youtube’s SLAPTrain and the current W Series World Champ, Jamie Chadwick, both also in place. It is this career which will be the main draw of DIRT 5, with the development director behind it promising nothing less than a hugely immersive playground that is firmly underpinned by the story it tells.
However, DIRT 5 will be all about the locations too, with 10 locales so far confirmed. These will see us taking in a bit of Ice Racing in the USA as Roosevelt Island in New York freezes over when the winter arrives, whilst the same could well be said of the tracks found in Namche Bazaar, Nepal.
For something a bit more solid though then the Mountains of Guilin in China are perfect for some Rallypoint racing, Tabletop Mountain in Cape Town will sort you out with a few sights to take in as you put the pedal to the metal, and the rough, rugged, bumpy landscapes of Brazil are seemingly perfect for the racing that you’ll be taking in with DIRT 5.
You’ll also get the chance to head to Norway for some Landrush events, into Morocco for dusty Pathfinder opportunities, and Greece allows for all manner of race types. It’s also pretty damn exciting to see Arizona, USA included, if only for the fact that the oval tracks it comes with are set up perfectly for some Sprint Racing like that found in the recently released Tony Stewart’s Sprint Car Racing.
It’s just as exciting to see the car types that we’ll be racing with, and whilst Codemasters haven’t yet divulged full details on the whole DIRT 5 car roster, they have given hints to the classes which will be included. And, honestly, they’ve got pretty much everything you could wish for covered.
From Classic Rally, 80’s Rally, 90’s Rally – where the EVO VI and Impreza rivalry will continue – and Modern Rally included, the initial bases you’d expect of any rough and ready racer are in place. But then these are complemented brilliantly by additional Rallycross cars – like the Peugeot 208 WRX – and into Rally GT. Further still though, things get ever more interesting with the inclusion of some SuperLite vehicles such as the Ariel Nomad Tactical bringing tons of horsepower for very little weight. Fun? Yes. Utterly mad? Most definitely.
At the other end of the scale though Codemasters have again thought of everything. The X-Raid class deals in the biggest of beasts, whilst numerous buggies will be found in the Unlimited class. Things then get a little silly with the inclusion of some frighteningly powerful vehicles in the form of the Formula Offroad and RockBouncer classes, whilst the big, huge wings of the previously mentioned Sprint cars will ensure only the very best racers find success.
The stars of DIRT 5 really are the cars, but there are also a whole host of event types, sponsors and modes to immerse yourself in. An Arcade mode, for instance, will let you create a race to your liking, with exclusive pick of tracks, cars, weather types and more all in your hands. And to ensure that any success in DIRT 5 is shown to the world over, a fully fledged Photo Mode will deliver a whole host of photographic opportunities, with as many filters as you can imagine.
This is key to what DIRT 5 will provide too, as with the inclusion of a pretty damn deep livery editor, you’ll be able to ensure the vehicles you race in look the part too. And let’s be honest, that’s as important to the world as your placing in any race.
With our hands-off time with DIRT 5 and the press sessions for the game, it’s easy to see how Codemasters are gearing up to deliver the best DIRT experience yet. Even though the vast majority of details have so far focused on the vehicles, locations and event types, the promise and hope of multiple objectives and challenges, split-screen multiplayer, cross-generation play, and plenty of post-launch content – if DiRT Rally 2.0 is anything to go by, expect a host of new cars, tracks and career events dropped in the weeks and months after release – should ensure this is a must-purchase from Day One.
We’re excited to see where Codies take this game in the final months of development prior to launch on Xbox One, PS4 and PC come October 9th 2020, and then on Xbox Series X and PS5 at a later date. But what about you? Are you a huge DIRT fan? Are you excited to see DIRT 5 rock up? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Huge thanks go out to Codemasters for giving us a little more insight into how DIRT 5 is looking to play out. If you wish to get your money for DIRT 5 in early, then you can pre-order the game right now from the Xbox Store.