DIRT 5 promises to quite easily be the best DIRT experience yet, with launch on Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS4, PS5, Google Stadia and PC due this November. With many new features, new race types, a plethora of vehicles and a killer soundtrack, there is much to be hyped about. But we wanted to know more – Robert Karp, the development director behind the game, was more than willing to divulge more.
Hi, could you please introduce yourself. What is your role in the development of DIRT 5?
Hi! I’m Robert Karp the Development Director for DIRT 5.
There is obviously much anticipation for the next iteration of the series, and it’s not like it needs any selling, but why should Xbox, PlayStation and PC players be looking out for DIRT 5?
If you’re a racer, DIRT 5 has got you covered with a huge variety of tracks and a really broad selection of cars – add in the dynamic weather system in a beautiful looking game and you will have hours of entertainment. If creativity is more of your thing then Photomode and the livery editor will be right up your street, but the Playgrounds mode even more so, with the ability to create your own arena and share with the community. Also if you just want to play this will mean you’re never short of new content! DIRT 5 will offer 4 player split screen, so you can lean back on the couch and race with friends, that’s before we even talk about the variety of the online multiplayer…
And how does DIRT 5 sit in regards to the series as a whole? Is the gameplay found within likely to draw comparisons to any one of the previous games?
We drew strongly from the feel, vibe and tone of DiRT 2 & 3. But I’d expect people to make comparisons across the franchise, as a studio this is our first DIRT game and it’s an honour to work on it and fantastic for it be compared to those great games of the past!
It’s not just about the standard racing in DIRT 5 and you’ve recently confirmed the addition of a Playgrounds mode. Could you tell us more about how this plays out?
Playgrounds is brand new to DIRT 5 and we feel like it is a key part of the experience. If you’re the creative type there are hundreds of objects to choose from, and truly make something spectacular. We recently gave the opportunity for some people to get hands on with a Playgrounds demo and what they made was absolutely fantastic, we can’t wait for the community to get their hands on it. But if you just want to play, every Playground has a leaderboard and you’re able to compete against the world and your friends in which gives loads of replay-ability and bite size gaming.
We’ve known for some time that the likes of Troy Baker and Nolan North are playing leading roles in the DIRT 5 career. How has it been to work with these guys and how much emphasis has been put on the narrative that plays in the background?
They have been fantastic to work with and really are consummate professionals. The way they took the script, made tweaks and changes and then made the characters come to life was really incredible. The audio team and design team have worked super hard on creating a compelling, interesting and fun story, that is really engaging.
With any racing experiences, the cars are undoubtedly the stars. How many vehicles should we expect to see at launch, and what event types will be present? Are there plans to increase these numbers via DLC drops as the weeks and months progress?
We decided from the start to focus on our breadth of cars, that has turned into 9 different car classes, including the kind of cars you’d want in an off road game like rally cars, more aspirational cars like the Rally GT class, big trucks and a few unexpected additions like the Rockbouncer and Sprint cars! These cars will race across our 8 different event types in the career, from Ultra Cross to Pathfinder and lots in-between. Plus there are even more event types in Playgrounds mode and Multiplayer mode.
Yes, we have big post release plans which includes adding more cars and car classes to give a huge breadth and depth to the game and of course at launch we have a dynamic weather system, so even if you feel like you mastered a track and car combination, adding in thunder storms, snow, heavy rain, etc takes the challenge to the next level!
Are there also likely to be any additional DLC opportunities in terms of the locations the races are held at?
Yes there will be new tracks for free added to the game for all players and we will also be adding more Playgrounds as well as objects to build with in the Playgrounds mode.
In terms of those vehicles, on a personal level, what is your go-to motor for DIRT 5 success, and why?
I love the Mini SX1! Super-fast, nimble and great fun to drive!
We’re Xbox gamers and achievements are a huge part of why we game. How is DIRT 5 looking in terms of Gamerscore and achievements? Are there likely to be any seriously cool Gamerscore-givers that we should look out for or will the majority be given for the likes of Career progression?
We have tried to cover the breadth and depth of the game with the achievements, so that achievement focused players get to experience everything the game has to offer, but you will need to master the career and rack up those miles if you want them all!
You’ve recently detailed the rather excellent soundtrack that will be powering gamers throughout their time in the game. How important has it been to ensure a stellar collection of artists and tunes, and how difficult has it been to bring the whole OST together?
Again the audio team has done a fantastic job on the soundtrack. It’s a huge amount of work getting a great soundtrack together with lots of people and lots of opinions and then of course working with the labels and artists, some who are super keen to be involved, others who want to make sure the game fits with their values or image etc.
We’re currently getting ready for the move to a whole new generation of gaming with upcoming releases of the Xbox Series X and PS5. How does DIRT 5 cater for those looking to take their gaming cross-generation and cross-platform? Are there any limitations to how and where the game can be played? What can next-gen players expect to see different from current opportunities?
DIRT 5 offers a free upgrade to anyone who buys the current gen version of the game and then decides to upgrade (within the same brand) to next gen. Next gen consoles are a dream, from faster loading times to more power which allows for better resolutions and framerates. Players will be able to choose to play at 120FPS! DIRT 5 is a cross gen game meaning PS4 and PS5 players play together and share their Playgrounds together and the same is true for the Xbox family!
And finally, on both a personal and team level, what have you learnt from the previous launch of ONRUSH that you have been able to take into the development of DIRT 5?
Personally I have learnt something from every game I have made, and I just try to make sure I don’t make the same mistakes again and make as few new ones as possible! The team had a great basis to kick on, with the tech and tools we made whilst creating ONRUSH and being given the opportunity to work on the DIRT franchise by the executive team at Codemasters, was a fantastic show of faith and belief in the team. For us it matched up perfectly with what we wanted to do next and we really hope you like it.
Huge thanks go out to Robert for giving us a little bit of his time in the build-up to launch of DIRT 5 on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5, Google Stadia and PC. If you wish to know more about the game, keep an eye on Codemasters’ Twitter feed. We will of course keep you up-to-date with any big news changes too. Oh, and we’ll shout once that release date rolls around.
In the meantime, you can pre-order the game from the Xbox Store right now. The Standard Edition will cost you £54.99, whilst the all-singing, all-dancing Amplified Edition will set you back £74.99. Let us know if you’ll be playing DIRT 5. The comments section is down below.