Screenshot of Dirt 4 Offroad

What is Dirt 4?

Dirt 4 is the latest installment in the racing franchise developed by Codemasters and released in 2007. It can be played on Xbox One consoles as well as PlayStation 4 devices. PC owners can enjoy the game on their Windows powered computers and it is compatible for cross-platform play. The game is a part of the bigger Colin McRae rally series, but only the sixth using the Dirt name.

Key facts about Dirt 4

  • Dirt 4 is the best looking racing videogame in the franchise and the Colin McRae rally series.
  • The game has easy to understand tutorials and can be played by amateurs.
  • Dirt 4 has a solid single player, with exciting main quests and side missions.
  • Some players have criticized the Landrush mode as being too repetitive and somewhat boring.
  • Dirt 4 has enhanced the gameplay of its predecessor with new features.

Gameplay of Dirt 4

Dirt 4 is essentially a racing videogame, but more challenging than most of the games belonging to this genre. It focuses on five distinct locations and players enjoy beautiful surroundings as they change scenery. The game introduces a brand-new feature that goes by the name of "Your Stage". It is supposed to give the game more depth and provide players with a chance to customize their races.

The Dirt 4 gameplay bears many similarities to the one of its predecessor, yet new features were added. The procedurally generated rally stages are just the tip of the iceberg, because the core gameplay has changed as well. Players are still supposed to outshine opponents on the track, but the cars are more responsive. Speed races are breathtaking and players enjoy more control, on both PCs and consoles.

The return of the land rush mode will take players to memorable locations from the previous games. They will compete in buggy racing events, drive stadium trucks and everything in between. Stage locations can be found mostly in North America, with the best ones in California and Mexico. There are significant differences between the Dirt 4 gameplay for single player and multiplayer. The former is just the prelude of an adventure, but cross-platform multiplayer is where the game shines the brightest.

There are a couple of game modes that were tweaked, while some were preserved with no changes. The Dirt 3 mode "Joyride" is back and has a couple of cool mini games. Players are also invited to showcase their managerial skills, in addition to racing on the circuit. They can oversee daily operations, repair the cars and prepare a coherent strategy ahead of the races. They can also buy and trade cars.

Screenshot of Dirt 4 Buggy time

Plot of Dirt 4

The narrative of Dirt 4 is anything but complex and serves mostly the purpose of getting players in the mood for racing. They begin the adventure by driving a couple of standard cars, against AI controlled opponents. Competition is soft early on, but gets pretty steep as players complete more missions. In the later stages of the single player, the races are simply unforgiving and any mistake has dire consequences.

Players are rewarded for taking more chances and complex and seemingly risky maneuvers can deliver extraordinary results. It’s difficult to claw your way back in the race if you commit a mistake early on, but it can be done. The Dirt 4 plot is simple and players try to amass as many victories as possible. Their opponents get better, but they lack the skills that players will face in multiplayer.

The team management aspect of the new game developed by Codemasters is also present throughout the single player campaign. Players will spend a decent amount of time preparing for the races and trying to find the best strategy. There are plenty of vehicles to be bought and customized, so players get fully immersed into the atmosphere. Landrush or Motorcross events will require different approaches and will reward players with the chance to drive exotic cars.

Screenshot of Dirt 4 Overtake

The game brilliantly succeeds at maintaining the depth of the predecessors, while introducing all these cool features. By the time players start competing in multiplayer, they will feel like these are only gimmicks, but they serve the purpose during the single player. The career mode is the best environment to try different racing disciplines and see which one better suits your purpose.

Development of Dirt 4

Dirt 4 developers worked for one year and the game was announced in January 2017. They managed to respect the deadline and the racing simulator was released on time in June. The game was available initially in North America, but three days later, it arrived to European shores. The versions for PlayStation, Xbox and Microsoft Windows were all released simultaneously. Developers have enlisted the talent of Jen Horsey and Nicky Grist as commentators. New tracks were added since the game hit the store and more missions are expected to be made available until the end of the year.

Where can I download Dirt 4?

Those who have played the previous games in the franchise should head on to the Codemasters website. This is where they can find the new installment, as well as all the other games in the series. It is also the place where new games in the franchise are going to pop up, so there’s no point in looking any further. At the same time, racing fans have a couple of options worth considering from other developers. The Crew or Grand Theft Auto V and Forza Horizon 3 are guaranteed to keep them entertained. They have a slightly different gameplay and are more centered on the narrative, so they have more to offer.

Screenshot of Dirt 4 Night Race

What are others saying about Dirt 4?

Dirt 4 reviews talk about the enhanced graphics and the improvements made to the gameplay. Theyare generally positive and the game sold like hot cookies in the United Kingdom immediately after its release. It proved to be just as popular across the entire European continent and has plenty of players in the US. Those who wrote about it, highlighted the fact that popular game modes have returned. There are even more people enthusiastic about the addition of new features and the way they work in multiplayer.

The similarities between the latest installment and the previous game in the series generated some mixed reactions. Most people understood the fact that developers wanted to stay close to the roots of the franchise. There were some who criticized the lack of innovation in terms of gameplay. However, there was almost unanimous praise for the location chosen by the developers for the single player missions.

My Rating of Dirt 4

Codemasters did a fine job at producing racing videogames for more than a decade. I’ve been playing their games since the early 2000 and I was never disappointed. Keep in mind that I’m not a big racing fans and I play the games mostly as a distraction from the daily routine. What I like about Dirt 4 is that it has the finest graphics I’ve seen in this franchise so far. Even if you don’t have any previous experience with similar games, it is certain that this racing simulator will grow on you.

Players who have experienced the thrills of the previous two games in the series, will surely realize the major overhaul. Personally, I’m not overly impressed by the new game modes and I prefer to stick to the classics. However, it is precisely this kind of innovation that I appreciate the most, for the sake of fellow players. It’s difficult to reinvent a genre that is so limited by the sheer restrictions of racing simulators. Like them or not, these features bring something new and keep the game fresh. The bottom line is that Dirt 4 is truly an exciting game to play and deserves a review score of 8 out of 10.