A customer walks in to a Game Store and tells the clerk I need a new game.

The clerk says what kind of game are you looking for?

The customer says, well I do like racing in small bits,
something I can jump in and out from depending on how I feel.

A game that looks great, is colorful, and runs smoothly.

Is easy to get into and handles well, with a ton of tracks, and cars.
A super soundtrack and different games modes..

Got anything like that?

I see said the clerk, how about Dirt 5?

Dirt 5 has everything mentioned above, but lets slap a few more features
onto the list. A stellar track/course designer, and depending on the
platform you are purchasing the game for; it comes with a free next gen
upgrade for the new consoles Series-S/X and Playstation 5.
And a ton of future DLC planned down the pipeline as well.

Did I grab your interest?

I’ve been playing Dirt 5 now, thanks to Codemasters sending me an early
copy of Dirt 5 almost a week ago. And I can say that I’ve been having
a wonderful time playing the game in bits here and there.

Since the release of all the trailers, and the initial teaser.
I’ve been really looking forward to it, I remember thinking back then;

Well this definitely looks interesting, colorful, fast paced and
covering a wide aspect of different racing styles, cars and locations.
And it’s been in the back of my head ever since.

And it turns out to be a blast, the Career mode has been the most fun
for me. A wide variety of locations/tracks (regular and reversed), from
sunny to snowy, from dry to wet and muddy you have it all covered in
Dirt 5 for sure.

It also features a different kind of selection of cars than usually in
driving games. A high enough Level cap so you don’t finish the game in
a day or two. On top of that it is easy to get into..
I wouldn’t say it is totally an arcade racer, but it’s definitely not
a simulation either..

It just has that kind of steering/ease of play that you need to
experience for yourself, and once you get into it, you will notice
that you are having a blast blasting down the straights and hand breaking
into corners.

The races are relatively short time wise, around 5 minutes so once
you get hooked it’s easy to forget about time and just keep on going
(which is a good thing).

The Career mode is set up in game so that you advance on stickers
earned by completing different tasks for each race. 1 to 3 stickers
are awarded for finishing and completing the tasks set. The more you
race the higher the sticker total required is for the next race at hands.
But you can race the same tracks as many times as required if you don’t
complete the tasks set for you, so there is no panic if you fail at first.

This is also divided up into chapters, for a total of 5 chapters.

On top of the stickers earned, you will of course earn XP from the races
and in game currency, to purchase cosmetics for your car, profile
and so on (and there is a ton to buy here).

Once you’ve progressed far enough you will have throwdowns with rivals
1v1 on select tracks, and sponsors will unlock as you level up,
meaning more earnings for yourself depending on the sponsor.

Finishing 1st and 2nd you will notice quickly that you are raking in
money, and from the Garage option on the menu, it’s easy to go through
all the car classes, and make a purchase from there. It will take some
time though to unlock everything in game, but you’ll have a good car
selection pretty fast.

It’s a pretty standard layout for a racing game, but you also have the
freedom to pick your races you want to participate in here.
Which is definitely a + in my book.

There is also a pretty banging soundtrack for the game, as you can see
from this list.

One of the things you will notice straight away is that you will have
people talking in a podcast format during your career, voiced by known
fan favorites Nolan North and Troy Baker, throwing some good puns and
discussing driver and rivalries as you progress, though in the long
run I noticed myself starting to skip the dialogue as it does not
really serve any purpose in the beginning of the Career mode,
also the encouragement lines after the racing is done,
tend to be more or less the same.

I generally appreciate the effort that Codemasters have undergone to
add this into the game, but also it makes me think that; was this really
a necessary thing instead of the announcer just talking about You,
and how it is going and what is coming up next in your career instead?

I’ll let you all decide for yourself on this one, but for me.. It’s
pretty much the only negative thing I have to say about the whole game
(ok, maybe one or two other things coming up) but.. nothing really bad!

Oh, and before we move on; yes there is a split screen mode and
traditional online racing as well. Arcade features free play
and is good for practicing tracks, or setting unbeatable times through
the Time Trial mode.

The Playground mode

Now, personally I am utterly utterly terrible at building and designing
tracks and courses, so what I rely on here is that all the creative
people around the world, making a lot of wonderful things for me to just
jump into and play directly. Essentially you have all the tools at the
tip of your fingers to create here, there are 3 different events to
choose from, being; Gate Crasher (checkpoint timed), Gymkhana that everyone
who has ever played a Dirt title prior knows, Style Points is what it
is all about, and lastly Smash Attack, wrecking havoc on the track.

This way you will never ever be bored, and there will always be
something new and fresh to play and challenge yourself with.
During my playtime so far, there has been tons of creations already
added to the mode, so check them out when you get the chance and
try your own creative vision on creating.

Graphics and Performance

Visually Dirt 5 is a good-looking game, but it also is quite resource
hungry as you can see from the above added screenshot.

To give you an indication of how visually pleasing the game is,
above (top) is the library of Images, screen grabs from within the game
for you to check out.

To give you an indication of how the game performs

Running the game on my review system, i5-9400, 16GB and a MSI 2080 Super
at 1440p (144hz monitor) I had an average of 80-100fps depending on
the track in question. There was some screen tearing present,
and I had the occasional crash to the desktop for the game during my
playtime. But these are known issues to Codemasters and a fix is
on the way, bugs will be ironed out as always in due time.
As frustrating as crashes can be, I was happy to see that I never lost
any progress as the game saves a ton in the background.

Final thoughts

Dirt 5 gives me what I love about a good racing game, plethora of
Cars, Tracks, a great Soundtrack, a long career mode, and access to
virtually unlimited track creations through the Playground mode.
It’s visually pleasing, runs smoothly if your rig is up to par,
and is a must if you love driving games.

Dirt 5 is up there with all the other great titles
from Codemasters lately, F1 2020, Dirt Rally 2.0.

Grab your copy, and get Racing! You’ll have a blast.

Out Of 10
  • Variety of tracks & cars
  • Playground creator
  • Soundtrack
  • Runs smooth
  • Quick to do some racing
  • Some odd crashes (bugs will be ironed out)
  • Hosts are only fun for a moment
  • Always needs more Cars & Tracks
  • AI can be a savage

Thank you to Codemasters for supplying the review code. Please see your local game store, online regional store for Pricing

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