Playstation VR is off to a strong start in 2017 with Resident Evil 7 providing a triple A gem for the fledgling headset. Will this momentum continue with DiRT Rally‘s PSVR update? I have the lowdown for you in this review.
DiRT Rally is a stellar game without VR. Its spot on handling model, quality damage simulation and brilliant selection of stages and tracks elevate it high above its competitors. The PSVR update builds on this strong foundation allowing for the whole game to be played entirely in VR with full positional tracking and the entire roster of tracks and cars.
DiRT Rally PSVR certainly looks the part easily surpassing Driveclub as the best looking racer on the system (Not that there’s any competition). While the visual quality is a far reach from the base game this is more than made up for when you are surrounded by the car you’re driving and completely immersed in that world. Not only does DiRT Rally look good it also performs brilliantly with not a dropped frame in sight which is a necessity for VR.
Controls in DiRT Rally work excellently both on controller and on a wheel though obviously the latter is the superior option if you want full immersion. Unfortunately DiRT doesn’t offer tilt steering and while admittedly this may be due to the relatively inaccurate nature of this input method and the hardcore nature of DiRT being somewhat incompatible the omission of tilt steering is, nevertheless, disappointing. DiRT Rally also makes use of PSVR’s social screen with a guitar hero like mini-game allowing a second player not in a headset to take part and attempt to time the pace notes normally handled by the co-driver. This feels like somewhat of a gimmick and doesn’t really add much to the game. However, as its totally optional, it also doesn’t take anything away from the experience.
DiRT Rally PSVR is still the same hardcore sim that the base game was and this means it comes with all the difficulty too. DiRT’s tireless simulation of both car and track means it can be difficult to keep some of the more lively cars under control however, once you are able to tame these cars its a delight. The satisfaction that comes from completing a stage while going flat out is immense and in VR it’s all the more exhilarating to do so. The sense of speed and in some cases danger you get whilst you dart through forests and snow covered vistas in VR is simply second to none.
DiRT Rally’s PSVR update then is a brilliant new way to experience what was already the best rally game on PlayStation. Now, with PSVR support, DiRT Rally sits amongst the upper echelons of truly brilliant driving games.