Dirt 5 isn’t the rally racing sim you may know from the series’ past; no more listening closely for your co-driver’s callouts for upcoming turns or carefully whipping your rally car around in nature’s dirt tracks by your lonesome. With Dirt 5, the simulation aspect has taken a backseat in what feels more like a Forza Horizon (without the open world). It’s adopted an attitude in its presentation and gameplay style, and through all its flourishes and changes to become a more approachable style of rally racing game, in the early hours have been a fun ride, though fairly basic.
I’ve been able to put a few hours into a preview build of Dirt 5 through Xbox’s Insider Hub as I continue to also preview the Xbox Series X–this is one of the first actual next-gen games we’ve had access to in order to put the console to the test. So far, I’ve cleared what shakes out to be about a quarter of the career mode and while there’s certainly more to experience as the game continues to open up, it’s been fairly standard fare even if this entry represents the Dirt series breaking out of its shell.
Career Mode And Playground
A decent variety of race types fill out Dirt 5’s arcade-sim offering, such as the Ultracross with speedier cars and Land Rush with hulking off-road vehicles, both of which are circuit-based races against other drivers. But you’ll also take part in the more off-beat competitive races like Icebreaker which has you slipping and sliding across icy tracks as you control your drift to take first place–or Sprint, which is another drift-focused race with tiny single-gear vehicles on a small circular dirt track. Dirt 5 also includes Gymkhana, which is all about style where you showboat in a makeshift arena to flex your drifting, donut-making, and precision driving skills to earn points.