DiRT Rally PlayStation VR Review

Publisher: Codemasters  Developer: Codemasters  Genre: Racing  Players: 1-4

Age Rating: 3+  Other console/handheld formats: N/A

Rally games in VR were always going to be an enticing prospect. This statement goes for racing games in general as well of course, although there’s something about dealing with the narrow paths and varied terrain of rallying that I find to be extra appealing in VR. The excellent DiRT Rally now has PlayStation VR support, although it comes at a cost.

If you already own DiRT Rally, then an extra £9.99 will unlock VR functionality. If you don’t own the game, then you can now also buy it with the VR update included. As VR updates have been added to some games at no extra cost, some may not be happy that they have to pay extra with this one, although believe me it’s worth it. As I am going to be focusing on the VR side of things in this review, if you’d like to learn more about the game itself, then you could always head on over to my Xbox One review of the original release.

Due to hardware limitations, and as is normally the case, DiRT Rally loses a considerable amount of detail when played in VR. Saying that, the game looks noticeably better than the likes of DriveClub at least in regard to the environments, and the visuals are more than good enough to give you a thrilling and worthwhile experience. Just don’t put your PlayStation VR headset on expecting to see the same level of detail as you do when played on a TV screen, as you just won’t get it with the current VR hardware.

For your £9.99, the VR update allows you to play the entire game in VR, which means that absolutely nothing has been left out. This makes the price less difficult to swallow, and when you actually get to play the thing, you may very well agree that it was £9.99 well spent.

The game doesn’t have too many comfort settings and, like any VR game, it will depend on who you are on whether you’ll get motion sickness when playing.

Like the likes of DriveClub, DiRT Rally in VR basically puts you inside the cars featured in the game, and the magic of VR means that you do actually feel like you are seated in the vehicles. When it comes to presenting a true rally experience to you, the only thing missing in DiRT Rally when played in VR is the lack of sensation of your body being thrown around and the feeling that you might lose your head at any second while speeding along the stages.

Other than the lack of true body feedback, DiRT Rally really is excellent in VR. The game is even more thrilling when played this way, with the added realism of feeling like you are actually driving a rally car, facing all the tight bends, major jumps, and differing weather conditions. The likes of the fast Finnish rally has never been as terrifying as it is here.

If you’ve previously played and struggled with DiRT Rally, you may even find that playing the game in VR proves to be a bit of a lifeline. The new added layer of depth may very well mean that you are able to better judge bends, and thus get some better results at the finish line. Don’t get me wrong though, DiRT Rally still remains rather intimidating.

DiRT Rally also has a brand new mode in VR, although I must admit that it is a bit of a gimmick. The Co-Driver mode has another player instructing the driver by using the DualShock 4 as well as the TV screen, but the execution makes for an uninteresting mode, and it really does feel rather unnecessary, with the mode playing like a rhythm action game.

Regardless of any throwaway modes, DiRT Rally in VR is something well worth experiencing, and I really can’t recommend it highly enough. Use a steering wheel, pop some headphones on along with the headset, which allows you to hear different parts of the car rattling, as well as the varied surfaces under your tyres, and it enhances the experience even further. If you didn’t fair too well with the original release, then you may also find yourself with better skills when played in VR. All in all, DiRT Rally in VR is definitely up there as one of the best VR experiences I’ve had so far.