Dirt Rally 2.0

A worthy follow-up to a modern classic, Dirt Rally 2.0 offers marked improvements and a driving experience like no other.

Dirt Rally 2.0 on Xbox One X races ahead of the pack

Codemasters' Dirt Rally 2.0 sees the developer return to the height of its powers, delivering one of the best driving simulations of the current generation and earning a prestigious Eurogamer Essential award. The quality of the racing experience is superb but Codemasters delivers on the visual side too with a beautiful presentation powered by its proprietary Ego engine - but how do the various console versions compare? The answers are surprising.

Perhaps the most important takeaway, however, is that Dirt Rally 2.0 looks and plays well on all consoles, with surprisingly little variance in the graphical feature set across all four versions. There are some rendering differences between the base and enhanced consoles, but the only real disappointment here concerns the PlayStation 4 Pro version of the game - limited to the same 1080p resolution as the base console, with only a smattering of visual upgrades. Meanwhile, Xbox One X offers a revelatory improvement in image quality, using dynamic resolution to move seamlessly between 1800p and full, native 2160p, depending on GPU load.

The standard consoles, meanwhile, both target 1080p, but again, dynamic resolution is in play. Curiously, the vanilla PlayStation 4 delivers full HD (dynamic resolution is a possibility, but all of our measurements resolve at 1080p), giving an overall experience that's perhaps too similar to its Pro equivalent. Only Xbox One S tends to struggle here, with a pixel-count that varies between 1440x810 (but could potentially go lower) all the way up to native 1080p - and even with this more apparent variation in resolution, performance there isn't quite where it needs to be, though still fine overall. All console versions use TAA anti-aliasing - also an option on PC, where MSAA is also available.

Read more

Dirt Rally 2.0 review - Codemasters' finest driving game yet

Now this is hardcore. After the 2017 detour of Dirt 4, an accessible and noble experiment in procedural track generation that nevertheless felt like it had gone too far in blunting the edges of the sport it simulated, this is a return to deep, satisfying driving with serious bite. To call Dirt Rally 2.0 a return to form would be underselling it a little; Dirt Rally was arguably Codemasters' first true sim, and in my mind the absolute pinnacle of the racing studio's achievements. This refines and improves that formula in smart, notable ways, for a markedly better game.

Dirt Rally 2.0 review

Developer: Codemasters

Read more