“Hey there! If you’re listening to this message then congratulations, not only did you enter your details correctly, but you also impressed me. Impressed me enough that I’m inviting you to the AJ Racing academy! As you may have guessed it’s been set up by yours truly, and my one and only is to push you out there a bit more, throw you in the deep end and see if you can swim and make Team AJ a dominant force in the world of extreme motorsports. So, no pressure. That’s you all signed up, welcome to the club.”

From the main menu screen, you’ll be able to select the game type you want to play. The options on offer are Career, Online, Arcade and Playgrounds. Also, on the main menu screen there’s Garage and Profile. I decided to play Career, which takes you to the Events pages, and the first race takes place at Ultra Cross at Henningsvær. From this race the Events will branch out so that you can select the races and choose your pathway towards the final races and you being crowned DiRT champion.

For your first race you’re going to need a car; there are four cars on offer to you. However, only one car is currently available without needing to spend any of your One Hundred and Fifty Thousand dollars currently sitting in your bank account. The car already unlocked is the Skoda Fabia Rally2 EVO (the other three cars available are the Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, the Citroen C3 R5 and the Ford Fiesta R5 MKII). Each car has some stats; the Skoda Fabia Rally2 EVO has a Performance rating of A and Handling rating of B, Drivetrain (4WD), Power (275BHP), Weight (1230 KG) and Torque (420NM). The other cars have similar stats and they all cost Sixty Thousand quid. Me personally, I kept the Sixty Grand and went for the Skoda; I haven’t tried the other cars as of yet as the Skoda did me proud. I find this funny as many many moons ago, being seen in a Skoda was a big NO NO if you wanted to have friends . . . my, how times have changed.

There are different types of events to compete in:  Ultra Cross, Rally Raid, Land Rush, Stampede, Ice Breaker, Path Finder, Sprint and Gymkhana. Some of these events you’ll probably love, others not so much, so you’ll be able to choose a path through the events you prefer. I’m more into racing than the Gymkhana so for now I have passed on all of those events. The same goes for the Sprint events (not one of my favorite events), so again I’ve passed them for now but I will get to them once I’ve finished the campaign. I’m currently on the fifth chapter of the campaign, having chosen my races. These races take place all over the world: Norway, Italy, China, Morocco, Greece and The US of A. The racetracks are on different surfaces, including snow, mud, loose stone etcetera.

The races take place at varying times of the day and night. While it may be nice and bright when you first set off across the start line, it can turn dark while still racing. Not only can the time-of-day change but the weather can also change. It could be sunny out and then start pissing down, or you could find yourself in a blizzard or even a sandstorm. This will impair your vision throughout the race, although the bad weather can disappear just as quickly as it arrived.

The type of car you’ll need will depend on the event. After selecting an event you will then be given the choice of cars and trucks for that event. You may have to buy a new vehicle in order to compete in the event. I think you can unlock some cars as you progress; I say “think” because I can’t remember buying one of the cars I own. I have when I’ve been able to just race with the unlocked vehicles. I have bought a few of my favorite cars and I have also wasted money on others (Two-Hundred and Fifty Thousand for a Brenthel Industries Unlimited Truck, one of the most expensive vehicles to buy and I found it bloody slow and useless).

As you complete events, you will earn Experience Points, Reputation Points, Cash and Rewards. Gaining Experience Points will level up your character, which will allow you to unlock things later in the game. Reputation Points are earned from completing objectives within a race, and you can increase the objectives by taking out Sponsorship Deals. Performing the objectives and leveling up that sponsorship will unlock new rewards and add a few extra quid to your cash. Rewards you will gain consist of new Liveries, Patterns, Textures, Stickers for your vehicles. You can also gain Cards, Lanyards, Stickers and Effects which can be used to personalise your profile. Customise your vehicles with different types of paint and varying colours, textures and patterns, and you can also give your vehicles a race number.

So far, I have only played the Campaign but there are other game modes in which you can play. You have Playgrounds, where you have Discover, Create, Load and Published (you can create and upload your own playgrounds while also trying out other people's playgrounds). Arcade is where you can play Free Play and Time Trials.   

There are quite a few options in the game: Video  (Image Quality, V-Sync, Dynamic Range, Final Resolution, History Resolution, Render Resolution, Geometry Quality, Tessellation Quality, Shadow Quality, Volumetric Quality, Cloud, Quality, Procedural Quality and Global Illumination Quality (Low to Ultra High)), Audio (Speaker Type, Music Positioning, Master and Music Volume, Vehicle, Sound Effects, Speech and UI Volume and Subtitles).

Gameplay (Pad Vibration, Force Feedback Strength, Spring Intensity, Invert X and Y Axis, Steering Axis, Look Around X and Y Axis, Look Back, Accelerate, Brake, Handbrake Gear Up and Down, Next and Previous Camera), HUD (HUD Opacity, Show Speedometer, Speedometer Units, Driver Names, Show Minimap and Show Timers), Driving Aids –(Career Difficulty, Preset, Transmission, Anti-Lock Brakes, Traction Control, Stability Management, Auto Brake and Tricksteer).

While in the settings you can also run a Benchmark, whcih will give you details on Average, Minimum and Maximum FPS, along with Low 1% and Low 0.1% FPS.

I’ve enjoyed playing DiRT 5 so far, although I had the game crash a couple times and kept disconnecting from the servers quite a few times in the first couple days of the game’s release.  However, for the last few days I haven’t had any problems.

While I have enjoyed playing DiRT 5, it has been very frustrating at times. It seemed like if I couldn’t get to first place as quickly as possible (starting from 12th position) then I would be stuck in the middle of a pack of AI vehicles like I was a magnet drawing them all in. This made it hard to see where I wanted to go, and handling was a joke. Then the AI’s would just would suddenly swerve one way, only for it to turn sharply the other way across the width of the track in front of me and the other AI’s for no reason.

Wheel Support is currently unavailable, so you’ll have to use a gamepad. While I would prefer to use my cheap steering wheel, it hasn’t been too much of a problem for me using a gamepad. I miss the replays after a race and the ability to set up your vehicle’s ride height, suspension etcetera before a race.


Review written by Piston Smashed™ for Zeepond.com!


+ Looks great
+ Multiple game modes
+ Multiple difficulties
+ Customise your vehicles
+ Remote Play Together
+ Has achievements


- Disconnected from servers
- No steering wheel support
- Crashed a couple of times
- No cards currently

Review Summary

Have you got what it takes to compete in various race disciplines and be crowned DiRT 5 champion?

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Zeepond Rating: 7/10