How realistic is Dirt Rally? This rally driver finds out

Put a rally driver in a virtual environment, and the results can be surprisingly realistic

‘Dirt Rally is difficult, immersive, beautiful, challenging, entertaining, frustrating, shocking and a whole lot of fun if you’re prepared to put the time into mastering it.’

That’s how we summarised Codemasters’ latest rally game after playing it back in December. But how realistic is it really?

Naturally, you don’t get the physical punishment of driving a real vehicle. But if you’ve ever doubted how authentic videogames have become, just watch this footage uploaded by YouTube user DVMSteve of former Australian Junior National Rally Champion, Will Orders, tackling a Welsh stage in the game.

With a three-screen setup to improve peripheral vision, and the steering wheel and pedals embellished with a physical handbrake handle, watching Orders’ inputs is like watching real in-car footage.

Orders dances the car between corners with the same deft fluidity he would a real car. He’s precise too – important in a game that punishes the slightest mistakes with catastrophic barrel rolls.

evo has covered the world of racing videogames since the very first issue of the magazine – where we interviewed Kazunori Yamauchi, creator of the Gran Turismo franchise.

Racers have come on immeasurably since then – to the point the next GT game will include global, FIA-ratified competition – and Dirt Rally is among the best on sale today. It won’t ever replace the sensation of driving a real vehicle, but our living rooms have certainly never been so exciting.

Recommended

efuels, sustainability and sports cars – manufacturers weigh in on the issues
Synthetic fuels explained – oil
Technology

efuels, sustainability and sports cars – manufacturers weigh in on the issues

As sustainability really comes into focus, eFuels are primed to be a big part of the solution
12 Apr 2021
Synthetic fuels explained: is there such a thing as carbon neutral petrol?
Synthetic fuels explained – header
Technology

Synthetic fuels explained: is there such a thing as carbon neutral petrol?

Could carbon-neutral synthetic fuels save the internal combustion engine and safeguard the future of the cars we love?
18 Nov 2020
Faster lap times promised by Garmin Catalyst real-time coaching tool
Technology

Faster lap times promised by Garmin Catalyst real-time coaching tool

New driving performance optimiser delivers live advice as you tackle a lap
3 Sep 2020
What is a hybrid? Hybrid tech and how it’s used in performance cars
Technology

What is a hybrid? Hybrid tech and how it’s used in performance cars

The hybrid performance car is no longer an oxymoron. Here’s how manufacturers are using this new tech to make them better, not just greener
1 May 2020

Most Popular

All-electric Ferrari confirmed for 2025 reveal
Ferrari badge
Ferrari

All-electric Ferrari confirmed for 2025 reveal

Ferrari has confirmed its first EV, but first three new models are due in the coming months
15 Apr 2021
Jaguar XJ41 – Dead on arrival
Jaguar XJ41
Jaguar

Jaguar XJ41 – Dead on arrival

The blighted ’80s ‘F-type’, the demise of which led to the creation of the Jaguar XK8 and launched a new era for Aston Martin
8 Apr 2021
Peugeot 508 PSE 2021 review – high performance hybrid takes on S4 and M340i
Peugeot 508 PSE – front
Peugeot 508

Peugeot 508 PSE 2021 review – high performance hybrid takes on S4 and M340i

New 355bhp petrol-hybrid 508 from Peugeot Sport Engineered has Audi’s S4 licked
14 Apr 2021