With the brand-new generation a month away, I lastly got my hands on a real next-gen title after putting the brand-new Xbox Series X through the rates with in reverse suitable video games. Dirt 5 is a visual reward; mud flings into the air as you toss on your handbreak to cut around a corner as the sun pieces through deep blue sky in blinding style. The visual leap forward is obvious, however I was most pleased by how smooth whatever feels.
Dirt 5 take advantage of the speed focus of the Xbox Series X, packing in-depth environments with a number of vehicles in simply under 15 seconds; simply as I was blown away by how quickly the Series X can pack an Xbox One video game, I’m impressed by how brief I need to wait as soon as I go into an occasion. Speaking of occasions, Dirt 5 provides you numerous methods to experience a varied offering of races, varying from the choose-you-path profession mode (total with lively narrative by Nolan North, and a coach played by Troy Baker), and the other-the-top and innovative Playgrounds.
Career mode gets you into the action faster than I anticipated. After a short explanation of how the mode works, I’m immediately thrusted into my first Ultra Cross race (a combination of off-road and street racing) on a muddy Norwegian cliffside with waves crashing by the barriers. The better you do in each career race, the more XP, money, rep, and rewards you take home. While money is obviously used to buy new cars and upgrades, rep gives you additional sponsorship opportunities (which in-turn give you even more money) and XP levels up your profile, granting you access to more cosmetics to equip on your cars and profile.
After taking first place in that initial event in Norway, I’m given a choice to proceed to either a Rally Raid event (the quintessential point-A-to-point-B Dirt experience) in Greece or a Land Rush event (a true battle against the elements) in China. After completing my third event, a hilly Stampede race capped off by a massive jump in Italy, I’m finally able to afford a new car; I opt for the Ford Fiesta R5 MK II.
I spent a bit more time in career before heading over to Playgrounds, an all-new mode that not only lets you race in innovative and outlandish courses, but also create them for yourself and share them with the world. Hopping into the Discover section of Playgrounds, I’m greeted with a treasure trove of creations from other players. From a checkpoint-based course full of jumps, tight turns, and even an upward spiral to a complex skill-based track centered on smashing targets while avoiding hazards, I encountered all kinds of ways to put my driving skills to the test. On top of finding plenty of enjoyable courses like these, my competitive streak was also satisfied, as each occasion has a leaderboard built in, encouraging you to play again and again to top other racers.
Once I dug into the creation tools for myself, I was easily able to craft a stunt course with a dive through a flaming hoop, a pipe to drive through (upside-down if you want), and a sharp U-turn to drift around. Thanks to pieces that snap together, it didn’t take long prior to the ideas in my head were brought to life on the screen. I’m excited to see what I can whip up once the final version hits and I devote more time to learning the ins and outs of the components available.
Dirt 5 isn’t a title that’s impossible to achieve on current-gen technology, however the experience on Xbox Series X is smooth as silk. I haven’t had a chance to check out the title’s performance on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, however I continue to be pleased with the performance of the Xbox Series X, even on next-gen titles such as this.
Dirt 5 launches on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC this November. It shows up on Stadia at some point next year.