Friday 26 April 2019

Dirt Rally 2.0 review: Slide ruler

(XO/PS4/PC) ★★★★★ Age: 3+

Dirt Rally 2.0
Dirt Rally 2.0
Dirt Rally 2.0
Anthem
Ronan Price

Ronan Price

You can't please all of the people all of the time, nor should you even try (just ask Theresa May). Veteran driving sim studio Codemasters wanted to have its cake, etc, with the most recent in the venerable Dirt series (confusingly badged Dirt 4). In straddling both the hardcore and casual player bases, it failed to fully satisfy either.

DR 2.0, then, plants its tyres firmly on the muddy ground reserved for petrolheads, those who know their torque from their elbow and crave realism in their rallying. Pity therefore any newbies unacquainted with the niceties of sliding a 300hp monster along mucky, rocky, sandy, icy tracks often barely wider than the width of your bonnet.

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But for the initiated, it's a revelation - a growling, spitting symphony of sublime handling, fearsome cars and hand-crafted serpentine routes. Yes, your first race will almost certainly end in ignominy, perhaps even calamity. Yet the lessons learned from the assured handling will spur you to take greater risks and push the tyres to the edge of adhesion and beyond.

Career mode feels a tad underwhelming and DR 2.0 likes to taunt you in the face with content locked behind a €27 season pass. But if you live and die for the smell of burning oil and screech of tortured gearboxes, you can't let this racer pass you by.

Anthem

(XO/PS4/PC) ★★★ Age: 16+

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Anthem
 

File under It'll Be Nice When It's Finished. Nonetheless, Anthem - derided by many as just multiplayer shooter Destiny with jetpacks - starts like a rocket, the joyous flying bit overcoming initial doubts about such a blatant pastiche.

It's only later - when the tiresome loot grind has worn you down and the technical inadequacies have triggered endless eye-rolls - that Anthem crashes back to Earth.

Developer BioWare hasn't explored this type of multiplayer shooter before, and it shows. It suffers from convoluted character customisation, repetitive quests and - most disappointingly from a studio renowned for its storytelling - a lack of meaningful narrative.

BioWare undoubtedly has Destiny-esque long-term plans for Anthem but its first job is to patch up the holes in its fundamentals that stop it from taking off properly.

 

Read more: Anthem preview: BioWare’s jetpack shooter is ready for take-off

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