Thursday 25 October 2018

V-Rally 4 ★★★☆☆

With Forza Horizon 4 out, this same week, I chose to play V-rally 4, for some reason, instead. Mostly because I have a lot of fond memories playing the original back on the OG Playstation. V-Rally 4 is the first game, from the series, in 16 years. This time, made by new license holders Kylotonn and not Eden Games. Kylotonn are no strangers to the rally or driving genre, though, as they're generally known for releasing the yearly update of World Rally Championship (WRC), but have taken a year sabbatical to see if the same game can sell better under a different title.

The majority of the game feels heavily inspired by the newer DiRT games, but I guess when you're making a rally game there's not much variation you can really do. Both game's test locations are open area abandoned Canadian airfields, though. A bit suspicious. If V-Rally had come out first, I'd possibly just be accusing the opposite. Dirt definitely has the better handling of the two.

V-Rally mode is what would be Career mode. This plays out as a week by week calendar of micromanagement; as you are part recruitment agent, part accountant and sometimes even a race driver. Certain races use up more days than others, so you need to decide which races are worth the time and will benefit you the most. At the end of each week, you need to pay the staff you hire, from another visual data sheet of info. To be granted entry within certain races and events, first, you will need to own a vehicle of that category. The first few hours of the game are ridiculously easy. The opponent AI seems to not even be trying, even with the difficulty setting up. I think this is just to get you started and settled in, though, as this did change around the time I started getting to the three-star races and coming in second. So you will have no issues raising some money for a half decent set of cars. 

There are a few car dealers to choose from, but a rally game without Subaru is slightly odd. Aside from just Rally, there is also V-Rally Cross (racing against other cars), Hillclimbs, Buggy Racing and Extreme-Khana. The latter of which was the more enjoyable, with crazy courses going through train yards, drifting around narrow ledges of a mountain cliffs and steep turns and doughnuts around embankments. Vehicle and course damage is something I have always had a soft spot for (and water physics) and V-rally has some satisfying car crumpleage.

I'm not sure where the budget of this game went to, but it clearly wasn't spent on the soundtrack. I heard the same four songs, by Mahogany Beatz, over and over. I'd never heard of the dude, until this game, and now I wish that I hadn't. Judging his popularity via his Twitter account, he only has about 1000 followers. I have non-celebrity friends with more than double that - and he never even made a mention that he was in the game, so he's clearly proud of it. The only other music in the game is the option to have instrumental versions, of the same songs, play in the menus.

If I had to recommend a rally game I'd say "get DiRT 4". V-rally is a good second choice rally game, while you wait for DiRT Rally 2. 

Bry Wyatt

V-Rally 4 at CeX

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