The weather is warm, pollen is subsiding (for those of us whose lives it ruins) and the spirit of exploration is alive the air. Summer is here — not officially, but it sure feels that way. Rallying is motorsport’s version of the great outdoors, and so it’s only right that this week Jalopnik settles in with an off-road racer like Dirt 5. We’ll be playing it live at 4 p.m. Eastern at twitch.tv/jalopnikdotcom.
Dirt 5 isn’t exactly a new title, but it isn’t all that old either, having released at the end of 2020 alongside the current generation of consoles. And — controversial though it might be to say — it’s one of my favorite racers of the last few years, a troubled launch notwithstanding. (I mean, what big-budget game doesn’t release incomplete these days?)
Developed by the Codemasters Cheshire studio, the same team that made MotorStorm and Driveclub under Sony’s banner before Sony shut them down and Codemasters snapped them up, Dirt 5 is a thrilling old-school arcade racer with gorgeous visuals, engaging track design and a variety of rallying disciplines. No, it isn’t Dirt Rally, but that’s OK — we need arcade racers just like we need the real stuff, maybe more so.
Arguably Dirt 5’s most distinctive quality is its weather simulation, which throws all manner of snow, rain, wind and other phenomena at you at variable times of day. Developed from tech that had first been introduced in Driveclub, Dirt 5’s dynamic weather system is far and away the best in the business — richer and more dramatic than anything in Gran Turismo or either Forza series. It really is stunning to behold.
Steve DaSilva will be taking the reins for this one, so I’m excited to see how he gets on with the game. José Rodriguez Jr. will be there, too. And we have a lot of news to discuss! José tells me he’s recently driven the new Bronco, and I’m still thinking about that beautiful trailer for the new Forza Motorsport that we saw on Sunday. It’s all going down at 4 p.m. Eastern on Twitch.