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Dirt 5 Is An Underrated Game Pass Arcade Racer

Courtesy of Codemasters

Dirt 5

Developer: Codemasters
Publisher: Codemasters
Release Date: November 6, 2020
Available as: Digital and Physical

A Year Ago, Dirt 5 Was The Next-Gen Benchmark

The dawn of a new generation in console gaming is always the most exciting for several reasons. Despite the ongoing problem involving console shortage, it would be interesting to see which title would take the mantle as a "launch date game." Not to leave the previous-gen left out, Dirt 5 was released a few days earlier on the PS4 and Xbox One. The "next-gen" version would be released on the launch dates of both the PS5 and Xbox Series X.

Being the first racing game released on a new console comes in a tall order as the game has to be grounded in its simplicity to show what the new consoles are capable of. Over the Summer of 2021, Dirt 5 along with many other racing titles would make its way on the Game Pass. The title was another notch in Codemasters' Dirt belt since the original was released in 2007. After 13 years and over 8 games in the series, despite the name, Dirt 5 is a game that inoffensively returns to its roots.

Dirt 5
Dirt 5 - PC Direct Capture

Dirt 5, Powered By Donut Media

Dirt 5 is a game made by fans of racing, for fans of racing, during the age of the internet. This is evident with Dirt 5's narrators, Donut Media's own James Pumphrey and Nolan Sykes. Donut Media is the "go-to" for YouTube media involving cars, with James and Nolan being color personalities with their own unique videos. The former is most known for their on-and-off-again miniseries, Up To Speed, which are mini-documentaries on motorsport history.

Players will hear the duo as they introduce the new kinds of racing types available in Dirt 5. These range from simple Point to Point races to circuit racing and heavily modified buggies. The game follows a map mechanic where the player can choose which race to focus on. For each race, there are objectives that the player must complete. These include driving over the speed limit, drifting, and maintaining pole position for a certain amount of time. Completing these objectives while finishing the race earns the player medals, which unlocks more events.

Dirt 5

Dirt 5's Graphics Are Amazing When Its Potential Is Unlocked

Serving as a reminder that Dirt 5 was the first racing game released on next-generation consoles, expectations for Codemasters were at an all-time high. While not achieving the graphical fidelity of Polyphony Digital, with Gran Turismo 7 right around the corner, Codemasters managed to create a visual marvel. Running the game on the highest setting, alternating between 1440p and other higher resolutions, realistic details on the cars and environment are abundant.

Reflections including water and vehicles are great. with the desert sun beaming across the paint and the rain sliding off the cars. With Ray Tracing unlocked, Dirt 5 is a totally new experience, with impressive visuals giving each race a new life. The best part was that despite the graphical enhancements, the lowest my FPS got was in the 40s. With Ray Tracing off and resolution kept a native 1080p, I was experiencing FPS well above 60.

Dirt 5

One Of The Most Simplistic Modern Arcade Racers That's Well Optimized

In the end, Dirt 5 embraces the "pick up and play" that made the Dirt series popular while also defining the Dirt series in its entirety. With many games carrying the Dirt brand, there are spinoffs that feature a little bit of something for all kinds of rally fans. Those who wish to explore the gritty realism of Rally driving would look no further than the Dirt Rally series. The core series captures the ease of controls, glitz, glam, and grime that began from its humble beginnings as a simcade.

With a rig that can fully capture the vision that Codemasters had set on its debut for the next-gen, Dirt 5 is as beautiful as it is fun to play. Very few is compromised except an extensive car list, choosing rally favorites over hundreds of cars. Regardless, Codemasters managed to release a title that resonates with its fanbase over a year later. When scrolling through a potential game to spend a weekend on through Game Pass, consider Dirt 5 a try.

Dirt 5

Dirt 5 was released on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC

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