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Codemasters has gone the Early Access route for their latest outing, DiRT Rally. The game just appeared on Steam's platform designed to help developers and gamers come together during the very early parts of a game's development for feedback and community establishment purposes.
The announcement came as a huge surprise to a lot of people because they didn't actually know it was coming. It's quite evident in the comment section of the recently released Early Access trailer that you can check out below.
The game, at the moment, only has three locations but there are 36 challenges for players to overcome. The game features 17 different rally cars, along with team management, rally championships, custom events, physics-based racing, tuning, damage and custom upgrades for each of the cars.
If you didn't know DiRT Rally was coming or are surprised that it's here, this was all part of Codemasters' plans. They made a comment on the update page, stating...
Today starts a new chapter in DiRT history; today we’re doing something that scares the absolute crap out of us, but in a good way. Today we’re not only announcing a new DiRT game but we’re making it available as an early access title on Steam... SURPRISE!
The response has been nothing but positive, proving that sometimes surprises are a good thing.
Many gamers are excited that Codemasters has returned to the DiRT series, and in particular the rally aspect of DiRT.
The last DiRT game that Codemasters worked on was DiRT Showdown from way back in 2012. Yep, that was back when the Xbox 360 and PS3 were still big dogs in the gaming scene.
Since then Codemasters pumped out some GRID titles and the annual F1 games. Earlier in the month the company did put out a complete edition for DiRT 3, giving fans something to chew on if they aren't entirely convinced that they should put money into the risky new Early Access of DiRT Rally.
I never really had time to thoroughly get into the DiRT games. I did enjoy what little I played of them, though. They really are focused heavily on capturing the physics and experience of offroad rally racing and giving gamers that intense feeling of speed and raw power away from the typical asphalt tracks associated with professional racing.
Based on the trailer above, the game appears to have a solid grasp on the physics side of things. If the trailer was captured in 60fps it might even fool some gamers into thinking that DiRT crossed the boundary into the uncanny valley territory.
Using Early Access, Codemasters hopes to develop and grow DiRT Rally in cohesion with the gaming community. They're planning on introducing new features and fixes and using the feedback and discussion threads to help shape the direction of the game. While Steam Early Access gets a lot of flak for some games being unfinished, sometimes it is useful for scenarios like this where the community wants to get involved with the developmental progress of the game and the developers want the community involved.
We'll see how it all turns out in the coming months. For now, DiRT Rally is 10% off the standard Early Access price, meaning you can pick up a digital copy from the Steam store for only $31.49.