Some Characteristics of a Realistic Rally Game

Here’s two difficult and also very realistic or so to say simulation type of rally games. The first one I have right here is Richard Burns Rally for PC. It is already a bit old game but it’s also still very popular and liked game. The next one we have right here is a newer, it’s actually from 2019, rally game called Dirt Rally 2.0. The end of the name, two point o, comes from an early rally game called Colin McRae Rally 2.0. I don’t know why they actually decided to add that “point o” to the end originally but I think it sounds and looks nice. CMR 2.0 is one of my all time favorite games and it was released for PlayStation back in the 1990s.

How is it to play a realistic rally game one might ask. They are preferably played with a racing wheel and pedals. I however played these games with a gamepad. Richard Burns Rally is older game so I played it mainly with my Logitech RumblePad 2. I have Dirt Rally 2.0 for PC as a digital edition and I also have this game right in this featured image for PlayStation 4. While it is possible to play these both with a gamepad you have to think about lowering the difficulty. You have to consider turning some driving assists on and adjust the driving skills of your opponents. Both of these games can also be played against real human players through internet or maybe even local area network.

As these games are difficult to play you have to concentrate well to handle the car and to succeed in the progress. These games are not very forgiving ones. There are many differences if you compare a realistic rally game to a fun game like the one I already mentioned – Colin McRae Rally 2.0. The controls are more precise. There is a constant feel of danger. You can easily destroy your good stage time and even, if things go really bad, total your car so you get disqualified from the whole event.

Playing Colin McRae 2.0 is a lot of fun. You drive your car, make mistakes, even bad ones, but you still progress. Playing a game like Dirt Rally 2.0 makes you feel that any mistake you make, even a small one, can be disastrous. There is an appeal to both of these games. They aren’t necessarily a good game and a bad game. I just think they are very different kind of games.

As you may have already found out I am a seasoned racing gamer. My roots as a rally gamer go as deep as the roots of Colin McRae Rally series’s go. I was a fourteen year old kid as I stumbled on CMR. I think this was the moment when my deep interest towards rally gaming started. This game was actually so good that I remember that my good friends older brother that was already almost 30 years old became interested in playing PlayStation and eventually bought one for himself. Don’t ask how is it possible that my friends brother is over ten years older than me and my friend. I don’t have an answer to that question.

There are many racing games that I like and have gotten the opportunity to get into. It might be interesting to go through that list here. First on PlayStation 1 I played Colin McRae Rally 1 and 2, Driver and Gran Turismo. On original Xbox I got into Colin McRae 2005 and Burnout 3: Takedown. Later I played Dirt 3, Need for Speed Shift 1 and 2, F1 2010 and Gran Turismo 5 on PS3 and then I proceeded to PS4 with Dirt 4, Dirt Rally 1 and 2 and Gran Turismo 7. I have played also some titles on Xbox 360 and PC. There are many good racing game titles for PS2 also.

Playing racing games with a gamepad has been the most comfortable format of playing racing games for me. I have later used Xbox One and Xbox Series X gamepads for playing these games on a Windows PC. Windows has a nice support for Xbox gamepads. You can also hook up a PS4 controller very easily using a free app called DS4Windows. You can find it from your favorite search engine very easily. I have also earlier written about DS4Windows on this blog.

If you want to experience a realistic rally game you can spend some money and get yourself a racing wheel and pedals and I also recommend that you get a racing chair also. This can however take up a lot of space from your game room and it also costs you a lot of money. I think you can play racing games with a gamepad and at least get started in this way your journey to the world of racing games.

One good thing about racing games is that you very rarely get to experience a real accident where someone really also gets hurt. This is of course a point on any game. We can take a war game for an example, right?

Playing Some Dirt 4

I have been playing Dirt 4 a lot lately. I got to admit that I do like it as a rally game. It was released back in 2017. I have it for PS4, as a physical copy and also for PC. I have been playing it on my PC. The featured image is this time a screenshot of the rally of Sweden. I think the game feels better on PC. I am quite satisfied with my PDP controller. I have had some thoughts about buying this new controller that is actually Elite Pad 2. It would cost me something like 130 euros. I am considering still if I am going to buy it or not.

Codemasters is one heck of a rally game maker. There is some worries about what is going to happen now that Electronic Arts bought this game studio. This happened in 2021. Dirt 4 was released before that. There have been many good quality rally games released as games of Codemasters in 2010s. Back in the days when our retro games were newest games that existed Codemasters was delivering a heck of a quality. I got my introduction to rally video games as I played Colin McRae Rallly 2.0. I was actually first playing this and after some time I also just had to get my hands on the first game that was titled Colin McRae Rally.

Back in the 90s there were no serious competition for Codemasters. More recently there has been some competition in the form of a game series WRC. They have actually held the official game badge since they have had the rights to the license so they have been able to claim that they are the official rally game. I like also these new WRC games. I really got into them as late as 2020 when I bought WRC 9 for PC. Lately there have been games like WRC 8 for PS4 and WRC 10 and WRC Generations. I like these titles also.

Codemasters is responsible also of Dirt series. It started witb a game called Colin McRae Dirt and advanced into titles called Colin McRae: Dirt 2 and Dirt 3 and then again Dirt 4 and even Dirt 5, which in my opinion, slightly flopped as a video game. There is also Dirt Rally seiries that currently consists of two games. Dirt Rally games brings us gamers some simulation type of rally racing.

Dirt 4 is still a game you definitely would like to play. It has flashy graphics and even the soundtrack is bouncy. Driving feels somewhat challenging. Maybe not so realistic as in Dirt Rally. I like Dirt 4 a lot. One game that wasn’t mentioned, yet, is Richard Burns Rally. That is also a very good rally game. It is a bit old one but I can still recommend it to you if you don’t mind or if you are a retro fan.

All PS3 Racing Games (That I Own)

Today I started first playing a game for PlayStation 3. This game was Castlevania – Lords of Shadow. I played for some time. I had an idea of a new blog post about some of my favorite games for PS3. I thought about racing games because these are my favorite type of games. I remember many good games that can be said to be in this category.

First I thought that I would like to introduce all my driving games for PS3. I started picking up these games. Suddenly I understood that there were many titles that weren’t so good. I didn’t spend time with them so much. Some titles I had bought from flee markets and I haven’t played them at all. So there is a wide variety of games introduced here. I decided to write a paragraph of every driving or racing game that I currently own. So, here we go.

First in this pile of racing games is Test Drive Unlimited 2. I remember that I was excited about this game when I first got it. Test Drive is a classic and retro type of a game that was released for PC back in the day. However, I didn’t enjoy this game so much. I was actually a bit short of money and I thought twice about even buying this game.

Next we have Dirt 3. It is the third game in a series of Colin McRae Rally Dirt games. This is a very good rally game. I played it for so many hours. I also got my first experience of a setup that I used a racing wheel and pedals. This game I can definitely recommend.

Then there’s Ridge Racer 7. I am sorry for the picture is a bit dark and I can actually barely see the title of the game in this picture. This game is more of an arcade racing game but don’t let that fool you. There’s lots of stuff in there if you play this game. The feel of driving is very different than in any other racing game.

Need for Speed – Undercover is one these games that I’ve found from flee market. Actually I think I have never even launched this game with my PS3. I think it is a typical NFS game that get released so so often. So I don’t have a much to say about this.

Gran Turismo 5 is the first Gran Turismo game that was released for PS3. I played this for some time but I didn’t like it that much. It is a decent game but I think Gran Turismo 6 and 7 are better and of course Gran Turismo 4 might be the best out of all games in the series.

Colin McRae Dirt is a very nice rally game. I think Dirt 3 is still better. I just liked it more. Dirt 3 has also a very nice soundtrack. There is also a second Dirt game for PS3 but I only have it for Xbox 360 and not for PS3.

I really liked Burnout 3 Takedown. So I was anxious to buy this new Burnout game back in the day. And this game was Burnout Paradise. It has a funny soundtrack. That’s where the title of the game comes from. It had a huge open world of diffeerent kinds of roads and goals. I didn’t play this game so much.

Need for Speed Shift is a game that I was practically addicted to back in 2010 and 2011 when this game was actually the best racing, at least in my opinion, game that was available. Very nice game. In can definitely recommend this one if you like this genre.

F1 2011 was sort of an update to F1 2010. I never played this game. I didn’t buy it when it was actually first released. I got it many years later from flee market for very cheap price. Might be a good game. I don’t have anything more to say about it. Maybe I have some day time to get into it. Well, there are some newer F1 titles available so I will probably not.

This is a bit longer post than what I usually write. But it’s a nice subject. So, lets move on to the next game of this pile of racing games. And it is Shift 2 Unleashed. It is a sequel to the first Shift game. I found this game to be very enjoyable. And you can figure why I went and bought this sequel. Because I of course liked the first game so much.

F1 2010 begun a series of high quality F1 games. It was a decent game. I just didn’t play it all the way through. It offers a variety of difficulty. I tried this game also with wheel and pedals. This is a nice game. I can recommend it if you are into this genre and platform.

Last, and maybe the least, heh, is a game titled Formula One – Championship Edition. I think this cost me three euros. So, what the heck…why wouldn’t I pick this up. I remember that the disc was in a decent condition. Otherwise I wouldn’t have bought this one. And…I never have played this game.

There you go. We just went through all racing games for PS3 that I currently own. And, I almost forgot one game. That is Gran Turismo 6. I just played this recently so it wasn’t directly on my shelf. It is a very good game and you should play it.

One Nice Retro Rally Game

Yesterday, after a typical working day, I found myself playing, again, this classic rally game. The game is titled Rally Trophy. It was released in 2001 only for Microsoft Windows . So, this means it can be played with a PC that has Windows. I did buy this game back in the day. I don’t think it’s available anymore. And I don’t know if it’s really necessary to buy it. I of course have it in my PC game collection and I even have it as an actual physical game disc.

This game was brought to us, gamer persons, by a Finnish game company named Bugbear. I remember when I get to realize back in the day that this game was actually developed in my home country. I made a search through internet and found the e-mail address of the company. I was excited but I don’t remember did I actually send them any e-mail message or not. There were some game companies here in Finland and I felt this need to be a game designer even back when I was only a teenager going to high school. So, I don’t remember if I did or did not send them my resume when I was looking for a job later in my life. I did send an application to Remedy and that I can remember clearly.

Not so many people have the actual skill to work as a game developer. Be it a programmer or a 3D modeler or maybe even a software tester. You have to have some experience under your belt and some projects that you can show your skills with. Today there are lots of people that have just been graduated and cannot find a job anywhere. They will end up to getting any job that they can get. And that’s the way it goes. But not back in 2001 when some very skillful game programmers could show their level of skill. I think many people got their skills back in the 80s and with a Commodore 64. It was a way to get to know the hardware and also the software.

Rally Trophy is a nice driving game. It isn’t actually an arcade type of a game. Although the driving technique isn’t hard to learn it is a bit different if you compare it to some other driving game of this particular era. There are some vehicles for you to choose from. I took a Ford mainly because it was the most powerful one. It has a horse power of 140. The driving means in this game very much trying to keep your speed above 100 km per hour all the time. There’s not a lot room for braking or accelerating. Somehow I still find this driving style satisfying. It brings a unique feel to this game.

I played this game with a Windows 10 PC and with my Xbox One Elite controller. I had to run some patches and also a fix to get this game to work. I was actually able to configure my game pad after all. The game has a maximum resolution of 1920×1080. I think that graphics of this game still look very nice. A bit retro styled but nice. It was at first hard to try to play the game. I banged my head with these first four stages of the first rally for maybe two hours. That was yesterday. Today I started playing again. I played for some time and I managed to finish every rally in the top six and the season ended and I placed third in the season.

There are some cars to unlock but I didn’t care to figure out further how to do this. I think this was it for me for this game. If you wish to play this classic there is some information available if you do a search on your favorite search engine. I also advice to go to a website named My Abandonware where you can find lots of games including the one I was just writing to you about.

I Don’t Mind That a Game Is a Bit Old

Sometimes I don’t realize how fast time keeps moving. If you consider that Colin McRae Dirt 2 was released thirteen years ago you probably get my point. In my opinion this rally game has aged beatifully. It is still a very good game. Maybe not the best of this series but you have to consider the quality of the games that you compare it to.

As you might think already I started going through all these games that I haven’t had enough time to try to complete. It is nice to understand that when you spend some time playing a game it kind of reveals itself and you can really get into the game you are playing. It takes time, doesn’t it.

Colin McRae Dirt 2 has a specific style of driving that you’ll have to adapt to. It isn’t a simulator racing game. Driving in this game differs a bit from some other racing games that I have recently played so it takes some time to adjust to it. It isn’t so difficult after all. You can also in this game adjust the difficulty level if you find driving too easy or even too hard.

There’s lots of visual detail in this rally game. You get to know some actual persons that are driving the vehicles. As you have probably figured you get to drive rally cars and you also have many more types of cars that you have to drive. I think that’s where the “dirt” in the games name comes from.

Some other racing games that I have recently played are, of course, Burnout 3 Takedown, WRC 10 and Forza Motorsport 6. If we compare this game to these other racing games I can say that Colin McRae Dirt 2 offers a very good, maybe a bit easy, experience for the player. There is a challenge also if you adjust the difficulty. You can also set damage on or completely off. It is common, at least for me as I drive these driving games aggressively, to bump in to another racer.

Colin McRae Dirt 2 is one of those games that I have thought about playing for a long time. As other Dirt / Colin McRae rally game titles are very familiar to me I like this game. I still have a lot to play. I am hoping to complete this game and it looks good so far. I have now put six hours to playing this game.

WRC Series (8, 9 and 10)

I don’t remember, at least clearly, why I didn’t get into WRC series earlier. I do remember that one if this game series’s game flopped very badly. This kept me from starting to play a game in this series. It was back in late 2020 when I got my newest PC and I wanted to buy a game for it. So, I read some reviews and soon I was on my way to order a physical copy of WRC 9.

This was my introduction to the series. I am a big fan of Colin McRae Rally games and also racing and rally games in general. Driving games might be my favorite genre of games. I enjoyed WRC 9. It was a good game. Maybe a bit over half of a year after this positive experience I saw WRC 8 for PS4 in my favorite super market that has a section for gaming products. It’s price was about 20 euros. I decided to purchase it. And I wasn’t disappointed.

What about WRC 10? I recently got my Xbox Series X. WRC 10 was actually the second game that I bought for Xbox Series X. I had bought many digital copies of some games but my first and second games were GTA Trilogy and after that WRC 10.

WRC 10 had received some bad reviews. Finnish Gamereactor gave it 5/10. This score made me really consider about my purchase seriously. I find Gamereactor to usually be a realiable source when I think about buying a new game. Some other reviews, I am not right now mentioning these two blogs names, said, actually something like, “this game isn’t perfect but if you are a true rally game fan, you should definitely buy it”.

One other factor that made think about not to buy WRC 10 was that I already know that there is a new game, WRC Generation, going to be released soon. After all I went and bought WRC 10. I thought that since it was available and I would have at least some weeks to play it before starting to plan on playing WRC Generations I made this decision. Also the price was in my opinion right. I only had to pay about 35 euros for this game.

Just yesterday I got my WRC 10 from mail. The installation process was a bit slow, but it is the same with every new game. They seem to take up some space and more than some years earlier. So the process of installing a game today can take a long time. I have played it only for like two or three hours. At this moment it seems to be a good and solid rally game. I have to adjust my driving style for this game since I have played recently a lot of Forza Motorsport 3. I think WRC 10 is more of a simulation game than FM3.

There are some comments on those reviews that I wrote above. The driving seems more comfortable if you have a wheel and pedals. It might be more difficult to play with a game pad. I can say that graphics, being 4K and displayed from a 4K screen, are absolutely amazing. And you must also consider that this game has a license so you are going to experience all real cars, drivers and teams. Also, this license is going next year (2023) to Codemasters so we are also waiting for a rally game from them.

I really have to get more into WRC 10 and soon. As I am an adult and I have responsibilities, I don’t have all day every day, twenty-four-seven three-six-five for gaming, you know? To summarize, I have some experience of latest games in WRC series and I can recommend them. Especially if you are a rally game fan.

Some Good and Recently Released Rally Games

I started playing WRC 9 at end of last year. So it was December 2020. I had just got a new PC. This was the first game I bought. I had heard about some earlier WRC games. Let me say that this is definitely a series of games and not only one game. But I heard that one game in this series is very bad and you should not buy it. I thought that maybe it was only one bad game. You shouldn’t judge the whole series with one game.

So I read a review of WRC 9 as players often do before they buy a game. WRC 9 received a good grade. I think it was 8 out of 10. So I decided to buy it. It was a good decision. I really enjoyed the game.

I had earlier already played Dirt Rally 2.0. I was very excited about it when it was released back in 2019. I bought it just some days after it was released. I was confident that it would offer me good time. It promised to bring you a good driving experience even if you play, as I do, with only game pad instead of a driving wheel and pedals. I don’t play with wheel and pedals. I haven’t really ever got in to it. It would be a more realistic experience but I just can’t seem to learn so much of it for me to make the transition. I have actually played with game pad since I first started playing the first Gran Turismo and a bit after it Colin McRae Rally 2.0.

The latest rally game I purchased was WRC 8 for PS4. I found it in sale from a supermarket. It’s nowadays somewhat rare to find games from super markets but I made a find. It’s price was about half the price it was originally. I found it to be a very good rally game also.

So these are some latest rally games that I’ve played. They all offer a certain and good feel of driving. WRC 8 and 9 are a bit more playable and Dirt Rally 2.0 offfers a bit more realistic feel. Of course you can tweak the settings and make the game more difficult if you wish to. I am not going in to detail with this post. Dirt Rally 2.0 is designed by Codemasters. WRC is a bit younger series of rally games. Codemasters has delivered us some very good titles in the history of rally games. You probably remember Colin McRae Rally. I wrote recently about it and…you probably guessed it…it is my alltime favorite game.

So if you are looking for a good rally game here are some recommendations. We didn’t get so deep in this text. I just don’t really know how to approach this subject. I can see how developers’s algortithms work in here. At least I can figure out how the feel of driving is getting simulated. So basically your computer reads what buttons you press in which time and defines where your car is positioned and so on…it’s very complex. But my knowledge as a programmer and player, also, bring me to the point where I can actually see what goes on under the hood so to say.

All of these games are definitely more like driving simulations instead of arcade driving games that have more play ability inside. If you want to know more about games like these keep following me and you can definitely have some experience of driving a real racing or rally car. It would definitely help you. I really think there is no right or wrong. This is just some of my thinking. And…I believe the main designer that was behind the first Dirt Rally was a real expert in his field. He had a deep knowledge of games and cars.

Studying Physics in Colin Mc Rae Rally 2.0

Colin Mc Rae Rally 2.0 is a very interesting game in many ways. I wrote recently about different strategies you can have in this game. Now I would like to return to the physics and how this part of the game is handled. I think this game was the first rally game and also among some first racing games that I really liked (Gran Turismo was also great) and got into. It was released for PC and PS1. I played both of them.

There is no doubt that the way CMR 2.0 handles the part of physical modeling was in its time revolutionary. I know lots about games but I also have studied a bit of physics. I have learned physics mainly through school and by studying it in a school of applied sciences. However I am not a physicist. I am more of a software designer. So I know about some coding stuff also. This might open this fact a bit of how I find thinking about these subjects extremely interesting.

I haven’t seen any source code from this game. This is a commercial game and its code isn’t open source. I think for many of the fans of this game this doesn’t come as a surprise. The game was hugely popular. Releasing it as a freeware would be, well, stupid, you might say. However there are some very interesting details that open up for me as I play this rally game.

Let’s think about friction. It deals with surfaces. In a car you can have different tires that behave differently on different surfaces of road. So this is one thing. While driving on icy or snowy road you might want to use chains with tires. While driving on tarmac you want to use soft tires. And on wet surface you use special tires that perform nice on for example wet tarmac. Same goes for muddy surfaces or roads that are of gravel. You have to have a good grip on the road you are driving and friction can give you this.

There is a force that is effective on any road that you can drive on the whole planet Earth. It is called gravity. You have to have good and sufficient suspension in your car. On roads that are bumpy you have to have more suspension for overcoming the differences of altitude. Too much suspension is not good either if you drive on flat road.

You can also break and accelerate. You turn the wheel in right direction at a right time. The key is to try to steer correctly or at least keep the car moving as fast as possible. If you don’t break at a correct time you get to grass or some other surface that slows you down. Crashing also slows you down. This has everything to do with a thing called momentum. If an object doesn’t receive any push to any direction it keeps moving with the speed it has to the direction it is moving. At different time there is different amount of push to the vehicle. If nothing gets pushed the car keeps moving. Bigger objects take more power to get moving and are slower to stop moving. So the more mass you have the slower you are.

I think this is enough physics. I repeat what I said earlier. This is not so precise of a study. I haven’t seen any source code and I didn’t describe my theory so thoroughly. I hope this motivates you to learn more about physics. You can find more information using your favorite search engine. I definitely feel that you will get more excited about this particular rally game.

Thinking About Strategy in Colin McRae Rally 2.0

There are basically two ways to think about your car settings in Colin McRae Rally 2.0. You can concentrate on driving and copy the best settings from a strategy guide (which is actually available through internet for free) or you can actually test your car with different settings and change them to your own liking. Testing your car to find a good setting can take time. In this text I would like to describe how these settings take impact on your car in this game. I will tell you what each setting will do. So let’s get to it!

There are different settings in this game for tires. Basically you have slick tires that are good for stages that are mainly driven on tarmac. Spikes are good for ice. There are also settings for wet and dry mud and wet and dry gravel. So yo have to choose your tires based on how the surface of the road is. This is pretty simple. You just choose a right tires for each type of road surface.

There are however some settings that aren’t so clear on what they have effect on. Well, actually “gearbox” isn’t so complicated. You can set your acceleration to maximum level but then you loose some top speed. And you can also set your top speed to maximum and you will lose some acceleration. Good acceleration is nice for stages that have many corners and high top speed is better on stages that have long straight parts. That makes sense doesn’t it.

“Suspension” can be adjusted to soft setting on stages that are bumpy or that have many jumps. When driving on flat stages and also stages that have tarmac on their road it is recommended to adjust suspension to hard. You can also adjust your breaks and power of your car to have a tendency to under or over steer. And finally the last setting you have to worry about, that is called “Steering” tells you how sensitively you can steer your car. It can react fast or it can react a bit slower to how you turn your driving wheel (or press the buttons if you are playing this game with a game pad).

If you don’t like to fiddle with the settings and you want to just drive here’s a link to the strategy guide of Colin McRae Rally 2.0.

The legacy of Colin McRae Rally

Now that Dirt 5 is coming to us later this year it would be nice to think about how Codemasters started this whole rally game thing. So it was 1998 and PS1 was the best and most popular gaming system out there. We had already seen some really good racing games. Gran Turismo was released early in 1998. The first Colin McRae Rally game was good, but in my opinion, the second game was even better. It had some awesome physics modeling that made it the most realistic rally game of its time. Back then racing games were mainly played with gamepad instead of a wheel and pedals. This made playing not so realistic but also really fun and it also demanded a good concentrating.

Two first games were popular. Third game, Colin McRae Rally 3, was released on the next generation of gaming consoles. It was released for PC, PS2 and original Xbox. I really liked this game also. Graphics are better than in the first two games but the feeling and controlling is very much like in these first two games. Colin McRae Rally 04 and Colin McRae Rally 2005 followed some years after. It tells a lot about this games popularity that there were so many games released. It actually had competitors. One really good simulation rally game was Richard Burns Rally. Some players thought that Colin McRae games weren’t actually the most realistic racing games that existed. That was about to change. But it took several years for Codemasters to develop its most realistic rally simulation game yet. I am talking about new games that were released to PS4.

Dirt series started with Colin McRae DiRT. It brought nice rally driving experience along with some other kinds of vehicles for players to drive with. It was a good racing game. It was followed by Colin McRae Dirt 2 and Dirt 3 that were both released, also with the Dirt series’s first game, on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. I talked about how Codemasters were also beginning to develop a racing game that would be more realistic. The game, which also has a sequel, was Dirt Rally. It was released for PS4 along with PC and Xbox One. It brought realistic driving experience to players that could even use wheel and pedals to play this racing simulation.

Surely there are many racing games and even series’s of racing games. Colin McRae Rally is still very important to me and close to my hearth. It introduced me to rally games. I also played other racing games, but not really any other rally games. With Dirt Rally 2.0 and Dirt 4 released already some years ago rally game fans will know where they are turning their heads to as they need some more rally gaming experinces. The saga continues as Dirt 5 will be released later this year.

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