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Take A First Look At DiRT 4’s Your Stage Feature

Codemasters have released a first video developer diary of their upcoming DiRT 4 title.

Codemasters have released a first video developer diary of their upcoming DiRT 4 title.

Featuring real rally drivers Petter Solberg & Kris Meeke, the video gives us a first look at the title’s new “Your Stage” feature.

The feature will allow players to create random rally stages in five locations (Australia, Spain, Michigan, Sweden, and Wales), the aspects of the created stages can be influenced with three sliders:

  • Time of day
  • Weather conditions
  • Stage length

While DiRT Rally was all focused on classical stage rallying as seen in the World Rally Championship (and subsequent addition of rally cross), DiRT 4 will bring back other forms of off-road racing into the mix that were already part of the first three DiRT titles.

DiRT 4 will be coming to the PC, Playstation 4 & Xbox One in June 2017.

  • Marc Collins

    “Your Stage” is exactly what I have always dreamed about in a rally sim. I may have to buy Dirt 4 just to support this development even though I suspect the sim elements will be mediocre as in Dirt Rally (i.e., not physics-based car responses to a dynamic road surface, but a “magic carpet” of canned FFB effects that the car passes over as it careens through the course).

    • Leynad

      It´s questionable to judge physics just from the FFB. Watch the video “Force Dynamics 401cr motion simulator – Dirt Rally” on Youtube and it seems, it´s not all “canned”.

      • Marc Collins

        I didn’t say the physics were canned. It’s the FFB that is canned. And the cars do not respond directly to the road surface (which is kind of important in a rally sim; not so important in a rally game). In fact, the road surface may not be modelled in the traditional sim sense even if the cars could respond. Only the devs could reply with specifics, but most people don’t care. (By the way, I am talking about DiRT Rally and using it, not watching a video.)

        The physics as implemented are a console-style “experiential” approach that satisfies most people. Not me, but who cares? It does a decent job of approximating a plausible response to inputs. It just lacks resolution and the direct connection that for some of us would make it so much more fun.

        I was simply pointing out that if “Your Stage” was combined with more serious simulation, this title would become legendary in the sim community (that is too small for most publishers to care about).

        It will enhance the gaming experience, as intended.

      • Race Nut

        I admit, my experience with Dirt Rally FFB is not great with most wheels using game-FFB however; using SimCommander (AccuForce) FFB reveals that the game physics are far more capable – it’s just that they don’t translate through the steering systems to their full potential IMO.

      • Marc Collins

        So when you drive over a small berm at the side of the track, you can feel something approximating what you should feel? The FFB when you hit a small depression in the road or go over a small rock at 1 km/h feels appropriate compared to when you are going faster over the same surface?

      • Race Nut

        I’m not sure I follow your question regarding how the small berm should feel but, I can only say that the FFB through SC4 is totally different than the Game FFB, in a good way. I haven’t noticed anything that feels strange or seems out of place, or feels canned but, maybe you are looking for something more specific.

      • Marc Collins

        Well then DiRT 4 should be great if they just program the FFB for normal wheels properly!

  • Jag England

    The feature is great, a dream come true!
    But why are the locations so few and that boring? Where are the other great countries of rallying?

    • Race Nut

      Probably coming in future DLC / expansion. Even though the new stage generation is extremely flexible, it still requires a huge investment to develop the assets and make it work properly. Limited time and money are always going to be an issue for development; at some point, they have to pay the bills.

    • Rodger Davies

      They have to make some choices, I guess with the amount of work they’ve had to put into making the tool.

      They’ve got five areas, each visually unique and with their own surface (UK – mud, Australia – heavy gravel, USA – light gravel, Sweden – snow, Spain – tarmac), which cover several regions of the globe and which don’t require large vistas or roads on a mountainside (which might be more difficult to do). I’d speculate that these are more difficult to do, as would changeable conditions between ice and tarmac (both of which describe the obvious omission, Monte Carlo), but I hope they can work on these and release some new environments as DLC.

      To be honest, it was the lack of stages that was an issue for me in DiRT Rally, not the number of locations – I would have taken more stages in their existing locations over new environments every time, if given the choice, so I’m looking forward now to lengthy events in any of these.

      I was originally cynical about the choice of Michigan over Finland, but having researched a little more I felt like a bit of a snob; it does seem like it is the hub of US rallying and deserves a place in game. Also, from the autumnal shots in the video above, it looks superb.

      • Race Nut

        Having driven many of the remote roads in and around Michigan personally, I can tell you there have been many times when I thought “wow, what a great Rally stage this would make”; narrow, hilly, winding roads, mostly woodlands, gravel, mud, ice & snow. 🙂

      • Bakkster

        Having spent four years in college overlooking the lift bridge, I’m excited to see it return from Dirt 3.

  • Dean Doucette

    A “must buy” for me.

    • Race Nut

      I will likely buy it but, I may wait and see how some of the handling reviews stack up; overall, the game sounds great so far though. Dirt Rally is fun as is but, I’m still hoping for improvements in handling.

      • Franklin Silva

        Dirt Rally handling is perfect for me. Hope the arcade option does not change the current handling level.

      • Bakkster

        They said they’re improving the fidelity of the Dirt Rally physics, and the arcade will simply be a separate option for those who choose it.

  • Sloeri

    Will most likely be as good as Dirt Rally, which did set a new standard for recent rally games. biggest question for me, will be …. STAGE LENGTH… hope we can finally get some massive stages. (25km+)

    • Race Nut

      The longest possible stage will about the same as Dirt Rally due to technical limitations but, Codies said they will continue to push for increases over time.

      • anonymouse

        “Technical limitations” in 2017 is like saying games from a decade ago can’t load 72km tracks and a full field of cars. Oh wait…

      • Bakkster

        Art assets are higher detail and take more memory than they used to, and developers know that unless you’re intentionally marketing a game as retro that players demand those up-to-date graphics that cause these limitations.

      • Franklin Silva

        Maybe a limitation for Codemasters.

      • Race Nut

        Every title has compromises that have to be made in order to make deadlines, satisfy investors, or improve the experience for the majority. It doesn’t have to turn into another conspiracy theory. 🙂

  • WesleySmalls

    I don’t know what part of the generated stage would be “mine”

  • Delicious Points

    The problem with Dirt Rally was that it was too difficult. The learning curve was so high that it took time to get used to it. And if you don’t play it again for at least a month, you lose that ‘feel’. And I think that is what turned off many players, including me.

    Now, I’m not saying to make it more ‘arcadey’ or dumb down the simulation, it’s still terrific. But to find a perfect spot like Project Cars would be a must for this next title!

    • Race Nut

      It seems quite a challenge to make a racing title where one size fits all – especially with Rally due to the need for much narrower pathways needed to satisfy the Simulation market.

      I can see where some players find it too difficult but, it’s not realistic enough for some either and there’s a world of difference between RL and Simulation in regard to how we process car physics so there will always be a wide range of opinions at play.

      Pcars fell short of satisfying most of the Sim crowd; hopefully SMS can improve on it significantly in Pcars2. The only way to satisfy the widest range of players is to get the physics and FFB right first, then make the assist’s work for beginners and novices – some of which, will go on to become hardcore Sim-racers.

    • Steve K

      honestly, i find the difficulty very reasonable. Although I really crash most of the time and it gets really frustrating, but that’s what kept me going back to the game when I needed a good challenge. Due to my poor connection I cant join online races so I really enjoy it.