Codemasters is continuing its monthly tease of DIRT 5’s content, ticking off the pages of the calendar as the October launch hoves into view.
We’ve already heard about the new career mode, with Troy Baker and Nolan North voicing the main non-player characters, and the range of car categories. July’s appetite-whetter is the events and locations of the game which promises to celebrate all forms of off-road driving.
There’s ten distinct geographical settings for DIRT 5, taking in five continents (sorry, Oceania). Each is brand new, and features several different routes and types of event. Each has its own main theme, but as all have dynamic “extreme” weather, there’s quite a mix of conditions on offer.
North America, and indeed the USA, gets two locations. There’s the desert and canyons of Arizona, which also has a purpose-built Sprint oval, and Roosevelt Island in New York City’s East River. This latter location might put you on city streets, or racing on the frozen river beneath the Queensboro Bridge. Brazil is the game’s sole South American location, where you can race through the Tijuca Forest, or the favelas.
Heading to Africa, you can visit the far north or south, with locations in Morocco or South Africa. Cape Town will have you driving in the city and at Table Mountain, while Morocco promises more open routes through the desert.
China and Nepal are Asia’s entries, with the Himalayas the setting for the latter — which means high-altitude, and ice aplenty. You’ll visit the relatively rural Guangxi region of China, and drive through paddy fields, and plenty of mud.
The remaining three locations are all in Europe. You’ll visit snow-packed courses in Norway, high mountain passes in Greece, and a marble mine in Italy, all of which promises to destroy your car at a moment’s notice.
In addition, Codemasters has revealed all of the different event types in DIRT 5. Many will be familiar, with Gymkhana, Time Trial, Rally Raid, and Sprint events all being standard off-road fare. As the name would suggest, Ice Breaker is DIRT 5’s ice-racing mode, while Ultra Cross is rallycross turned up until it hurts.
Stampede races send you off on unmarked routes over particularly harsh terrain, and Landrush brings that ethos into a circuit environment. Lastly there’s a new event mode called Path Finder. That takes place on “seriously hardcore off-road terrain”, where the goal is simply to, as Kirk Lazarus would say… survive.
Codemasters has also revealed the box art for DIRT 5, with both standard and Amplified Edition featuring the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. In addition, it has confirmed that PlayStation 4 buyers will have parity with Xbox One owners: there will be a free upgrade to next-generation consoles whether you buy digital or physical versions of the game. That’s the first confirmation we’ve had from a developer of this facility being available for Sony’s platform.