Downloaded as I used to love messing around on rally games but haven't owned one since since Colin McRae Rally 4 on PS2.
Wasn't sure at first, after crashing on the loading screen on my first attempt at a championship, the game then thew me into the deep end with the Fulvia at Argentina. After blowing all my restarts, the objective very soon became about preserving the last of my headlights which I then managed to smash the on the stop marshal's leg at the end of the 3rd stage meaning that the 4th (night) stage was going to be impossible forcing me to quit. At the same time as Codemasters' server decided to quit and I was unable to start a new championship.
This pushed me into the Freeplay area where I tried out a few different cars. I soon realised the cars I'd been looking forward to trying (F2 Kit Cars) were DLC.
Fast forward 24 hours and I seemed to be having more joy with the Fulvia winning 6/6 rallys and starting to enjoy myself. I decided that for £15.99 the Year One Pass is actually a bargain and effectively gives you the full game for half price and would unlock the cars my inner V-Rally/Colin McRae Rally nostalgia junkie wanted to drive (306 Maxi, Ibiza Kit Car and the Impreza WRC).
Now equipped with the Seat, I jumped into a second championship. At this point I started to wonder if I'd just wasted my money as suddenly I'm now 12th and struggling to keep pace and another quit ensued. I'm hoping it was the combination of the New England stages at night, learning a new car (which likes to swap ends under breaking for no good reason) and being a bit too tired to play properly, but if it's a sign of things to come I could see me losing interest fast.
I won't lie, the game has that typical Codemasters honeymoon period, where for the first 24 hours you're blow away by the little details; the car's appearance changing to suit the conditions (lamp pods, mud flaps, knobbly tyres) cars broken down on the stage, the atmosphere etc. Then it starts to go downhill fast. You suddenly find yourself driving the same stages (or shorter sections of) over and over again and those little one off details no longer seem special.
But the biggest issue is the progression or lack of. For the first rally, it's the carrot of looking forward to being able to choose your own car for the next one, but after that what are you shooting for? What's worse, is rather than simply unlocking them, the DLC gives you the bundled cars for free in the career mode as well as 2mil CR, suddenly any sense of working to climb the ladder is gone.
It's the same issue I had with Grid Autosport (though at least here the DLC gets incorporated into the career).
The long and the short of it is that I was suckered in enough to buy the DLC and this is not a new thing with me and Codemasters as I now recall ringing the cheats number on the back of the manual (remember that?!) and paying to unlock all the cars not long after to buying the game.
And I guess that's my relationship with rally games. I like to mess around, try different cars on different stages, but ultimately don't want to commit to simply playing them obsessively to get good.