Review: Art of Rally
We’ve been quite lucky with racing games in 2020. First off there was the release of the awesome Hotshot Racing, and now we are treated to the excellent Art of Rally. The big question is, can it take pole position from my favourite top down racer Mantis Burn Racing?
The first thing to strike me about Art of Rally are the absolutely beautiful graphics. There is so much talk at the moment about ray tracing, more powerful graphics cards, as well as new consoles which are capable of 4k gaming. Don’t get me wrong, I love graphics pushing the technological boundaries, but there is something timeless about the look of Art of Rally.
The ‘art’ in the title of the game perfectly sums up how I would describe the overall look, as it feels like a work of art. The game has a pastel shade quality which looks absolutely stunning in places. When you are racing through a snowy tundra and see the glow of the sunset hit the screen it really makes the game pop! The cars themselves looks fantastic as they snake and weave around the various tracks, especially as the dirt and the smoke kicks up from under the tyres as you speed around the corners.
No matter how good the game looks, handling is the most important thing when it comes to driving games, and Art of Rally does a great job when you’re behind the wheel. I’ve never been in a rally car before, but I can imagine part of the thrill is fighting with the steering wheel, as you desperately try to keep the car on the road. There is a sense of weight as your car takes a corner, and you can definitely tell the difference when you’re racing on a road, compared to racing in a snowy or muddy area.
Art of Rally takes a top down viewpoint, but the camera can be changed to a chase mode which hovers slightly above the back of your car. I prefer this view from a racing standpoint, but the birds eye view gives you more perspective of the gorgeous world, so it comes down to personal preference.
Art of Rally takes you on a journey through the golden years and decades of rally driving, with over 60 rally stages set in Finland, Sardinia, Norway, Japan and Germany. Each area has its own distinctive feel which takes you from snowy and muddy terrain, to careening around corners in blossom filled forests.
As you progress through the races there are new cars to unlock, as well as new liveries. In fact, there are over 50 cars available as you progress. There aren’t any licenced vehicles in the game, but you can tell exactly what they are by looking at them. For example, the Meanie is a Mini and The Esky is a Ford Escort.
The one slight criticism I have is you are always racing to get the fastest time, rather than racing against other drivers. I know rally driving is a different sport to racing, but this would have been a nice option to have. The career mode will keep you busy for a while, as well as the other modes which include:
- Time Attack
- Custom Rally
- Online Events
- Free Roam
Art of Rally is a fantastic racing game! It looks awesome and has lots to unlock and keep you occupied. I still think Mantis Burn Racing is my favourite racing game featuring a top down viewpoint, but Art of Rally pushes it to the limit.
Art of Rally is out now on PC.
Review by Chris.