The latest installment in the racing game series, Dakar Desert Rally, puts players in the front seat of steamed-up trucks, cars, motorcycles, and more in a high-octane race for the ages. Developer Saber Porto has brought Dakar back to the virtual world in style.
As I clamber into the rather impressive racing rig, Saber Porto's founder Paulo J. Gomes exclaims that there are no rules in Dakar. Some companies do not want their automobiles to be destroyed.
Paulo opens up a seemingly endless list of Arabian cars. Selecting a fancy looking car, I hit the start line with a burning desire in my heart. I take off at an astonishing speed, tracing my path through the pack and the next horizon, before I lose traction and hurtle into a tree.
The objective of this race is to beat the competition while staying on track by passing through various beacons. Either you go into the sands or stick to the path; just keep an eye on the trees and boulders.
I prefer to go in the more hospitable, casual-minded sport mode, but there are other options: professional and simulation. For avid simulation game enthusiasts, here is the hardcore option: by using a compass, a map of markers to watch out for, and those rusty orientation skills you acquired on that one outdoor school trip.
This is what makes the Dakar series so unique. Rally games have developed pace notes for years, but in Dakar it's extremely easy to overlook a wrong turn and forget it until your wheels are spinning up in deep sand. This guideline lists directions, cautions, section distances, and so much more for me to interpret while I try to maintain the car doing a 180.
After my first few attempts for a slightly less demanding experience, body and limb arent at danger. The result of the race is. There are no auto-saves as you drive, and damage too much means your car is gone.
Away from me, Glasgow, youll also be confronted with a slew of weather conditions that can change on the fly. One moment the sun is breaking the sky, the next your windshield is being pelted by some of the most realistic raindrops in gaming, making it nearly impossible to see whats ahead of you.
Dakar is fun to play, it's also stunning (and sometimes frightening) to see, and there's a lot to see there. Everything is scaled 1:125 based on the actual area, making Desert Rally the largest rally sandbox game around.
Dakar Desert Rally is an attempt at laying the foundations of a great racing game, but the simulation mode is where the thrills really shine. Shredding the sands while trying to decipher the pictorial road notes made me believe the fantasy of inadvertent collisions.
The release date for the Dakar Desert Rally has been set for October 4, 2022, and the game will be available on Xbox Game Pass from the start. If you want to get it on Steam, you can pre-order either the standard or the luxurious edition to get ahead of the competition.