In a surprise announcement today, Codemasters has announced the next entry in the DiRT series and made it available on Steam Early Access as of today.

Codemasters are looking to get community feedback on the game as they develop DiRT Rally through the program, as they hope to make the best DiRT game they possibly can. Based on the game’s comment section though, it doesn’t seem fans are all that happy with the game coming to Early Access.

I’m also not quite sure either why Codemasters has gone this route, considering pretty much all DiRT releases have been met with critical acclaim. The game is also currently not in development for consoles, which is a bummer. Codemasters are focusing on the Steam Early Access program first, and if there’s enough demand, will then decide whether or not to bring DiRT Rally to consoles.

Here’s what you get if you pick the game up now:

At release DiRT Rally will include a total of 36 rally stages spread across Monte Carlo, Greece and Wales. We have a total of 17 cars, from 1960s classics right through to modern day machines. As time goes on we’ll be adding more cars, more environments, we’ll be climbing Pikes Peak and going door-to-door around a selection of the best circuits from the 2015 FIA World Rallycross Championship. We’ll also be adding features based on your feedback so be sure to let us know what you’d like to see included in future updates.

And here’s the official description of the game via the Steam Early Access page:

Welcome to DiRT Rally – a new world of DiRT. A pure expression of rally, the pinnacle of off-road motor racing and it begins now, in Early Access, with regular free updates including new locations, new game modes and new vehicles.

DiRT Rally captures the essence of what makes rally unique – that sense of trying to remain in control of your emotions, as you hurtle along dangerous, undulating roads at breakneck speed, aiming to squeeze everything out of your car whilst knowing that one crash could irreparably harm your stage time. It’s the ultimate test of a driver’s skill, and it’s the ultimate in high risk, high reward gameplay.

Every stage will test you differently, as you feel out grip across varying surfaces and adapt your style to a range of different weather types. As the car suffers attrition you’ll need to account for mechanical damage whilst your dedicated rally team tries to keep you competitive with time-limited repairs between stages. As stages string together, each rally becomes a marathon-like test of concentration and skill, as you trust in your co-driver and your own ability to react and adapt, in order to stay competitive and chase that ever-elusive perfect run.

We’ll see if we can get our hands on an Early Access copy of the game to bring you some hands-on coverage as well as some gameplay footage. Stay tuned to OnlySP on Facebook and Twitter for further news on DiRT Rally.

Nick Calandra
OnlySP founder and former site owner.

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