The Dirt (huehuehue)
Story - 51%
Graphics - 70%
Audio - 65%
Gameplay - 77%
Replayability - 65%
Please don’t mistake Gravel for a Forza Horizon 3 clone. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing, but it does have its merits
Gravel puts the player in the driving seat of a plethora of off-road vehicles. You compete in various disciplines that would normally leave you covered in dirt.
While there are various racing simulations out there, Gravel is not one. It feels like an arcade racer should. It offers the ease of picking up a controller and racing. The issue with this though, is that the game doesn’t offer the vast open worlds that other arcade racers do. The tracks are fairly boxed in with the exception of the point to point races.
The career progression feels very linear. After each race you unlock a certain number of stars based on your performance. More stars equal more cars. I would have preferred some sort of cash system where you could choose which cars to buy, but the unlock system probably favours the arcade style more.
With that said, there are many cars to unlock and a decent amount of disciplines and tracks, so it should keep the player entertained for a while.
I reviewed the game on the Xbox One and I have to say I expected a little more from the graphics, especially considering the game is pegged to be Xbox One X enhanced. To be fair, I’m not trying to compare it to other AAA racing releases. It just feels like the graphics needed to be a little sharper than they are.
The Audio is acceptable, some cars do not sound like their real-world counterparts, but this is an arcade racer after all. The biggest drawback on the audio would have to be the repetitive commentary. Lines like: “I couldn’t imagine anything more exciting, even if I tried!” It gets a little long in the tooth by the 12th time you’ve heard it.
I was also a little disappointed to see that there is no split-screen local multiplayer available.
So while Gravel has its shortcomings and issues, I do think that it is a refreshing take on what offroad racing should be. It offers ready-to-race action with a certain old-school feel from the day before games were what they are now.
Reviewed on: 9 March 2018
Available on: Steam, Xbox One and PS4
Age Rating: A
Publisher/Developer: Milestone SRL
Estimated RRP: R936(Xbox Store)
Release Date: Out now
- Ease of use, pick up and play
- Good selection of cars and tracks
- Overall a fun arcade experience
- The physics and handling feel a bit off
- The commentary is really annoying
- No split-screen local multiplayer