Rally games are always a hit and miss affair for me and while there are some that give us a truly amazing experience, there are those that just seem to fall before the finish line. Is Art of Rally one of those games?
Art of Rally offers up a few game modes for you to try out. There’s Career mode, Freeroam, Time Trial and Online Events. The Freeroam introduces you to the game and how it plays while offering you some fun elements while you get to grips with the mechanics. While you drive about you can collect some snapshots of the locations you visit and pick up some cassette tapes. There is also a van that needs to be spotted and grabbing the letters R-A-L-L-Y. It’s a fun aspect to the game, but one that you may not linger too long with. Jumping into the Career mode is where you go though the years of Rally, from the 1960s right up to the 1990s. Each of the years had their groups and rallies that you must complete in order to move on to the next.
As you progress through your Career you will start to unlock more cars for you to drive and unlock their own unique liveries, that gives you a mini fanfare with each unlock, confetti as standard. While there are no official license cars, they do show a resemblance of sorts to their real-life counterparts. Each car however does have their own sound and while some of their names are fun, it’s the driving on the events that matter.
The Time Trial is self-explanatory, and the Online Events sees you undertake Daily and Weekly races to see how you compete against the best of the best in the world of Art of Rally
The racing itself can feel a bit flighty at first until you get the hang of it, as you can’t just driving around and expect to take the turns at high speed, as this will result in a crash or going off course! This will happen regardless of the road you drive on, from wet to icy or dirt, you need to take the corners carefully or risk running off, or worse hitting an incline in the road and vaulting off. There is a balance to do with the throttle and the handbrake to make sure you can take those sharp turns and drift through, which comes more apparent later in your Career. The game is not a full-on simulation of rallying, but more of a mix and match between simulation and arcade fun, but then, it’s not trying to be either.
While driving across the different locations in Art of Rally you will be viewing everything from a slightly elevated view. These can be altered slightly, but only by distance and I would have preferred a closer view to the car itself. The plus side to this is that you get to see more of the track since you have no mini map or co-driver to guide you along.
Art of Rally has some nice visuals in terms of the lighting and how everything looks crisp and colourful, especially during the rain or fog. The cars, trees and the crowds that make up the world you race in have all been given a cube like shape, with towns and villages in the background looking bright and vibrant. The soundtrack to the game accompanies it beautiful and it’s like you have the radio on in the car as you play, with a steady flow of music coming at you no matter what or where you are racing.
While Art of Rally looks and plays beautiful, it does have its setbacks and I find that these setbacks ruined my overall enjoyment of the game, but not always. During my time playing Art of Rally, I did come across some issues within the game that made me stop playing it. One such issue and a big one was that I could not start up the game at all. Whenever I loaded up the game and hit the button to start, it would ask me to sign in and be stuck on a loop. No matter how many times I tried to start the game it would keep asking me to sign in. The only workaround for the moment is that you would need to quit the game and reload it or sometime rebooting your console completely to get it to work. While it’s not ideal, it must be done in order to play the game and hopefully one that can be rectified in a future update.
Secondly, while racing I came across some stuttering while in motion and clipping of certain objects like the checkpoints and some background buildings, camp sites and nearby rocks etc.. I also came across some pop-in and the draw distance was a little to be desired too, especially when playing on my Xbox Series S and X. You would have thought that with the hardware available it would have helped, but alas, no. There are a few more graphical imperfections that happen too like shadows disappearing and the crowd vanishing if they got too close to you, which is a real shame as the game is a lot of fun to play. Again, hopefully these can all be resolved via update soon.
Art of Rally is such a fun game that I loved playing it at the start. However, the more I played it, the more I regretted playing it. This was due to the issues that I had experienced while racing through the Career and Online modes. Hopefully this can be all resolved with an update, but as it stands racing is not such an art this time around!
GoG Rating: 6/10