The last rally game I played was probably one of the Colin McRae Rally games on the original PlayStation. Not a genre I often find time for, when I heard V Rally 4 was to be released after so long I thought I had to give it a run.
Turns out rally games still aren’t really my thing, but there’s still plenty to like about V Rally 4. It’s not a game that’ll set the gaming world alight, but it’s a solid racer that should make rally fans pretty happy.
It’s far from perfect and often frustrated me to no end, but when it gets things right it’s a pure shot of racing adrenaline.
V Rally 4 Review
Let’s start with the good stuff. V Rally 4 is filled to the brim with racing options. There are tonnes of cars, race types, tracks and customisation options. Although in the beginning you’ll be restricted to a few options until you’ve unlocked more.
But that’s pretty standard when it comes to a racing game.
Getting into the action in V-Rally 4 happens right away too, which is great. As soon as you boot the game up you’re dropped into the desert to take part in your first event. Once this is concluded you’ll find yourself introduced to all manner of features through some long-running tutorials.
Actually, this is something that V Rally 4 does far too frequently. It’ll give you some freedom or a taste of action before bringing proceedings to a screeching halt by over-explaining things. Perhaps my less than enthusiastic interest in the sport didn’t help, but I just wanted to do some driving.
Thankfully, there is plenty of driving on offer, once you get past the tutorials.
Rallying the Troops
Your garage is your base of operations and from there you can purchase and upgrade your vehicles and take on contracts. Contracts will help you earn cash and also give you access to different vehicle and race types.
Honestly, the Contracts have a purpose but I found them incredibly repetitive and much less exciting than the standard racing. Yes, you can earn parts and the like, but for the most part, these races felt slower, shorter and less eventful.
The point to point rally racing is where V-Rally 4 shines. Racing in this free race format is the best way to enjoy the game and offers the purest rally driving. It has to be said that the navigator seems to be blind though, so don’t rely on them to get anything right.
This makes racing from the cockpit view an impossibility, so stick with third-person and you’ll do ok.
Visually, V-Rally 4 does a mostly great job. The environments are especially pretty with some great lighting and particle effects. However, the stars of the show, the cars, often look quite ugly. It’s as if the graphics options dip down to low settings and everything gets jaggy and low res.
It’s not a frequent occurrence, but it happens enough to notice. Especially as I was always driving from a third-person view due to the terrible navigator I mentioned.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. As I said earlier, there are plenty of great moments to be had and the racing, at times, is first class. After such a long break it’s great to have V-Rally back. Hopefully we don’t have to wait as long for the next one.
V-Rally 4 was reviewed on PS4 using a digital code provided by the publisher.
Game Title: V-Rally 4
- Classic Rally Gaming - 7/107/10
- Lots of hand holding tutorials - 5/105/10
- Bad navigator - 4.5/104.5/10
- Pure Rally Moments are a highlight - 8/108/10