Republished on Wednesday 29th December, 2021: We're bringing this review back from the archives following the announcement of January 2022's PS Plus lineup. The original text follows.
We've already delivered our main verdict on DIRT 5 with the PlayStation 4 release, which you can read about through the link. However, Codemasters has graced us with a PS5 version as well, and as you might expect, it's the optimal way to play this arcadey off-road racer.
Everything we liked about this game is either the same or better on Sony's fancy new console. Primarily, that means the racing itself, which remains super fun. Slipping and sliding through the mud, over ice, or along gravel roads is seriously entertaining thanks to forgiving handling that lets you really throw cars around. Some races have noticeable difficulty spikes, but you'll be enjoying yourself too much to really care.
On PS5, the DualSense's adaptive triggers are put to good use; the accelerator and brake pedals are represented nicely, becoming easier or harder to press depending on race conditions. Sadly, haptic feedback takes a back seat in this case. For a game that allows you to drive on so many different surfaces, there's no nuance to the force feedback at all. Your controller will simply buzz away, regardless of what's happening on the track. After the success of games like Astro's Playroom and, more aptly, WRC 9, it's disappointing.
Having said that, it's not a deal-breaker, and you can forgive this oversight for the game's visual improvements. While not as pronounced as other cross-gen enhancements, DIRT 5 certainly looks best on PS5, and after balancing out the HDR settings, its colourful presentation looks great on a 4K display. There are still some odd graphical issues here and there, with occasional light sources flickering on and off, but it's fairly minor, and sure to be patched out. The game runs buttery smooth, too — we haven't noticed any screen-tearing, so that seems to be resolved.
One issue we had with the PS4 game was constant load screens between events and even some of the menus. As expected, on PS5 these loads are either eliminated or greatly reduced, which is ideal for a bright and breezy game like this. While we're on the technical side of things, there's actually a decent use of PS5's 3D audio tech in play here. Wearing headphones, the game uses positional audio to make music play from in-game speakers located around the sides of each track. It's a simple example, but implemented well; you'll hear a song grow louder on your left as you approach, and then fade back down behind you as you race forward. It's quite effective.
At the end of the day, though, this is mainly a success because of the inherently fun gameplay. It's always nice to have an arcade racer to kick off a new generation of hardware, and DIRT 5 certainly fits that bill. It has a simple structure and a pseudo-narrative you can largely ignore, but it's just darn fun to play. That's the bottom line.
If you've just got yourself a PS5, don't sleep on DIRT 5. It brings bombastic, arcadey racing to the console's launch lineup, giving you something totally different to play alongside the heavy hitters. Although the haptic feedback implementation is basic and one or two visual bugs remain, the core experience is seriously fun, and well worth checking out if you like driving sideways.
Good review! I have only heard good things about this game so will pick this up after Cyberpunk.
Shame we didn't get another Motorstorm game at launch 🙂
getting it for Christmas. hoping it plays like dirt 2.
I went ahead and bought this one on PS5 but now I'm sad the haptic feedback is better on WRC9...damn I wish they could improve that
@AFCC - agree, love the feeling when you handbrake turn in WRC9!
In the UK the PS5 version is £34.99 at Smyths Toys 🤠
Thanks for the Smyth's shout out @Spoonman-2 absolute bargain.
Codemasters have already come out and said they're redoing the haptics on PS5.
WRC9 is £25 on the UK store... worth a shot on PS5? 🤔
@Stanek22990 Do you have a link for that? That's interesting!
@mikeym I hope it comes to PSNOW someday
I'm a bit confused at this review saying that it runs buttery smooth at all times. I have been playing it almost a week now on and off and have never had a single race that has run smoothly. I've played well over 30 races in all disciplines I think and none run well. There are frame rate drops all of the time, especially at the start when all cars are bashing into one another. However, it's not just the amount of cars that can cause issues as the one on one races or even the solo hill climbs drop frames constantly. I've tried playing it in all Video modes, including the 120fps mode and get frame rate problems in all. Can this be my PS5 or somehow TV related or even the SDD as right now it runs extremely poorly? It's not a particularly good looking game anyway so I am unsure what is wrong. Oh, and it crashes a lot too!
PS5 just updated and my save for Dirt 5 got corrupted!
Not a happy bunny 😳
@katamariUK - not "buttery smooth" for me either, trying the two main options (don't have 120fps available on my TV).
@Spoonman-2 - my game crashed a few nights ago and corrupted my save data too. Only problem I've had to date on PS5.
Crashed 3 times last night, always at the end of a race 😭 tempted to play it offline.
PS5 uploads saves automatically, can’t find an option to stop it, then if it got corrupted again could download from the cloud manually... but no
Whats your gamertag Mikey? Will add you
@Spoonman-2 I'm mikeymr 👍
@daveofduncan I think it doesn't. It's made by the previous motorstorm dev. Maybe even in that engine. Not sure.
@Quintumply forgive me if I've overlooked it; but is it a two player spitscreen in this?
@gamer_since_83 Off the top of my head I don't think there's split-screen, but I'll check when I get the chance
@Quintumply @gamer_since_83 it's up too 4 player split screen
@Stanek22990 Nice! Thank you!
@Daan6661 not necessarily gameplay but more look and feel of the overall game. either way it'll be nice to have a driving game on the ps5.
Had since release and brilliant arcade racer!
Going to try this out just to test my newish tv's 120hz setting.
@Total_Weirdo This hasn't aged all too well
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