Reviews

V Rally 4 review -A Tyred Franchise?

Kylotonn has tasked itself with one of the biggest comebacks of 2018 with the follow up to the long dormant 90’s rally racer, 'V Rally 4'. Big Ben Interactive has taken the navigators (Publishers) seat in this outing of dirt roads and challenging steering mechanics. The big question is, with 'F1 2018' just released and 'Forza Horizon 4' catching up on the inside lane, is the V Rally franchise relevant in 2018? Whilst V Rally 4 handles some sketchy corners, it does seem to fill the gap between hardcore racing sims and arcade driving experiences.

Whilst one is on the subject of sketchy corners, one felt during his play through that V Rally 4 could have branched off into an ‘on Ice’ series. Maybe a fusion of Top Gear and Disney on Ice? Whilst a certain amount of drift and slide can be forgiven in a rally title, V Rally 4 does seem to take the biscuit in this reviewer’s opinion. The opening part of the title does contain a comprehensive training session which teaches players the basics, however one often felt like he was trying to Rollerblade on a ski slope.

The campaign mode is split into two sections dependent on what type of Vehicle is selected, V Rally and V Rally Cross. This is where V Rally 4 tries to fit in with the cool kids over at the arcade playground, various props in-game make for a familiar motor storm type experience. On the flip side of this, V Rally 4 also tries to cater for the racing sim crowd by forcing players to manage their winning from each race to cater for their team.

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As if real life budgeting wasn’t enough…

Gone are the days of busting a virtual bank balance on a dustbin for the back of a desired car, players must make sure that mechanics are paid a fair wage to ensure vehicles are well looked after. Players are also tasked with managing their team by hiring mechanics with various skill sets to suit the current races needs. This goes a step deeper when players have to switch out vehicles for different events, which becomes a strategic juggle between finances, quality staff and most importantly, upgrades. Whilst it’s great that V Rally 4 has tried to get with the times and cater for every audience, it’s lost its identity in the process.

This reviewer found V Rally Cross a more enjoyable experience, with Kylotonn showcasing what they learning developing FlatOUT 4. V Rally cross sees buggies smashing around a stunt course in true arcade fashion. The Extreme-Khana mode is all about drifting around obstacles, a simple idea but it’s execution is fun for a while. Alas, these modes won’t keep players entertained for more than 3-4 hours before desiring something with more meat.

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Work Away From Work

The overall challenge of V Rally 4 is a daunting experience. Not only do players maintain resource management in between races, the actual races are just unnecessarily difficult. If players go off the beaten road just a tad, it’s game over and it’s very hard to pull back a lead afterwards. Not to mention that finishing any lower than the top 3 results in crummy cash prizes, this reviewer felt more aggravated by the experience than necessary. Looking back at ones time with V Rally 4, hardcore rally enthusiasts may find a unorthodox love affair within it’s many difficult mechanics.

Graphically, V Rally 4 has knocked it out of the park with it’s photo-realistic vehicles and real time weather mechanics, just hope it doesn’t rain. We all know how slippery wet ice is! The texture work is truly a job well done with a smooth frame rate performance throughout on this reviewers Xbox one X. The sound effects array checks out as another aspect of the games take of realism and painstakingly simulated rally experience. The soundtrack serves its purpose but is otherwise forgettable. Considering the subject matter, it’s not really a big deal!

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Verdict:

Graphics and Presentation: 4

Sound: 3

Gameplay: 2

Overall Score: 3 / 5

V Rally 4 unfortunately is going though it’s midlife crisis, the franchise doesn’t seem to know which route it needs to take. This culminates in a collection of mini modes and an overly complicated campaign that would be better housed within the DIRT series. The original V Rally was a game changer and helped bring Rally games to the masses, not to mention paving the way for other Rally franchises such as the aforementioned.

Buggy scenery causing over the top crashes, buttered up driving mechanics and an over saturation of mechanics (game mechanics that is!) let V Rally 4 down. Although most of the games issues can be patched out, it’s almost like V Rally 4 is scared to live up to it’s legacy, however rally enthusiasts may find some joy in it once it hits a sale price point.

Formats: Xbox One X (Reviewed), PlayStation 4 and Steam

Price: £45.99 (Microsoft Store)

Publisher: Big Ben Interactive

Developer: Kylotonn

Release Date: 07/09/2018

Age Rating: PEGI 3+

Review copy provided by publisher

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