V-Rally 4 Review

V-Rally 4 From an Idiot
As the title suggests, yes this is a review from an idiot. Why? It will become clear later on, but first let us look what we have here with this entry of the V-Rally series.
Please, I am NOT a rally game fan much, I have one or two favourites but that is as far as it goes, so bear with me.
I started my rally driver career with a reasonable amount of enthusiasm and confidence. I have played a fair share of racing games over the years with some elements of Off-Road driving, so I believed that I was going to somewhat…good.
Right off the bat I am given a driving test with a short segment of a rally course, so I buckled up and floored it. I felt the controls being really responsive to my input, Plus 1 Point. The car roared like they should, that sense of power under the hood, Plus 1 Point. So far so good. The graphics looked a bit dated, like really dated, but wasn’t too bothered about that, No Point Awarded.
I was closing in on my first turn and so the obvious would be to brake and take the turn, which I did. I met a surprising amount of under-steer. Shocked a little but pushed on through, learning the game as it goes.
After completing the initial tutorial, I finally get to the career screen where I could get my first car. I didn’t waste much time getting into my first race to earn some more cash. Again I was facing severe under-steer with my car and next to no ability to control it. So I was frustrated, but yet again I pushed on. Having tried the Rally Cross to the new Extreme-Khana, I felt slightly more in control of the car but still not where I would like to be. Even a few upgrades didn’t help much. But will get back to the control dilemma I was having.
V-Rally 4 does not have a big selection on the car side of things, 51 cars for the 5 types of events. On surface level they look good, but more time invested would have made them look great. The upgrades are unlocked with the employment of mechanics that research the parts for the car being used. Basically the more you use a particular car, the quicker the upgrades are unlocked. Same goes for the events specialists that open events suited to your style. The mechanics and event specialists are all on your payroll, say you have pay them on a weekly basis. This in turn encourage you to play for first place and make the extra money for better crew members. That is about as exciting as it gets for the career mode.
After some time invested in the different disciplines, I just felt like breaking away from the racing and just take the car for a joy ride, and thankfully there is a track for that that doubles as a test course. I also decided to try something a bit out of my normal comfort zone. I tried out manual shifting. Now this is where that idiot part comes in. I drove the car around in manual and I felt far more in control, being able to drift and slide where I want. It was here when I realized I have been playing the game wrong.
With my newly discovered skills, I took on the races with more confidence and actually having fun. I was winning races with more ease and precision on the Rally Cross, I was controlling my car around the Extreme-Khana tracks like I was Ken Block, well almost, and like previously stated, I was having fun.
That being said, there was some faults that I noticed. Not game breaking, but a tad repetitive in behaviour.
Music selection is somewhat limited and the main menu song is pretty much on repeat.
When in a race and you just want to exit to race selection screen, you are taken to the Start Menu. It also resets progress made in the race you were in, but thankfully catching up to where you were being relatively quick.
In game damage is present and in in turn affects your cash flow, but it hardly affects your driving so no real danger if bumping and grinding against other drivers.
Regardless of the faults, V-Rally 4 has forced me out of my comfort zone and was rewarded with a lesson and a fat chunk of fun. The lesson being driving well with automatic shifting don’t necessarily make you good driver. Most gamers would rather prefer sticking to automatic, but with V-Rally 4 you really do need to go manual shifting if you want to enjoy. Those with racing wheels will get the most out of the game as it does have a clutch function, put you in even more control.
Final verdict
The game does feel dated and don’t exactly offer anything new, but it does make up for it with sheer enjoyment.
I think they got something going with the Extreme-Khana events, so maybe the next entry should focus more on that. Drifting around corners and sliding the car into narrow pathways is quite thrilling when pushing for a faster time.
Rating: 6.5/10
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