PC-Only Dirt Rally Announced, And You Can Play It Right Now

Codemasters announces--and releases--the next entry in its racing series today.

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Just days after revealing a new Overlord game that will take the series in a controversial new direction, Codemasters has made another announcement for one of its other major franchises. The UK-based publisher on Monday announced--and released--the next entry in the Dirt racing series, called Dirt Rally.

An unfinished version of the game is available now on Steam Early Access for $31.49. Releasing the game on Early Access "scares the absolute crap out of us, but in a good way," Codemasters said on the game's Steam page. "We want you to feel like part of the development team and help us build a better game."

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Though Dirt Rally may not be a finished product, it's not lacking for elements and features. Available now in the game are a total of 36 rally stages (Monte Carlo, Greece, and Wales are three examples) and 17 cars, ranging from "1960s classics" to modern vehicles. In the future, Codemasters will add more cars and environments to Dirt Rally, including some circuits from the 2015 FIA World Rallycross Championship.

This content will be free.

"We won't be charging anything for that new content. Regardless of when you join us, you'll have access to everything we produce for our early access period at no extra cost," Codemasters said. "Over the coming months we'll be adding more cars, more tracks, new game modes, and features we haven't even thought of yet--features that you are going to think of and help us build."

In terms of gameplay, Codemasters says Dirt Rally delivers "simulation handling" by way of a new physics model that "simulates everything from the way the surface of the road behaves to limited slip differentials." Dirt Rally also comes with asynchronous events, including daily, weekly, and monthly challenges.

There's also a Team Management feature that lets players hire (and fire if need be) crew members. Online league support is also included for Dirt Rally; players can join up to six leagues. What's more, anyone who buys Dirt Rally on Steam Early Access will receive a free Dirt Rally livery for the Subaru Impreza 1995 car.

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Codemasters went on to say that it hopes players will submit their feedback about Dirt Rally so the developers can make changes as a result.

Finally, the developer said it understands not everyone will like the fact that Codemasters has decided to take the Early Access route with Dirt Rally, but hopes fans will support them all the same.

"We know Steam Early Access isn't for everybody; a lot of you are going to be disappointed that you can't play Dirt Rally right now, but we want you to still feel a part of it and where we're going," Codemasters said. "Join in with everything we're doing, watch other players' YouTube videos and livestreams, talk to the people who are playing it, and tell us what you want. You're not excluded from any of this and your thoughts and ideas about what we're up to are just as important."

Dirt Rally will be in Steam Early Access at least through the end of 2015. An official release date for the full, final version of the game has not been announced, however. Meanwhile, Codemasters said it will consider bringing Dirt Rally to consoles if there is enough demand.

For a closer look at Dirt Rally, check out some images in the gallery at the bottom of this post. The game's system requirements, along with a list of supported racing wheels, are listed below courtesy of Codemasters.

Minimum Specifications

  • OS: Windows 7 64 bit or Windows 8.1 64 bit
  • Processor: AMD Athlon x2 Dual Core or Intel Core 2 Duo Processor @ 2.4Ghz
  • Memory: 4GB RAM
  • Graphics: AMD HD5450 or Nvidia GT430 or Intel HD4000 with 1GB of VRAM
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Hard Drive: 30GB available space
  • Sound Card: Direct X compatible soundcard

Recommended Specifications

  • OS: Windows 7 64 bit or Windows 8.1 64 bit
  • Processor: AMD FX-8150 or Intel Core i5 4670K
  • Memory: 8GB RAM
  • Graphics: AMD R9 290 or Nvidia GTX780
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Hard Drive: 30GB available space
  • Sound Card: Direct X compatible soundcard

What wheels and controllers are supported by DiRT Rally?

  • Official Xbox 360 Wireless Pad
  • Official Xbox 360 Wired Pad
  • Logitech G27
  • Logitech G25
  • Thrustmaster T500 RS Racing Wheel
  • Thrustmaster T500 RS F1 Racing Wheel
  • Fanatec Clubsport Base v1
  • Fanatec Clubsport Base v2

This is not the final list of supported wheels; others will work, but they are "not officially supported yet," Codemasters said.

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