Because theyíre both being released in the same time frame, there are going to be constant comparisons between DiRT and Sega Rally Revo. Yes, both are rally themed racers, but whereas DiRT aims more for a realistic feel, Rally Revo sticks with the classic arcade style of gameplay. Rally Revo tones down the technical side of the sport and just focuses on racing as fast as you can to the number one spot on various terrains that will give your reflexes a complete workout.
On the Xbox 360 version the first thing youíre going to notice is how your vehicle handles as it races across the tracks. Through a process called GeoDeformation when your tires rip through the mud or ice covered roads, instead of replenishing itself, the tire tracks that were created will remain intact. During the next lap when you race past the same area, the tracks you made are still there, and when you roll over them your controller vibrates as the vehicle shifts making you act fast to regain control. This also occurs when the cars in front of you leave a path of tracks on the ground, and as you race behind them, your wheels hit the road theyíve torn up making your car rock and rumble as you try to keep it steady. This has to be one of the most effective features to ever grace a racing game, because when your vehicle is rocking and twisting as you try not to crash into a cliff or another car, you will be immersed. Unfortunately, because of the PS3ís current lack of rumble, you really lose something in translation. Instead of feeling the terrain rock, on the PS3 you must watch how your vehicle shifts and jerk as it races across the battered terrain. If you never play the Xbox 360 version you will not realize the difference, but if you do, the PS3 version is like playing a whole different game; and you will feel that something is missing. Whenever rumble comes back to the PS3 this game has to be on the list of titles that should be updated to make the experience complete.
Overall, there are 15 tracks to race, (but when you unlock the reverse tracks this makes it closer to 30) taking you across five different environments, racing through mud puddles, thick snow and slippery ice, pushing your vehicle to the limits. Options of gameplay include championship mode, time attack, quick race, and multiplayer, of which you can race a selection of about thirty licensed cars, which includes Subaru, Toyota, Peugeot, Volkswagen, and Ford. The cars look great, but the way they handle may be an issue for some, because there are moments when your vehicle may feel like itís floating rather than connecting with the surface. Obvious this changes when you start racing across deep tire marks paved in the terrain and the shake, rattle and roll kicks in. Those playing the PS3 version will notice this loose handling of the vehicles more because thereís no rumble to divert you.
Unlike DiRT, with Rally Revo thereís no need to worry about making a bad turn and going off course to crash into a ditch. The barriers and cliff walls you pass act more like bumpers, because when you slam into one, your car bounces back and shifts until you regain control; but again, this game is not about realism, itís about speed and performance. There is also no car damage at all, so your vehicle may be soaked with mud when it crosses the finish line, but it will still be completely intact.
One thing that may annoy gamers is that the AI of the cars in the championship mode is too good. For instance, if you are in the lead and make a snap turn, hitting the barrier, all five of the other cars will zip past you before you can even blink. And the AI controlled cars never seem to screw up or crash. Once they get ahead of you it will take a lot of work to regain your lead, and if this occurs during the last lap, forget it, you may never get the chance. To insure winning races, you need to know how to handle turns, because this is what will hold you back, especially on the ice covered tracks.
Fans of rally racers are going to dig this game because of the GeoDeformation effect, and casual gamers will like it because itís not demanding realism behind the wheel, making it fun and accessible for both sides. Thereís no way to expand gameplay with car or track customization, so Rally Revo is a Ďwhat you see is what you getí kind of game. Maybe there will be a possibility of downloading new tracks and cars in the future to further expand replay value. For all of you who remember hanging in the mall arcade and dumping tons of quarters into a racing game, hoping to win just one more race, Sega has just given you a gift.
Like all racing games, the roaring motors are the main things youíre going to hear during a race, along with the constant screeching that will fill your speakers every time to make a sharp turn. Youíre co-driver will repeatedly spit out directions as he monitors your every move; fortunately you can mute him and take on the race using your own instincts and skills. The looped music is nothing to cheer about, but thatís what custom soundtracks are for.
After youíve exploited the solo campaign mode, jack onto Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network to test your skills up against real opponents, who unlike the AI controlled cars, actually make mistakes to heighten the challenge. Up to six players can race and rip up the terrain, which looks just as good online as it did offline. You can either join an existing race or create your own, because the online functions on both consoles are simple and straightforward. As with most games, there are much more players available to compete against on the Xbox Live, whereas on the PSN you may be waiting for a bit just to get one or two other opponents, and then fill in the other slots with bots.