In 1998, my world changed forever. Father Christmas delivered a PlayStation pack that came with TOCA 2 Touring Cars and Colin McRae Rally, something I've been waiting for – read: harassing my parents – for some time.
Playing at CMR every day after school, I also watched BBC reports, hopelessly refreshed Ceefax 365 to read the latest results and read about Subarus in automotive magazines. It is easy to see how important the phlegmatic world rally champion of 1995 was to me growing up.
2020 marks the 25th anniversary of this WRC victory, which was again celebrated through special podcast episodes Absolute Rally and a feature film by Chris Harris on Top Gear.
In a timely fashion, the original Colin McRae Rally developers, Codemasters, released the new Colin McRae DLC pack: FLAT OUT for Dirt Rally 2.0. Recreating Colin's career in motorsport, he adds 40 new challenges to the game alongside two new cars and a new stage location in the form of Scotland.
If you have one of the Season Pass swaps – One Year Pass, Deluxe Content Upgrade Pack or Deluxe Content Pack 2.0 – or if you purchased the game edition of the Anne Dirt Rally 2.0, Deluxe Edition or Super Deluxe Edition, this addition is free. On the other hand, if you just got the standard game for free as part of the April PlayStation Plus offers, you can buy Colin McRae content for an additional $ 7.99. While this is a great gift for most people who have purchased DLC content, it all sounds a little confusing, which is unfortunate.
Through the tribute events, you will gather around the world in chronological order, divided into four distinct periods. Beginning in 1984 and ending in 2006, former rally driver and current rallycross reporter Andrew Coley gives poignant introductions to each section and how the scenarios portray a moment in the sporting career of Scotland's most successful rally driver . It is filled with beautiful touches, bringing back memories of valiant victories or, as was often the case with Colin, a technical problem or a crash pushing the limits.
The brand new scenes taking place in Perth and Kinross are magnificent. narrow, difficult and fast, the environment is strewn with stray tarpaulins and deep pits to catch the unwary. The fastest sections cross tree-lined roads, really adding to the feeling of speed. You can build a good rhythm, which flows from corner to corner.
The new cars with which you will participate in these rallies are the Subaru Legacy RS and the Subaru Impreza S4. I don't think there is anything more emblematic in rallying than the distinctive sound of a Legacy blowing through thunder across the British heath. Having the virtual opportunity to drive this car with this unique and roaring engine noise is a kind of motorsport nirvana for me. Meanwhile, the Impreza S4 is iconic as the car that adorned the front cover of the original CMR game 22 years ago.
These new vehicles are used alongside existing cars in the game that Colin was driving, now with appropriate books applied. Think of the MG Metro 6R4, 2001 Ford Focus RS Rally and Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500 alongside a few others.
As you can imagine, the driving is the same as for the Dirt Rally 2.0. That is to say, it is as hard as nails and not for everyone. It is most certainly a rally simulator that will most likely repel those who are not looking to invest ten hours perfecting a single 5-mile leg. Initially worked with frustration, putting enough effort reveals the best handling of the vehicle in rally. I love it, but the game is for me. Occasional racing enthusiasts should look elsewhere.
Obviously, this comes from a mga rally fan and a disciple of Colin McRae. But even so, Flat Out is not without flaws. This is mainly related to the post-release DLC strategy for Dirt Rally 2.0. After launching with a somewhat paltry number of environments, there were four seasons of post-release DLC before this latest addition. Codemasters have added many new cars and rallycross tracks through this process, which is great, but on the rally side, all stages have been revised upwards since the first match of Dirt Rally 2016.
I would say that 80% of the events within Flat Out take place on stages that you have already played through the original Dirt Rally, 2.0 and, in the case of the Spanish stages, Dirt 4. Once the sparkle of the new cars and Scottish scenes have disappeared, you find yourself with a bit of trouble across a lot of crowded ground.
When the new tracks are so great, it makes you realize the missing opportunity to use the creative talent of Codemasters to create better value for add-ons in the game.
How much you love Colin McRae: Flat Out depends on how much you played Dirt recently. If you just downloaded the game on PS Plus or at a recent sale and are having fun, the best way to go through all the steps is to buy this new pack. If you are a loyal Dirt customer who gets it for free, you will appreciate the presentation and the new additions, but you might get tired of the repetition of the scene.
However, the Subaru Legacy RS, in the rain, on the stage of the Newhouse bridge. There is no other gaming experience like this.