Dirt is one of the all-time classic racing game franchises that any driving enthusiast would enjoy. So, the idea of having a mobile game equivalent sounds good. Unfortunately, rally car fans are going to be let down by CarX Technologies’ latest game. Despite having potential, CarX Rally has some significant issues holding it back.
35 Tournaments, Same Bad Rules
CarX Rally has two different game modes: Free Ride and Career. Free Ride allows you to race on all the tracks the game has to offer, making it good practice for Career. I thought Free Ride would let you try out all the cars, but you can’t until they’re unlocked in Career.
Career mode has five leagues, with each having seven tournaments. Each allows the use of two to three of the 15 cars currently available in the game. Tournaments consist of two to three days of racing, with several races per day. As is the norm for mobile racing games, you won’t be racing against other cars, but racing against their times.
You’ll have a set number of heats, as you try to place in the top 3 of every race. The number of heats you have will decrease as you move up the ranks. Placing in the top 3 in the final rankings will reward you with cups, which you’ll need to unlock more tournaments.
Along with having a set number of heats per race, you also have a set number of tournament entries. Once you use up those entries, there is a four-hour cooldown with no way of refreshing it. And this sucks as you can only play some championships once before cooldown kicks in.
Looks Good, Feels Bad
Each tournament has several cars that you will be able to race with. One car is always available as a F2P option that you can buy with cash (The F2P currency). The other one to two cars will be available for RC (The P2P money). These cars vary from being American muscle, Euro cars and Japanese tuners.
By placing high in races and winning tournaments, you can earn cash to purchase upgrades for your cars. There are six different categories of car parts that you can upgrade, with several stages of upgrading.
While racing, there are several different steering options and camera views. Cockpit view is unfortunately not one of those options. As expected, the physics engine in CarX Rally is good, but some vehicles have dreadful handling. One sharp turn and a drift gone wrong is enough for you to recreate Han’s crash scene from Tokyo Drift.
Weird Mechanics, Slow Load Times
The cars can go from zero to 60 in five seconds, but I wish the loading times could do the same. Races regularly take 30-45 seconds to load every single time. One big data download would have been much better, instead of having to deal with the wait before every race.
The races themselves are filled with flaws too. The tracks are all short and have rudimentary design with wonky reset mechanics. Whenever you veer too far off course, the game fades to black and resets your car onto the track. Sometimes, the game resets you a couple of meters away from where you went off the rails. Other times the game sets you so far back, you basically must do half the race over.
There is no consistency with the reset mechanic either. Sometimes the game resets if you so much as run into a tree. But if your car flips over and you’re stuck like a turtle on its back? The game does not reset and instead lets you sit there.
Whenever I play a racing game, there is something that I always like to do. I like seeing how far I can go with the default car I get at the beginning of the game. I tried that in CarX Rally, and disappointingly, hit the wall faster than a crash dummy.
It didn’t take long before I needed to upgrade my car to reach the podium for a race. That’s a big problem because the currency grinding in this game is slow. It doesn’t matter if you place first or place sixth. The prize money is pennies once you see how much you need to invest in your cars.
When you combine the already slow grind with the unnecessary cooldown period, you are stuck with an unfun currency grind. I’m an RPG lover myself and no stranger to grinding, but this isn’t it.
Save Your Money
There is a microtransaction shop where you can buy cash, RC, or cars if you want to skip past some grinding. The cash offers and the car pack offers are both fair, but the RC offers? Not so much.
You can use RC to reset race heats, but RC is primarily used to purchase premium cars. The two most expensive cars cost more than $20 and $30 respectively, which is ludicrous. Why spend $30 for one car in a game that restricts your ability to race? You could use that money to buy a better racing game that lets you play as much as you want.
Is It Hardcore?
Slow loading times, bland tracks and terrible game design choices prevent CarX Rally from being a game I can recommend. The racing is more about grinding for car upgrades than it is about racing skill. It’s still young, so hopefully the developers make some changes.