Monday, 29 October 2018 09:27

REVIEW: DAKAR 18 (Xbox One)

Written by Anarchyxrisen
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(4 votes)

DAKAR 18 is a racing video game developed by Bigmoon Entertainment and published by Deep Silver for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows and is based on the most famous annual rally organised by the Amaury Sport Organisation.

Here I am back again with another review and might I say, I was rather excited to get my hands on this little doozy! The rev head tacho in me was redlining. There are cars, bikes, trucks, quads and sxs racing from point A to point B through all sorts of terrain. What's not to get excited about? Now let’s drop the clutch and slide into this review.

Adventure
Here I am starting a game, itching to play and then bam! A 5 minute unskippable tutorial explaining everything you need to know. It drove me mental. So much information at once and for me personally it was a lot to take in. By the time it ended, I had already forgotten 72% of it. I was scratching my head while the navigator told me constantly Danger 3 Danger 3, which I soon realised he was referring to the rocks I was driving over & into the mud. I ended up getting bogged and forced to restart the level. 

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In the tutorial stage, you'll also be shown how to fix the wear-and-tear on your car. You'll also learn what to do should you see a fellow racer stuck in mud or sand, hook'em up and give them a tow. Once that's ticked off the tutorial list, it's on to the checkpoints. They are scattered around for your navigator to guide you to and here's where it got tricky for me the first few times. This was a part of the 72% I forgot as soon as I was allowed to race. When all is said & done, and the tutorial is completed, you'll be greeted by a list of teams to choose from with a selection of vehicles. Be warned though, choosing a bike or quad leaves you with no navigator and just your own skills to read the directions in the bottom of the screen through the 14 races of semi beautiful undestroyable landscape.

Multiplayer
Well I’m not sure what to add here as I couldn't even find a game. I was unable to find a session to join or another player to join my session. I was in lobby limbo for a good 2 days trying at different times. My only option was to play split-screen with my boy. This left me with only two modes, DAKAR Rally, racing each other to checkpoints, or Treasure Hunt driving around looking for soccer balls to flutes or even Bolivian hats. Needless to say the fun wore out rather quickly.

Explore
This mode is where you will find Training, Treasure Hunt and the tutorial modes, where you can relive the glorious five minute unskippable talking cut scene. I’m not kidding, it is 5 minutes long of non-stop talking, or feel free to challenge the best time on the course.

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Ranking
This is just statistics. Distance driven, time played, crashes, repairs, medals won etc. etc. To me, this felt pointless to have on the main screen especially with no one to compare them with. There isn’t really anything other than that in this screen to talk about. It almost feels like it was put in to make the main screen look fuller.

Controls/Gameplay
Controls are the same as any usual racer, RT accelerate & LT brake. Analog sticks to steer/turn or in my experience, slide. I never really felt like I was in control of any of the vehicle's. I would love to say they all feel finely tuned but they didn't. I’ve got to say though, it would be much easier to operate a wet paper bag no matter what surface I was driving on. Mud, sand, gravel road, they all felt like there was six layers of ice on them. To turn properly I had to slow down pretty much to a crawl, which was difficult when my top speed was 150km with the SxS.

Also, god forbid you clip a fence... it's like a brick wall stopping you suddenly at that speed, I should have plowed straight through it. Bushes are safe to drive through or shall I say, ghost bushes. If you happen to park on one, the tips of the bush stick out the side and top of your vehicle. The graphics are truly disappointing for the Xbox One and would fit in quite well on the 360.

Conclusion
I'd say if you're a fan of the sport, you may enjoy it. Sadly, I wasn’t someone who could. The game feels rushed and lacks finesse. If you're after a good racing game, there are plenty of other options to choose from. Graphics can be forgiven, but not when the gameplay also feels lacking. I think it is safe to say I probably won’t give DAKAR 18 another play let alone a second thought.

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 2.5 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Sep 25, 2018
  • Platform: PC, PS4, XBOX ONE
  • Age Rating: E
  • Developer: Bigmoon Entertainment
  • Publisher: Deep Silver
  • Genre: Racing