Art of Rally was unleashed upon us around the same time as the cute season of autumn (or fall, if you prefer that). Coincidentally, this new game by Funselektor Labs is also very adorable. If you have played Absolute Drift before, this game might be something for you. Both were developed by the same studio, you see. Where Absolute Drift is all about, you guessed it, drifting, Art of Rally is ‘a stylized experience inspired by the golden era of rally’, as the developers describe it themselves. The game received a lot of positive feedback since its release and has a score of 77% on Metacritic, so we were curious to see what the fuss is all about! I usually really love racing games myself (even though I’m not very good at it), so let me share my thoughts about Art of Rally with you.
We played Art of Rally 7 hours on PC
What we liked!
- Graphics: The artstyle is definitely one of the first things (if not the first) that will catch your attention. Art of Rally uses a low poly style combined with bright colors, and I love it. It’s so scenic and dreamy, it almost feels like you’re in a painting or something! I usually don’t expect these kind of graphics in a racing game, but Art of Rally really is very aesthetically pleasing. The game offers 60 stages where you drive through different countries like Norway, Japan and Germany. The scenery during the rallies will keep you hooked for sure! My favourite stages were definitely in Japan, since they offered beautiful pink trees.
- Music and sounds: After falling in love with the graphics (by just looking at the store page on Steam), the first thing I actually noticed in-game was the amazing soundtrack. God, I loved it so much. Fair warning though: if you’re not a fan of synthesisers, you will probably not enjoy it (like my boyfriend didn’t like the music at all). The music kind of accompanies you when you’re driving your car, like a radio in the background. Now, besides this soundtrack, the car themselves all make different noises. Every car engine has its own sound, making the rallies feel more authentic.
- Game modes: The main focus will probably be your career mode, which is divided into groups. Each group is then divided into years, with the different groups following each other. A second mode is called time attack. As the name suggests, this is where you try and beat your and other’s best times. This can be done in various countries and on multiple tracks (or so-called stages). I liked that you could choose the weather, because there’s just something about driving at night or through the snow! A third option is to build your own custom rally. I looked around here a little but ended up enjoying this game mode the least. Don’t get too excited, you’re not making your own track or stage, you’re creating personal events where you choose the location, amount and sort of stages, damage level and such. Another mode I did enjoy, was free roam where you just ride around various stages. But there’s more to this mode than meets the eye! You get to gather cassette tapes, which unlock new music, as well as collect letters that will spell our RALLY. Finding all letters will unlock new free roam maps. This is also the perfect mode to take photos since there are special photo locations. Lastly, we have the online events, and these are what give the game something new every time. There’s daily and weekly events where you’re not in control of what stage or car you race with. You just go with whatever the game throws at you, and you try to make the best of it! I feel like this variety of game modes offers something for every player, which really helps the game reach a bigger audience.
- Cars: There are plenty of cars to unlock, as well as different skins for your favourite cars as well. Well, of course there are cars to unlock, you say? Art of Rally also drops some knowledge when you’re playing! Besides information about the engine and transmission, every car also has a little bit of text providing a little more insight into the car. I didn’t always read this, but it’s nice that effort was put into this.
- Photo mode: Not a must in a game, but it’s a nice addition. Seeing as the graphics are a big sell point for this game, the photo mode fits right in. These two go hand-in-hand in Art of Rally! It’s easy to use and just something you can play around with. There’s a set of camera tools that you can use to create your perfect picture. You can zoom, hide the UI, move along the vertical and horizontal axes, and more. There are also some effects that you can use, including autofocus, vignette, saturation, and contrast. These and many more can be adjusted according to your own taste. Hint: if you can’t find the photo mode immediately, it’s in the pause menu!
- Controls: Don’t get me wrong, I liked the controls in this game. I tried playing with both the keyboard and a controller, and as expected, the latter worked best. Now, the controls will take a little getting used to. After trying this game for the first time, I didn’t go back to it for a few days because the controls frustrated me so bad. Since it’s all about getting a better time, I was so focused on going fast, that I kept going off the roads or missing turns. It took me a while to get used to these controls, and realise I needed to have patience if I wanted to get better times. So a little warning if you’re going to play this.
What we disliked
- Lonely: I know, I know, this game is focused on beating times and being fast. This means that you’ll be alone on the tracks at all times. Well, except for those annoying bystanders that show up in groups and block the roads. There are no other cars or opponents; not in carreer mode, not during the online events, nowhere. It sometimes felt a little lonely on the road, and I would have loved to see at least one mode where I could actually race against others that I could see.