LifeisXbox’s Art of Rally Review | If you’re looking for a casual racing game that focuses far more on the visual aspect and the solo racing element as opposed to navigating your way in and amongst other drivers along competitively generated tracks, Art of Rally could be the answer to your choice of game. The idea behind Art of Rally is certainly a vision as it captures the beauty of racing without the added stress of having to qualify in order to progress further. Time to rally, drift, slide, and speed your way along with a mixture of track layouts and weather conditions that will ultimately have you aiming for the finish line as quickly and effectively as you can. Art of Rally has been developed and published by Funselektor Labs Inc. to bring a simply gorgeous and casual take on rally racing that I believe will appeal to a fairly broad audience due to the structured and diverse game that has been created for us to play at our leisure.
ℹ️ | VicciVulpix played Art of Rally for Twenty Hours Hours on Xbox One S. This game is also available on Xbox Series S/X, PlayStation 4/5, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, Steam, macOS, and Linux.
What we liked!
- Incredible artistic approach | I think I speak for many people when I say the artistic and graphical approach that has been used to create Art of Rally is the first noticeable thing. The simplistic detail combined with the mixture of colourful environments creates a somewhat tranquil yet energised appearance, due to the nature of the game. I must admit, I did stop a fair few times just to admire the scenery; especially the blossom trees and views from a higher altitude. Even the puddles had their own little effect when you drove through them. The use of weather changes, the road surfaces, the trees, your car – everything looks wonderful together. The HUD is also scaled to a respectable size to not make the screen look too cluttered.
- Car rewards throughout | As progression is made through the career mode, more cars will start to be unlocked with paint jobs also being rewarded for you to jazz up your ride, although these are premade and not customisable. Each car has different stats for you to choose from such as engine type, aspiration, and transmission that all affect how the car runs. This gives the user choice as each car runs differently and some may suit you far more than others. However, you should be aware there are multiple car groups/classes that are locked and can only be used in upcoming races. Each car has also been given a little description should you be interested.
- Different modes to try | In Art of Rally, there are a couple of different modes for you to try out if you should so wish. Career mode is the main mode and content, with multiple stages and rallies for you to complete to the best of your ability. The further you progress, the more races you’ll have to complete in order to climb to the highest grade of races there are. Of course, lengths of races will change as will their locations. There is a time attack mode that is quite self-explanatory. You get to choose the location, stage, weather, and car class to get the fastest time possible against friends and worldwide users. Custom rally to me felt like a practice area where you can select everything and then take your time getting to know the course. Online events have been included, both daily and weekly, for you to compete against other players, once again trying to complete the track/s as quickly as possible. The final mode is free roam where you will simply be able to do as you please. I will continue talking about free roam in my next point.
- Collectibles to obtain | As racing games go, I never expect there to be much in the way of collectibles unless there is an open world for you to freely roam around in. Art of Rally does have them though and they can be found in free roam. You have to find all letters of Rally to gain access to the next map. The majority can be found by just driving around but some may require a small but accurate jump to obtain them. There are also viewpoints, cassettes, and a special vehicle to collect in each stage that is necessary if you are aiming to get achievements relating to these and/or the full 100% completion. Just a little something to do casually if you’re wanting a little break from the main game.
- Customisable options | I was quite amazed by the sheer amount of available customisable options. There is a whole range of settings for you to change so your experience is built just right and the gameplay is how you want it to run. Brake/throttle sensitivity, deadzones, hud customisation, interface, camera variations, assist mechanics – these can all be personalised to your satisfaction. By including these options, it means the game can be made harder for those who prefer more of a challenge instead of just increasing the difficulty. Little strange that in the profile option there is a blood type option. I found this somewhat creepy if I’m being brutally honest.
- Respectable audio | Not only is the soundtrack well suited whilst bringing a much-appreciated hint of energy to this stylish take on rally racing but the small sound effects you can hear from the car itself are great. Of course, this is made up of the engine and acceleration, the brakes and screeches that come with them, the noises accompanying the drifting, the crashes and the sound of your car being damaged. Everything sounds pretty realistic, allowing Art of Rally to capture the intense sport while representing the distinct style that is showcased. The audience also cheer and gasp which added a nice touch.
- Audience atmosphere | I will start this point by saying not everyone will think this is relevant, but it was and irritated me far more than I initially expected it to. When playing racing games, sometimes you hope to see supporters and fans cheering you on from the sidelines to add an ambience to this competitive sport. However, these fans were certainly risky or they had a death wish. The abundance of people on the track and mindlessly running across in front of you while you navigate around bends and chicanes is absurd. This is because there were little to no safety barriers. I get that Art of Rally isn’t traditional track racing but that doesn’t mean common sense doesn’t need to be applied. At the end of the day, I’d much rather my fans were alive and cheering.
- Clipping and inconsistent visibility | As with any game, driving especially, you need to have good vision to know to see where you’re going. The majority of the time, I had no issue and could see the road as clear as day. However, I did encounter issues with particular weather conditions and environments that had large buildings lining the roads. This affected me as it meant I had to slow down more than I would have liked to avoid crashing and inflicting a time penalty on myself. The snow was horrible for this as both the road and the out of bounds areas looked very much alike. I guess you should expect vision issues when driving in the snow but I do feel it could have been outlined a little better to make the racing more user friendly.
What we disliked
- Grinding for completion | For the full 1000G and completion of Art of Rally, you are required to complete the main campaign, achieve some miscellaneous goals along the journey, and go into free roam to have access to the obtainable collectables. These were all enjoyable but once these have been successfully earned, there is the rather tedious final achievement that requires you to complete 1000 stages and this became incredibly boring very quickly. I’m still revisiting the game to grind out this last achievement after twenty hours of gameplay and that doesn’t sit right as it means the completion of a single achievement contributes to quite a chunk of initial gameplay. Luckily, completing the full career mode first does provide a portion of this progress. However, I do feel this was an unnecessary achievement that could have been made into a far more engaging achievement.
- Problematic frame drops | Everyone knows how much frame rate drops can affect gameplay these days, making a game go from playable to questionable in the blink of an eye. In Art of Rally, I had multiple instances of dropped frames that lagged my game and would cause me to crash, brake at the wrong time, and take me off the course entirely. It seemed fairly random when these happened as there were no consistent contributing factors such as the same map, more environment to render, weather conditions etc. that made this infuriating at times; knowing it could occur at any given moment.
How long to beat the story | Approximately 20 Hours
How long to achieve 1000G | Approximately 20-25 Hours
Similar with | Racer & Driving Simulations (Forza, DIRT, WRC) with an artistic approach
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Hello, I’m Victoria. I’m from the UK and have been playing video games for as long as I can remember; back on DreamCast. I’ve pretty much fallen for Xbox since I was around eight years old and remember BioShock being my first game on the Xbox360. Although I find it thoroughly enjoyable to not only experience gameplay, I also find comfort in getting lost and engrossed in the online worlds that sometimes differ greatly from what we know. Another side of my Xbox passion would be achievement hunting and gamerscore. I thrive when I hear the little sound of one popping up on the screen and I’m always finding ways to work on my backlog when possible. Horror is my favourite genre so if you have any recommendations, don’t be afraid to send them my way!