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V-Rally 4 Review

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I am not a crazed racing fan by any means at all. I enjoy a good arcade racer like the Horizon series and I am a pretty big fan of Trackmania too but things like F1 and GT Sport leave me bored stiff. V-Rally 4 is on the fence between being a hardcore racing sim and an arcade racer and it does well to deliver a great balance of the two. Taking you across five disciplines of racing, V-Rally has a decent array of content to keep you busy, From buggies, Rally Cross, Hillclimb, Extreme Khana and of course, V-Rally.

Don't let me fool you, V-Rally 4 is still a hard game and has a steep learning curve but I found it more approachable than say the likes of Dirt. Each racing type feels great in your hands as you try and master the experience. V-Rally Cross races saw me race on a track alongside other A.I vehicles. It merges offroad racing with track racing and works pretty well. Offroad Rally is what you expect, an offroad rally where you need to master the sand, tight curves of the hills and try and understand what all the turns mean as your co-driver directs you to what you are approaching. 

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The Buggy Rally races must be the best of the game as they are fast-paced sprints across large tracks with wide roads that saw me race across them at great speeds. These were hands-down my favourite of them all and I could not wait for more to unlock to take on. We also have the Extreme-Khana racing which is more a cool rally race than anything else. This mode sees you drift across a track while avoiding obstacles like rocks and other traps. You have to perform specific skills to get to the end in time which includes wrapping around barrels, leaping off buildings and even timing the perfect drift on the edge of a cliff. Extreme-Khana is well, extreme and more than anything in the game it was a frustrating game mode to master. Driving was tough and making sure I hit all the perfect corners and roundabouts was even harder. 

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Many of the racing disciplines are pretty much the same but with a different vehicle but there is enough variety to keep things fresh. V-Rally has a simple progression mechanic that pays tribute to the classic racing games of back in the day. You race, you win money, you buy new cars and you race some more. There are only two game modes to play and one multiplayer mode and while this sounds like a small portion of content it has a lot more going on as you dive into its gameplay. One of these mechanics includes a crew system that sees you hiring new crew members to help repair and manage your vehicles. The better the crew member, the higher the salary which means you need to make sure your funds are trickling in on a constant basis to keep your staff paid. 

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The progression of the game starts out slow but before you know it you are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on cars and a hefty amount of money on your crew to tune the cars and keep them repaired. Of course, when you are low on funds you just jump into one of the many types of races available across the many types of styles in the game. Sponsors also give you cash which is rewarded for completing objectives and challenges throughout the game. These come in the form of hitting a specific time in a race, using a specific car in a race with a specific brand and other easily-obtainable challenges.

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Each race you take on can be tweaked with various settings. You can lower the AI difficulty and reduce your winnings and also increase their skills to make the race harder but also more rewarding with cash. V-Rally is also a pretty game to play. The levels may not be on the design scale of say the Forza or GT series but there are some shining tracks here. There was nothing better than racing through Malaysia as I leapt over beach sands and raced through dense jungles. It also looks great on the PS4 Pro in 4K by the way. 

It would not be a great racing game if the racing was not on point and V-Rally feels great to play. Cars feel heavy, rally races have a great feedback as you try and control your car in the sand and even the V-Rallye racing around the tracks look, sound and feel responsive to the player. The only issue I had was that many of the cars felt the same. You would be driving a VW but it would still have the same specs and overall control as say a Mini. The balancing just felt a bit off and the attention to detail you find in say the Forza series is lacking. 

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V-Rally 4 is a good game. Its simplified game mechanics makes it something you can easily pick up and play without having to be a pro. The harder levels are unlocked later on and by the time you get there, you will be much better at the game by far. It has a decent car roster and a great selection of tracks but most of all its range of racing types are the best part about the experience. 

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