V-Rally 4 comes not-so-hot-on-the-hells from its older trilogy bretheren where you race along various tracks around the world – usually coming off them on sharp turns, all the while being almost-shouted at by your co-driver who tells you what sort of bend is coming up next, even though it feels more like at least two ahead, when there’s more than one in succession.
I loved this game back in the day, and when I heard about a fourth installment being released, I couldn’t wait to get stuck into it, and I was not disappointed. It has brought back that great feeling I had all those years ago, yet with updated visuals and, bear in mind, the trick is to NOT go ‘hell for leather’ along the road.
As you’ll see from the footage within, there’s some great real-world physics as you career around the track. Yes, I’m not great at it, but while this is a small thing – I love the way ribbons, roping off a section of the off-track area – fly about when you crash into them. It’s subtie, but effective.
Japan looks gorgeous! In Siberia, it’s as cold as my ex! Plus, driving through Monument Valley while there’s a balloon race going on up above! I also went through a night-time race in that location and it took me via a different route, so that’s another trick this game has up its sleeve with multiple races in each location.
You could moan and say that, as I crash into the side of the track, a spectator right next to me never flinches or even moves, but that’s not what this game’s about. It’s about rally-racing fun. Expecting the spectator to jump out of the way and go running for the hills is like watching a Fast and Furious movie and expecting Shakespearean dialogue(!)
V-Rally 4 – Gameplay footage (Xbox One, 1080p HD) – DVDfeverGames
In the Rally Mode, in addition to buying cars, you must pay for your own repair costs, but you do get sponsored to drive and earn $25,000 in the process. As such, you can improve along the way to win more money and buy different vehicles, like a buggy, so you can take part in other types of races. However, You have to get involved with hiring mechanics, engineers, research agents and an agent (who does the voiceover) but in reality, I just want to get into the rally racing!
For that, there’s also a “quick game” option rather than the career mode (V Rally mode), but I like the idea of the latter, just without all the complexities.
The sound is that of your vehicle’s engine. Sure, it’s not exactly Mozart, but the audio of a rasping engine, but when it comes to ANY racing game, for the sound of those, they are what they are. The developers have got that spot on. You just wouldn’t put it on a CD and listen to it in the car(!) Thankfully, as well, the menu’s rap music doesn’t play during a race.
There’s so many great races in which to partake, and I absolutely suck at the game, but I’m having huge fun enjoying it.
One time I went off the beaten track (to try a shortcut) but you can’t stray too far and it took me back and gave me a 10-second penalty. If I’d manually been able to reset my car’s position, I would only have been docked THREE seconds! My own fault, though 😉
There’s also an online hub where you compete against other people in that you’re not racing with them, but going down the same tracks they have to see who’s best. I don’t have an Xbox Live subscription so it’s nice you can do this for free. I presume the same is for PSN, but then with Sony not allowing crossplay of online gaming with other consoles, who knows…
Overall, this has the perfect balance of fun, exhilaration and… the necessary frustration that you always get as you fly off the track, round a tight corner, because you weren’t paying attention!
V-Rally 4: It looks wonderful. It plays perfect. It’s everything you could want in a brand new V-Rally game!
Oh, V-Rally, where have you been all this time!
Now for another fourth installment I really want, can someone make Midtown Madness 4, please?
V-Rally 4 is released tomorrow on PS4, Xbox One, PC, with a Nintendo Switch version to follow in due course.
- Developer: Bigben Interactive GmbH and Kylotonn Entertainment
- Publisher: Bigben Interactive GmbH
- Players: single player, online leaderboards
- Languages: English
- Subtitles: English
V-Rally 4 – Japan race – (Xbox One, 1080p HD) – DVDfeverGames
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.