As a fan of Rally-oriented games, I have to say that I am over the moon with the current generation of consoles. As seemingly, we are getting a brand new title of this particular genre every couple of months.  While I love being able to jump between titles such as Gravel, Dirt 4, and the seemingly ever expanding WRC series, then even I have to admit that all those games are not for everybody. And that’s because their core content is neither diverse, nor expansive enough in order to appeal to all modern gamers.  Most developers prefer to stick with their audience, and provide them with an experience which ‘they’ want, then some, such as Kylotonn Racing, are not content with appealing just to the niche market.

Kylotonn while being around for over sixteen years, has not exactly grown the same way the UK based Codemasters has over the last decade. And that’s not necessarily because its games were bad, but simply because they lacked the final polish, and in most instances, they also lacked engaging and captivating structure. While many were not expecting much from the studios recently released V-Rally 4, then the developer has still gone out of its way, in order to reassure everybody that V-Rally 4, is going to be ‘the’ racing game to play in 2018. As unlike most, it will feature a plethora of modes, cars, and events, which other games are simply missing.

As mentioned above, Kylotonn has made a lot of promises in the run-up to the release of V-Rally 4, and for the most part, all those have turned out to be true. As this particular racer, does possess modes which for the most part, have never been featured together within a single game. And in addition to those, it also stores a plethora of locations and vehicles, which you won’t be able to find anywhere else. You may not be able to hill climb the mountains of Romania in an old BMW within the confines of Dirt 4, then it is perhaps for the better, as Codemasters’ release, unlike V-Rally 4 is all about quality, and not quantity.

As soon as you turn on V-Rally 4  for the very first time, you get instantly covered with content all the way up to your neck, this would be a positive for a title such as Dirt Rally, and then it is more of a negative in the case of Kylotonn’s newest racer. As the content of V-Rally 4, is rather underwhelming — to say the least.  And sure, visuals are not everything, but this sentence only applies to action-filled, high-impact productions, and not necessarily racing games.

Some could argue that a racing game should never feature low-quality car models, and tracks, as those are always at the centre of one’s attention. And unfortunately, in the case of V-Rally 4, what is usually in front of your eyes, is for the most part blurry, jagged, and largely unattractive. And it is possible to excuse a title for having a jagged edge here and there, or a sporicidal blurry texture. But it is impossible to excuse it from the constant pop-ins which plague each, and every in-game track. And the roads of V-Rally 4 are not overly complex in nature, or overly large in size, and this fact alone makes texture, and object pop-ins that much more jarring.

When it comes to visuals, V-Rally 4 is par for the course as far as Kylotonn Racing goes. Meaning that while it may not be the most horrendous game you’ll ever see, it will also be miles behind what you’ve had a chance to already experience on the platform. And in the grand scheme of things, visuals are not V-Rally 4’s biggest issue, as this particular title comes with a hefty amount of baggage, which is simply hard to overlook.

As mentioned within the first couple of paragraphs of this particular review, V-Rally 4 is filled to the brim with different types of content. However, the framework upon which the said content is placed, leaves a lot to be desired. And this is especially true within the title’s flagship V-Rally mode, which serves the role of your typical career mode.

At the beginning of the V-Rally mode you will be presented with a choice of two disciplines, and fifty thousand dollars, which you can use to purchase a vehicle. Initially, this mode heavily resembles the one of the Gran Turismo , then unfortunately it is not as well as executed as the one which you can find in numerous works of Polyphony Digital.

First of all, the V-Rally mode rewards you with rather insignificant funds, for each victory. The title does allow you to increase funds with the increase of AI’s difficulty, then even after doing so, it will take you seven or so races, just purchase a vehicle. This is all well and good, then it has to be underlined that a new car is never quite enough to win a championship. And in order to do so, you’ll have to spend hours grinding for new cars, and upgrades, just to win a championship within a single category. And after you’ll do so, you’ll be left with bitter taste in your mouth, as in order to reach the ultimate podium, you’ll have to spend hours grinding the same events, which get boring after an hour or so.

Sure, V-Rally 4 does give you the freedom to do whichever event you want, whenever you want. But in order to access categories such as Extremekhana, or Buggy, you need to purchase a specific vehicle. Meaning that in order to access a new mode, you need to impede the progress of another. So if you are not willing to grind the same handful of V-Rallies, and/or Hill Climbs, then you are in for a rather long and largely unexciting ride. This takes much more out of you, than you can ever take out of it.

The V-Rally mode was meant to be the gem in the crown, of this particular title. But the rather stubborn, and archaic framework, in combination with some questionable game design results in a mode which is rather undesirable – even for the hard-core fans of the genre. And only if Kylotonn has taken a page out of Codemasters’ book, and allowed you to rent cars, in exchange for decreased rewards, then this would have been a completely different story. But unfortunately, as things stand, the hyped-up V-Rally mode is simply not worth the bother.

Just like any racing game, V-Rally 4 features exhibition modes in single player and most importantly, an entire multiplayer component for those who wish to take on other players online. And in all honesty, those particular modes are the best that V-Rally 4 has to offer. And that’s simply because they remove the entire unnecessary grind, and place you on a track against human opponents, and allow you to settle the race with skill, and experience. And if V-Rally 4 was a multiplayer only title, sold for less than £20, then I would be over the moon with it. But as it is a full, retail release, then I simply cannot overlook all of its flaws, in favour of its positives.

If  you were to unpack the file of V-Rally 4, then somewhere in there, under the heaps of unnecessary mechanics, and frameworks,  you’ll be able to find a fairly decent, and most importantly fun racing game. But unfortunately, Kylotonn’s stubborn nature, and insistence on inclusion of the rather underwhelming career mode, has buried the otherwise brilliant racer, under heaps of unnecessary content and downgraded it from a day-one status, to a discount-bin, feel of the moment purchase, which most will probably buy just because it was ‘’cheap’’.



Author

Kamil

My name is Kamil, and I'm the 'Feature Man'. I write news, and reviews just like everybody else, however, feature articles are my true forte. And this is not because I'm another self-centered, pseudo-intellectual games journalist, but because there are many discussion worthy matters which go unnoticed in the flurry of other video-game related articles. If you want to read more of my #HotTakes and #Opinions, or if you simply want to fight me over the internet, you can follow me on Twitter @Kama_Kamilia.