The DiRT Roadbook of the Year 2019
2019 is almost at an end, a significant year in the world of DiRT. Let’s recap everything that went down, in the final DiRT Roadbook of the year!
January – Car List Revealed & Real-Life Rallying
Back in January things were quite different to today. DiRT Rally 2.0 was still in the pre-release stage, as the team was putting the finishing touches to the title and touring the world, getting people excited for what was to come. I wasn’t even at Codemasters at the time, still working at Konami Europe but just as intrigued as you all were about the game, ready to play on Day 1.
News about the game’s content was picking up and in January the release-day car list was revealed. We also got to see Jon Armstrong and Ross Gowing flying around the Welsh countryside at the Phil Price Rally School. Wales Rally itself would eventually make its way to DiRT Rally 2.0 later in the year.
February – DiRT Rally 2.0 Released!
This is the big one, as DiRT Rally 2.0 was unleashed upon the world to critical acclaim and players were ready to Rise to the Challenge.
The forums were a hive of activity as players (myself included) shared their thoughts on the game, their wins, their fails and their best tips. Even as I write this today I recognise many of the usernames from the launch period, still chatting away about this enthralling game. The journey had begun.
March – Season 1 Begins
Unlike any Codemasters title before it, DiRT Rally 2.0 was a game that would receive a significant amount of post-launch content and updates, the first “Service” title as it were. That began in earnest shortly after launch with the release of Season 1 and still continues today.
Just as the real-life rally world begins its year in Monte Carlo, DiRT Rally 2.0 did too and having driven it again recently I’d put it down as one of my favourite locations in the entire game. There’s something about narrow roads, icy tarmac and tricky snow banks that just feels right when you’re North of 150 kmh in your favourite R5 car.
April – Sweden Rally Arrives
Next up in Season 1 was the arrival of Sweden Rally. Whereas Monte Carlo gave you a taster of what DiRT Rally 2.0 felt like in the snow, Sweden was the full experience, with plenty of jumps and snow banks to delight and terrify drivers.
Also arriving in April was Jon Armstrong’s DiRT Rally 2.0 Galway Rally livery, which raced in real-life back in February. That’s still my default choice whenever I drive the Ford Fiesta R5.
May – Germany Rally and More Cars
May saw the end of DiRT Rally 2.0 Season 1 with the introduction of Germany Rally, the SUBARU Impreza (2008) and Ford Focus RS Rally 2007, a mighty combination. Germany’s high-speed straights, twisty forested section and technical chicanes are a test for any tarmac specialists, making it a unique experience compared to Monte Carlo and Spain.
Also in May I called time on my days at Konami and joined Codemasters to share my enthusiasm and experience of racing games with you all, specialising on DiRT Rally 2.0. It’s been great fun to hang out with you all on the forums, Discord, Twitter, Reddit or wherever you may be, keeping you all informed and excited about this great title, and also to take on new challenges of my own here at the studio.
June – Season 2 Begins
June saw the advent of Season 2, with Latvia’s Bikernieki circuit and the fearsome Group B Rallycross cars making their way to the game. We also saw the introduction of Clubs, giving you all a way to create your own communities and custom Rally Championships (hint hint: join the official Clubs!).
Over on the social side The DiRT Roadbook was kicking into high gear with weekly updates, and we’ve been sharing your incredible screenshots every day since then. Oh, and Jon Armstrong got to drive the Nürburgring Nordschleife, worth a look.
- The DiRT Roadbook – June 7
- The DiRT Roadbook – June 14
- The DiRT Roadbook – June 21
- The DiRT Roadbook – June 28
- Version 1.5 Patch Notes
- Version 1.5.1 Patch Notes
- Official DiRT Club
- Official DiRT Expert Club
July – We’re off to Wales
July saw the long-awaited arrival of Wales Rally to DiRT Rally 2.0, another epic location to chuck your favourite SUBARU around. Myself and Jon Armstrong took to YouTube to showcase the location, before he set off on some flat-out runs of his own.
That got him nicely warmed-up for Down Rally, where he was driving a high-spec MINI in DiRT Rally 2.0 colours, with Noel O’ Sullivan calling out the corners. It was a tense weekend but the big trophy that showed up in the office afterwards proved it was a successful one!
- The DiRT Roadbook – July 5
- The DiRT Roadbook – July 12
- The DiRT Roadbook – July 19
- The DiRT Roadbook – July 26
- Version 1.6 Patch Notes
August – VR, DirtFish, Estering and Season 3
August was DiRT Rally 2.0‘s biggest month since launch, with big announcements and releases happening every week.
First it was time to respond to the #NoVRNoBuy crowd with the release of DiRT Rally 2.0 on Oculus, and VR support being added for free to all Steam players. The VR experience would receive several updates post-release and for some players it’s the definitive way to experience the game.
Next up came the DirtFish rally school as a Test Drive location, swanky DirtFish liveries and Germany’s Estering circuit to round off Season 2. That was swiftly followed up by the announcements of Seasons 3 and 4, revealing everything you can look forward to up until January 2020. “The 206!”, “Finland!”, “2019 World RX cars!”, the calls for more support for the game had been answered and players had another 6 months of content to look forward to.
- The DiRT Roadbook – August 2
- The DiRT Roadbook – August 9
- The DiRT Roadbook – August 14
- The DiRT Roadbook – August 23
- The DiRT Roadbook – August 30
- Version 1.7 Patch Notes
September – Game Pass, World Series and F2 Kit Cars
The announcements kept coming in September as DiRT Rally 2.0 made its way to Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass for PC (Beta). The PC version was also released on the Microsoft Store in addition to it being available on Steam and Oculus.
The DiRT Rally 2.0 World Series also made its debut with players around the world beginning 3 months of Qualifiers. Even if you weren’t going to be the next Joona Pankkonen there was still a reason to compete, as all participants got a BMW M2 Compeittion for their efforts.
Content-wise we saw the release of Greece Rally and the introduction of the F2 Kit Cars for some front-wheel-drive goodness.
- The DiRT Roadbook – September 6
- The DiRT Roadbook – September 13
- The DiRT Roadbook – September 20
- The DiRT Roadbook – September 27
- Version 1.8 Patch Notes
- Version 1.8.1 Patch Notes
October – New cars and a trip to Yas Marina
Season 3 continued to go strong in October with a whole slew of exciting content for players to experience.
First off we had the Yas Marina Circuit, the ultra-modern facility hosting its first real-life rallycross events earlier in the year. Following on from that were the Volkswagen Golf Kitcar and the Peugeot 206 Rally, both of which were the most hyped car releases I’ve seen so far.
- The DiRT Roadbook – October 4
- The DiRT Roadbook – October 11
- The DiRT Roadbook – October 18
- The DiRT Roadbook – October 25
- Version 1.9 Patch Notes
- Version 1.10 Patch Notes
November – Welcome to Finland, South Africa and the Trial Version
Season 3 ended with the most exciting location of them all, Finland Rally. Big jumps, big jumps and more… big jumps; that’s the name of the game here as rally cars quite literally fly at high speed through the Finnish woodlands.
Also in November came the Trial Version of DiRT Rally 2.0. If you haven’t picked up the game yet or you know some friends who’d love the experience, the free “demo” is available now on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Get your first taste of rally and rallycross and upgrade to the full version of the game at any time.
Finally, it was time for “The Showdown in Cape Town”. The FIA World Rallycross Championship had the most thrilling finale ever and a few days later the world could drive the very same Killarney International raceway in DiRT Rally 2.0.
- The DiRT Roadbook – November 1
- The DiRT Roadbook – November 8
- The DiRT Roadbook – November 15
- The DiRT Roadbook – November 22
- The DiRT Roadbook – November 29
- Version 1.10.1 Patch Notes
December – Lydden Hill, 2019 Rallycross Cars and the World Series Heats Up
Still here? Good, as we’re up to today in this mammoth DiRT Roadbook.
Earlier this week we saw the release of Lydden Hill, the bithplace of Rallycross. A short track with a good mix of tarmac and gravel, it’s easy to learn but difficult to master and serves up a nice challenge no matter how quick your cars will be.
In mid-December we’ll be moving on to the next stage of the DiRT Rally 2.0 World Series. Competitors have set their times, the best have Qualified and now it’s time for them to compete directly for a shot at the Finals. We’ll talk more about that next week and on how you can tune in.
Also in December we’ll see the first of the 2019 FIA World Rallycross Championship cars make their way to the game. Hansen’s championship-winning Peugeot, Bakkerud’s feisty Audi and Baumanis’ Ford Fiesta are all on the way along with more liveries from the 2019 season. More cars from the championship will arrive in January to round out Season 4.
Finally, DiRT Rally 2.0 has been nominated for Best Sports/Racing Game at The Game Awards and Best Racing Game at IGN! Vote for both below.
- Version 1.11 Patch Notes
- Vote DiRT Rally 2.0 as Best Racing Game (The Game Awards)
- Vote DiRT Rally 2.0 as Best Racing Game (IGN)
Thank you all for being a part of the DiRT world, whether you’re playing the game, hanging out on the forums, sharing videos or working hard on creating and promoting this great experience. Together you all help make this the greatest off-roading game ever made…
… and we’re not done:
See you all soon!