DIRT 5 on Xbox Series X is a Filthy Good Time

Hands-on With DIRT 5 on Xbox Series X

The DIRT franchise has always been one of those under the radar racing franchises from Codemasters that seems to get overshadowed by other more popular racing games. Despite this, they always deliver a stellar racing experience. We here at COGconnected consistently dish-out positive review scores for DIRT video games and nobody ever seems to walk away from a DIRT game disappointed. The same can be said for DIRT 5. Once again, I am left with a smile on my face after several hours with Codies’ latest racer on Xbox Series X.

The build I was given access to was near final. I imagine there will be some patches and other bug fixes over the next month but overall, it certainly looks like this version will mostly be the one that launches next month.

Right away, I noticed how fantastic DIRT 5 looked on the Series X. The level of detail is stunning, but given Codemasters track record of making great-looking racing games, this was fully expected. Not to mention, the extra horsepower in the Series X doesn’t hurt either.


The graphics really shine when the different weather patterns are at work. Racing in the snow that just so happens to accumulate on the track as you race is pretty cool. It gives the experience a sense of realism. The snow even affects how your car handles over the course of the race. It doesn’t end with snow. You’ll race in the blinding hot sun, rainy thick mud, navigate tough terrain at night, and even race on ice in NYC. Each terrain feels different, adds a layer of strategy and the visual result is awesome.

She’s a Looker

The racing locations are just as diverse as the weather and equally good looking. You’ll venture to Italy, New York, Greece, Arizona, Japan, Norway, and more. Each area is wonderfully designed and rendered. There is truly a ton of eye candy in this game.

As impressive as the graphics are, the lightning-fast load times are worth mentioning as well. Jumping into events takes seconds. You aren’t spending an eternity waiting in load screens like you do with most current-gen racers. There would be the odd occasion where a race wouldn’t load up right away, but I chalk this up to a pre-release glitch as it was a rare instance.

A nice little treat is the addition of Troy Baker to the experience. As you begin making a name for yourself in the career mode, Alex Janicek (voiced by Troy Baker) gives you some essential advice for your journey. As an added bonus, Nolan North also does some voice work as he plays your nemesis, Bruno Durand. As someone who has listened to those two legends in a countless number of games over the years, it’s a nice touch. Well done Codies.

DIRT 5’s career mode takes place across five chapters with more than 130 events across nine different race types. It’s a rather robust racing experience. Throw in the Playground mode where you’ll play community designed tracks and you have a racing experience that offers tons of replayability.

I won’t talk much about the Playgrounds mode where you will be able to virtually build your own course, as my man Lou goes into great detail about the mode HERE.

Are Ya Ready Kids

DIRT 5’s career mode also features a split-screen mode up to four players. This wasn’t tested during my playtime, but the fact this is included should surely be a relief for parents who want to keep their kids occupied on the same console at the same time.

There is a lot to like about DIRT 5 on Xbox Series X. Reduced load times, silky smooth frame rates, and sharp visuals make this a racing experience rally fans will enjoy. DIRT 5 may not be rich in features like other racing games on the market, but this is easily the deepest DIRT experience we have seen to date. Be sure to check out our review next month.

***A preview build was provided by Xbox***

Thank you for keeping it locked on COGconnected.

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