Previous Dirt games have been primarily focussed on the driving, with some light narrative elements woven into the racers. For Dirt 5, Codemasters is bringing the story to the forefront, with top gaming voice talents Troy Baker and Nolan North playing key roles in the unfolding narrative of an up and coming motorsports hopeful ascending the ranks of competitive racing.
Joining North and Baker are James Pumphrey and Nolan Sykes from the racing and motorsports YouTube channel “Donut Media”, who will be hosting the in-universe “DIRT Podcast”, providing interviews with different racers, and commentary on the different competitions as you proceed through the story.
Developer Codemasters has given an outline of how the story mode will be structured:
“Career mode is divided into five chapters, offering multiple paths allowing players to choose the events they wish to play. The higher the finish, the more Stamps the player earns, which are needed to unlock the Main Event. The highly competitive final challenge is all that’s standing in the player’s way to proceed to the next chapter. Also dotted throughout are one-off Throwdown challenges. Once unlocked, players face the ultimate one-on-one challenge against a fierce competitor from the world circuit.”
This is an interesting direction to go in. We’ve seen several games in genres not traditionally associated with delivering a character-based narrative do just that in recent years, with FIFA’s The Journey mode, chronicling the career of fictional player Alex Hunter. EA also has done similar in recent entries in the Madden series. Perhaps Forza Horizon is the most direct comparison for Dirt 5, but the story elements in the Forza Horizon games are more of a backdrop than a significant element of the game. I don’t know if we can expect a story mode in Dirt 5 that would be engaging enough to stand on its own, but as extra flavor to pull you into the world, let’s hope it is a welcome addition.
Dirt 5 will be coming out on PC, via Steam, later this year, with a release date of October 9th.