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art of rally

How ‘art of rally’ captured our imagination | The Traxion.GG Podcast, Season 2, Episode 12

With art of rally now releasing on console, Xbox and Nintendo Switch out now and PlayStation coming soon, here’s why the Traxion team has fallen head over heels for the unique take on rallying and why you should pick it up.

Maybe it’s the art style, or the handling, or the attention to detail or the rally call-backs? Perhaps a combination of all those elements?

Listen to the latest Traxion Podcast as we discuss why we think you should be playing it, and how the successor to Funselektor’s Absolute Drift is the quintessential retro rally experience.

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PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

Below is the full transcript of this episode. It’s auto-generated, hence why it’s completely random…

Tom Harrison-Lord  0:05 

Hello, and welcome to a brand new episode of the Traxion podcast. I’m Tom and joining us today is also John. How are you, John?

John Munro  0:11 

I’m very good. Thanks, Tom. How are you?

Tom Harrison-Lord  0:13 

Oh, I’m over the moon because we’re going to be talking about one of our favourite games of the minute. I think that’s fair to say, which is Art of Rally. And for those who don’t know, we’ll just dip in why we think you should get into it. But I’m extra ready today, John, because I’ve got my retro rally t-shirt on.

John Munro  0:30 

Oh, nice. 6R4 on everything.

Tom Harrison-Lord  0:32 

Yeah, I’ve got a rally themed mug. I’ve got my McKlein rally, classic rally calendar, as well. So I’m fully in the Art of Rally, retro rally mindset.Getting in the zone. And I think behind you, unless you might not be able to see a lot. There’s a couple of rally car models behind John as well.

John Munro  0:51 

Obviously, listeners will definitely not be able to see this but viewers might be able to see this. We’ve got the Gronholm Richard Burns, Peugeot 206. We’ve got Lancia we’re fully in rally mode today, Tom and I think that’s a good thing. Because I know me and you are probably two the biggest rally funds in Traxion.

Tom Harrison-Lord  1:05 

Sad but true unfortunately, it’s not very often, us rally fans get to talk about our hobby, because it’s not the most socially acceptable sport. And it’s actually quite difficult and nerdy to get into, I would say, but which is one of the reasons why Art of Rally is so good because it sort of glorifies and romanticises rally through the history and puts it into sort of a cool, accessible hipster indie release. So for those who don’t know, I think there might be quite a few listing actually, John, could you explain Art of Rally in a basic term to the lay person.

John Munro  1:05 

So Art of Rally for those of you who don’t know is basically a top down arcade racing game. So it’s not a serious sim, it’s not kind of your standard arcade racer like you might expect from other titles. This is a cool kind of slightly different view, top down racer is rallying in a sense that you’re racing against the clock on stages, but there’s no co driver. So it’s a little bit different. It’s more focused on that kind of retro arcade feeling that you might get in the 80’s and 90’s, going to arcades where things are very simple. You’ve got one goal in mind, but honestly, as you know, I’m sure you’ll you’ll come to hear about this, this is a very fascinating game with lots of different angles to it. And yeah, the main thing is the aesthetic as well.

Tom Harrison-Lord  2:14 

Would you say it’s best played with a controller, in fact I’m not sure if you can use a wheel.

Yes, you can use a wheel, you can use it. I tried it. And to be honest, I haven’t spent much time with it. So I mean, I would have to try again to see if it can get the most out of it. I mean, it’s pick up and play with a controller. And to be honest, you don’t need more than a controller.

Yeah, and this game came out originally on PC only September 2020. And you can get it from Epic, GOG and Steam. But it just came out on the day of recording for Xbox One, which obviously is backwards compatible with the Xbox series, and the Nintendo Switch. And the PlayStation 4 version is coming very, very soon. I’m not sure why there’s no date on that at the minute. But we’re working on that behind the scenes at Traxion. So at some point soon, we will have a written review for the console version.

And so this is why we’re talking about today, because hey, it’s now available to a way bigger pool of people. There’s also been a addition of some Kenya stages to all versions, including those who already have it on PC, which is six stages, four new cars and a free run. So there’ll be, by the time this podcast goes up, they’ll also be a video on the Traxion.GG YouTube channel like John will be playing it.

That’s sort of weird Back to the Future stuff, right? Are you looking forward to the video that’s already out. Anyway.

I’m looking forward to the video you’ve already seen. But you’ll know if I’m actually happy or not. I might be talking about how amazing this is going to be and then actually you’ve just seen me talk how rubbish it was. And maybe you’ll recognise this T shirt, who knows. But yeah, I’m very much looking forward to trying I mean, rally Kenya for me. I was a bit too young to really enjoy it at the time. But I’ve gone back and watched all of the safari rallies I can on YouTube.

Thank goodness for YouTube.

John Munro  3:52 

 And obviously we’ve got 2021 rallies, safari rallies back in a slightly different format. But honestly, it’s, you know, we talk about the magic of this game, which we’ll come on to. But rally Safari is probably the definition of magic when it comes to rallying because it’s just so unique and so special. So I can’t wait to try it. Although you guys will have a better idea of whether I like it or not.

Tom Harrison-Lord  4:12 

Yeah, that’s really weird. Because of the timings anyway. Yeah, this is by a solo developer. Dune are the company that that he has founded to create these games, because he also did Absolute Drift is called Funselektor.

And I think there’s been some assistance with the console ports, just to be clear. So that’s sort of the outline context. Why do you think it’s so special? Why does it have a place in your heart, John?

John Munro  4:43 

Where do we start? I mean, I think for me, the love for Art of Rally comes for the love from the love of rally. I think this is a game for motorsport rallying purists who just love their classic cars who love the idea of being at one with a stage in a car. I think that’s where it starts. Because I mean, obviously, this game is as much about the aesthetic as anything else. But they’ve obviously backed it up with physics that are, to a point enjoyable for anyone coming in. So that basically what you’ve got is like, almost like a work of art that you can actually enjoy live rather than just viewing, you’re actually part of this work of art. And that I mean, that seems very dramatic. And obviously, the name of the game is Art of Rally. So it kind of instantly gives you those vibes.

Tom Harrison-Lord  5:22 

That makes sense.

But honestly from from a starting point of view, it comes from a pure love of rallying, and I think it captures the hearts of anyone who’s in that kind of mindset.

That’s basically the same for me clearly with the the apparel that I’m wearing at the minute, clearly addicted to the VHS rallies YouTube channel. That’s all I do in my spare time. Yeah, I don’t get out much at the minute.

Especially during lockdown, a lot of old rally videos was a big help. And this game encapsulates that feeling. But you can actually play it, I would say also, the reason why I really liked this game so much and why it’s captured quite a lot of people on PC before it came to console was the sort of overall aesthetic and the look and the feel. It’s not going for realism, it’s going for charm.

I’m not gonna say cartoonish or anything like this, or shells shaded, which is easy for me to say. But it’s definitely vibrant and colourful, and not the sort of typical dowdie serious rally game.

John Munro  6:28 

Yeah, definitely. It’s like someone’s going over all of the models with a with a fine paintbrush. And there’s something about it, that you can’t really explain what the graphics are, as you say, it’s not as if they’re really high quality, or they’re the most realistic cars you’ll ever see. But it’s done so that all of it, you could just look at, you can look at the game without playing it and still think it was amazing. And I think the interesting thing for me about that is obviously Funselektor made Absolute Drift beforehand. And that was a fun game to play. But aesthetically, there wasn’t too much too it. It was all very, it was very blocky and simple colours. It was more about the mechanics of drifting. And the intrigue from that game was more about the camera angle and the physics and the way it drove but not necessarily the aesthetics, even though there was a clear style. So what Art of Rally done, this is basically taken this blank canvas and sent people out with a paintbrush and gone right. Okay, make this thing beautiful. And I think that’s encapsulated with the weather changes the locations. And, basically the whole game is oozing with charisma, as you were saying and character.

Tom Harrison-Lord  7:25 

There’s also a really high attention to detail. When you’re in Norway, there’s like timber clad buildings, you’re in Japan, there’s cherry blossoms, there’s these little fans that run on the stage, like, an old rally video, right? Like completely, really dangerous, but they always move out the way. There’s like fake sponsors, with nice livery designs on the vehicles. So yes, the overall like oh, it’s a cool sort of top down view, it’s got the vibrant colours, like you say there. There’s also like these weird small details, which really, if you add all those up, it brings it together as one holistic experience.

John Munro  8:04 

Definitely. And you as you say that the first thing you probably notice when you play the game is the little people I don’t even call them people, they’re just little cubes, cube blocks that have a voice in some way because they kind of go like “ahhh”, like Wii sport when you miss a golf shot or something.

Tom Harrison-Lord  8:18 

Oh, just like that.

John Munro  8:18 

A little reaction, or when you throw a bowling ball behind you, and it hits the people anyway, the first thing you probably noticed when you play the game is this because you’re going straight towards a crowd of people and they’ll just beautifully part of the way, it’s a bit like if you’ve ever seen Group B footage of the Audi Quattros and Peugeot 205’s, driving through those massive crowds. Portugal is basically like parting the seas. And you get that kind of effect with this game as well. The thing I love as well Tom, about the the aesthetic, is or the way it’s designed is that you actually really do feel the depth. It’s something I talked about in another kind of rally game of sorts recently, DiRT 5, where they managed to bring the vibrancy and the colour but also the depth of field. So you feel like you’re in a vast area with lots of height, and you get a sense of, i guess gravitas when you’re actually there, and you feel like you’re at the high point of the low point. And Art of Rally somehow manages this as well. I don’t know if it’s because, it’s not quite top down is it? it’s slightly from.

Tom Harrison-Lord  9:09 

No it’s from an angle. Or asymmetric.

John Munro  9:12 

And that gives you that perspective. So when you’re, racing on Mount Akagi. In Japan, you can tell how high up the mountain you are. And you get this feeling of vastness when you reach the top and kind of everything’s exposed. So there’s the just got the detail spot on.

Tom Harrison-Lord  9:25 

Yeah, and for those who listening to the audio version, if you visit Traxion.GG YouTube channel, there’s quite a few videos where John is playing it and trying to break some world records and, indeed successfully beating a world record. I’m gonna do something that’s quite mean now, John, have you looked at a leaderboard recently?

John Munro  9:45 

No, but I did say that and I’m defending myself before you even attack me here Tom.

Tom Harrison-Lord  9:49 

No, no, no I’m not attacking you. Do you think you are still the world record holder?

John Munro  9:51 

You definitely are attacking me.

Tom Harrison-Lord  9:52 

No.

John Munro  9:53 

No, absolutely. No.

Tom Harrison-Lord  9:55 

Yeah, yeah, sadly not.

I’d like to think that your video because it’s been relatively popular has inspired people to try and be that makes sense.

John Munro  10:06 

Yeah, but I think that almost would break the illusion because people would, people I mean, you could tell when you if you watch the videos that I’m not natural at these games, with Art of Rally specifically I know how to rally. I’ve done it with a wheel a lot, but I don’t really know my way around the mechanics of a controller and physics that way so it did take me a long time and if you’ve watched the videos, you’ll know just how long it took me it was it was as much an endurance event as a sprint event. But I did say in the video once I got the world record that I wouldn’t be surprised whatsoever if by the time the video went live or by the time anyone put a couple of hours into it, they could beat me so yeah, that.

Tom Harrison-Lord  10:37 

I don’t know. I think you know, put yourself down too much though, John. I think a world record is a world record, regardless. Everybody on that leaderboard has taken a lot of time to get there. So it’s not like they just turn up Oh, there we go, world record, job done. Very specific set of circumstances if anyone listening wants to try and get anywhere close, John’s time was a 2:46:461. It’s on the NASA Highland in a Group A in the rain. The, well, it’s not Subaru is it? I can’t remember the name of the car.

John Munro  11:04 

I forgotten as well, I should know it as I saw it a million times on the leaderboard popping up, but, I somehow managed to forget it.

Tom Harrison-Lord  11:09 

Erased it from your memory because you’ll have nightmares otherwise. Well speaking of cars. They’re all throwbacks to real life rally cars, but none of them are licenced. Now normally, you’d say, or maybe there might be some pithy comment on the, on the internet somewhere, like, Oh, these are not licenced cars. But in this game, it’s done in a really neat way, where each car has a livery that represents what it has in real life, and also a name, that sort of a pastiche of what it should be, which gives the game a certain charm, or charisma as you said, John, I mean, do you have any favourite car names in the game?

John Munro  11:45 

I mean, in terms of names, I love Das Whip and Das Uberwhip the BMW’s. The thing the Cozzie. I mean, I do love that, because I don’t think anyone’s ever first launched the game in the car list or not laughed as they’ve been looking through them, like, you know, the Turbo Brick for the Volvo. And which, you could describe as a brick or a sofa or something like that. But yeah, they’re really clever. They haven’t just gone, instead of calling a Volvo we’ll call it a Wolvo or something like that, you know? Yeah, that’s been a bit more creative. And I think whoever had that job must have had a field day and I would love to be the first person to read the the initial suggestions because that’s huge amounts of fun. Kind of reminds me of the gritters. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of the gritters in Scotland but they’ve all given given crazy ridiculous names. Either way totally off topic, and actually no, gritters have got so much to be rallying because of snowy conditions. So I guess I can find a way of getting in there. No, the in terms of the name. Yeah, I would agree. I have more say there’s like certain cars that stand out to me rather than the name specifically, because the names are all really, really good. For me, it’s the inclusion of Group S. Because you can do it in this game, because you don’t need to have cars that raced in official World Rally Championship, it has that freedom to it to be able to develop things. And obviously a lot of these Group S cars, for those of you who don’t know, Group S was the follow up to Group B, which never happened because Group B got cancelled, it was too dangerous. It was cancelled around mid 86, when sadly, Henri Toivonen was killed. And it was replaced with Group A, which came in in 1987. But the Group S cars, of course, you know how motorsport works. These cars were already being developed, ready for the 1987 season, presumably or whenever the regulations were gonna change. So what Art of Rally has done is taken all of these ideas and some cars that were built some cars that were probably almost built, but not quite, and put them in the game so that we can all enjoy them. And for me, that’s just a magic nugget of rallying that was just lost to the world that we can now have a go out with all the cool noises and the coolest statics and that is the big thing for me, Tom.

Tom Harrison-Lord  13:43 

Yeah. And just to clarify, when we were just saying like Group B and Group S and Group A and stuff, that’s the sort of term for the ruleset within the WRC or the World Rally Championship at the time, and Group B was this crazy, spectacular era from which the car I’m wearing this T shirt of is from and like you say, Group S was gonna follow that. Yeah, seeing the rarer cars is a real, like with the names and the car list itself. It’s clear that this is coming from a place of rally passion, if that makes sense. So, Dune clearly really knows his stuff. He’s been watching just as many rally YouTube videos as we have. I think that’s evident in the in the car list. For me as well, like some of the liveries are really cool, like you mentioned, the Cossie and by default, you can unlock more designs as you go through the game. But it’s Malcolm Wilson’s classic Michelin livery, the Lancia Stratos, or La Wedge as it known in the game. That’s Alitalia, the famous Italian, watch you call it? I was going to call it plane company.

John Munro  14:48 

Honestly, I don’t even know what Alitalia is. I just know that they’re.

Tom Harrison-Lord  14:52 

They’re like, Easyjet Italy.

John Munro  14:53 

Okay, that makes sense. I just know them as the Italian rallying sponsor.

Tom Harrison-Lord  14:57 

Yeah, they’ve got like caustic livery, and with The names that these designs are in the game and then when you’re competing against the AI, the your rivals are like riffs on real rally drivers names again you wouldn’t know this if you if you’re not a rally fan but like Timo Salah supposed to Timo Salonen and Björn, I’m going to have to read this out, Gardewalk?

John Munro  15:18 

Gardwald, I think it is?  Instead of Waldegård, it’s Gardwald.

Tom Harrison-Lord  15:21 

Waldegård yeah, exactly.

John Munro  15:23 

Michelle Newton.

Tom Harrison-Lord  15:24 

Yeah, that’s a good one. And there are all these little, little small details, like we say, that build up for rally nerds, like, as we know, one of the achievements in the game, where if you get terminal damage, it’s called Samir, which is that’s a classic YouTube rally clip if you put Samir rally in YouTube of a co driver losing their mind because the drivers disobeyed them. So that’s sort of the charm. But ultimately, that doesn’t hold up if the gameplay isn’t good, in my opinion. But thankfully, the majority of it is really good in Art of Rally.

John Munro  16:03 

Absolutely. It probably at this stage does sound like we are just like maybe we were, we’re selling this game or something. Because we both have a lot of time for it. And we’ll welcome to obviously, it’s not perfect. But in terms of the the physics, what you expect from an arcade racer, you expect something that’s easy to manage, anyone can pick up and play. But what you expect from a rally game that’s trying to kind of, I guess, capture the soul of rallying is it’s got to be challenging, it’s got to be demanding. And somehow they’ve managed to kind of walk the line here and make a game that fits both. Like it does take time to get used to, you know, the first few stages, you will be spinning a lot, you will be visiting a lot of trees, you will be misjudging your jumps. I mean, even now, I’m still misjudging the odd jump. And as you will see in the video, when you, if you watch the world record attempt, when I was really pushing, there’s a lot of trees being hit and a lot of mistakes being made. But they’ve made it in a way that you can naturally slide the car into the corner and use real rallying techniques. With a controller that’s manageable for anyone, it’s like, well, we’ll have this complex driving style that someone could use in real life. And we’ll create a physics system where you can, your inputs in the controller that anyone could do in the way you steer the car will actually make the car slide in a way that it would in real life, if that makes it. It’s I don’t know how they’ve done it. But it’s really, really impressive. And the main thing for me about it is how satisfying it actually feels.

Tom Harrison-Lord  17:22 

Yeah.

Yeah, I would say the feeling is authentic. But it’s still approachable. And so it’s one of those games that really straddles the balance very well between two realms. Although I think at Traxion in general, we don’t necessarily agree, there are two realms because we cover everything, right. But Art of Rally is a really satisfying handling model because like you say, I think one of the reasons for that is there is a challenge to it. And just like you I was in the trees and the shrubs and the and upside down a fair amount at the start, misjudging the jumps, especially because like you said earlier, there’s no pace notes. So thanks to the angle of the camera, though, you can see quite far ahead, it still takes time to learn the game and go, okay if I go flat over a jump that kind of looks like that might completely miss the next corner. So there’s there is a learning curve there. And what I would also say is that sometimes I found that I was tank slapping down the stage at first, especially in our old rear wheel drive car from trying to catch a slide it was very easy to overcorrect and then end up in the in the ditch to the left. Or the right as it might be but that’s fine, because you get you get used to it.

John Munro  17:23 

Yeah, I mean I on that one Tom. Even yesterday, I was playing Art of Rally at lunchtime just to kind of is the first time I played it in a few days, I just want to remind myself before coming on here and I was driving to Le Cinq, which was of course the Renault 5. And even with a Renault 5, with all the amount of time I’ve put into the game, I’ve now got a world record etc etc. I was still having tank slapping coming out the hairpins, I put the power down and lose the back end. And once you get off that road and try and get back on you find yourself snaking along for a little bit of the road. So that is something that even when you played the game for quite a few hours, not just the first few stages you will still be suffering from that specific issue.

Tom Harrison-Lord  19:11 

Yeah, that reminds me though, that each car does feel different, which is a key thing. Sometimes, people might have a wrong perception but perception, oh it’s not a sim, so every car kind of feels the same, well here they sound different, the behave different. The engine characteristics are different the way that they deliver the power, and the handling is nuanced. And that Renault 5 for example, is a mid rear engine car, rear wheel drive, it might even be an out and out rear engine car. So when that pendulum swings, oh my word, yeah, it can be quite difficult, but then you’d play something else on a different surface. Let’s say asphalt as opposed to gravel, you can you can really tell the difference. So there is a lot of time and effort on the way the game drives. And so ultimately, you can have the nicest looking prettiest rally nerd game of all time. But if the core gameplay isn’t up to snuff, it isn’t. It doesn’t have longevity, but thankfully, here Art of Rally does and that’s probably ultimately the main reason why I enjoy it so much.

John Munro  20:11 

Yeah, with so many cars to choose from, you never run out of new experiences. Because I find the same thing as you when I was working through the career mode, which we’ll come on to shortly. I was wanting to try each car at least once. But I couldn’t get through it, there’s just too many. And every time I drove a different car, I would get different handling characteristics, as you say, certain cars would feel heavier and maybe more cumbersome and more under steery, but then I wouldn’t get the same instability, like with the Renault, as you say, the back end would swap so quickly with the short wheelbase. And the way the weight distribution was with that car, it made it tricky to drive same with the likes of the Mini, but then it was so nimble in the twisty stuff, we had to get through chicanes. So 100%, you can feel it for sure. And it’s actually accurate to the car you’re driving.

Tom Harrison-Lord  20:51 

Yeah, you mentioned career there, so let’s just touch on the modes that are in the game. There’s obviously time trial as John, used to have a world record in. Sorry, I said used to, I’m just rubbing salt into the wound ain’t it.

John Munro  21:00 

Did you actually see what position I was in now Tom? Did you check this?

Tom Harrison-Lord  21:02 

Oh well, all I could see was the top 10. And you weren’t in the top 10, sorry.

John Munro  21:05 

Not in the top 10. Wow.

Tom Harrison-Lord  21:10 

Let’s get the dagger out. I think the quickest time is now 10 seconds quicker, over 10 seconds quicker.

John Munro  21:15 

That doesn’t surprise me that much. But it’s still I mean, you can still have to pull the dagger out afterwards.

Tom Harrison-Lord  21:19 

I’ve given you all this grief and bringing it up multiple time, so sorry, because I’m nowhere even close to your time. So, at least you can you can hold on to that you are the fastest Traxion team member. So maybe we should make an award for that. Have you got any tinfoil?

John Munro  21:36 

I was gonna say.

Tom Harrison-Lord  21:39 

Yeah, so you can do time trial against all tracks. And there’s an online leaderboard. That will be I believe, cross platform, online leaderboards as well. So there might be even a bigger pool to for people to beat you. I mean, there could be against John. And then there’s also going to be, there’s also a career mode. And then there’s also free run mode, and there’s weekly and daily challenges, as well. So just on the Career Mode, I think we should dip into that, because I think that’s where most people spend most of the time unless your trying to get some records. This is where you sort of start off with the oldest cars, and you end up with the newest cars in the game of pretty scars in the game. And you play through a series of stages and challenges, which is all good fun. And that’s how you unlock the majority of the content in the game. Have you played that much?

John Munro  22:26 

I have? Yeah, I’ve not made it all the way through because I actually started the career mode after I’d already done the world record attempt video. So I am.

Tom Harrison-Lord  22:33 

There is a limit to how much Art of Rally you could play in a week.

John Munro  22:36 

Oh, yeah, definitely. I mean, I’d say I’m probably about a third of the way through I’m definitely I’ve reached early 80s. Now as ever seen with the Renault 5. So we’re getting there. And yes, I do like the way Tom with the car progression that is a bit different. They they’ve made it so that the cars get newer, but they also got power, make them faster, so that even in real life, if Group B was actually quicker than the Group A’s after it, they’ve kind of adjusted it a little bit so that you’re getting newer, but also the game is getting more challenging, and the cars are getting faster as you go through. It’s subtle, because I still feel accurate for the car. But but you get that increased, like the better stage times, the less reaction time stuff like that.

Tom Harrison-Lord  23:09 

Yeah, I think it’s clear that we’ve been going for nearly half an hour now and be really effusive about the game. So we really enjoy it. But there are, you know, it’s not a perfect game. What game is perfect, let’s be honest, but there’s a few little niggles for me the career is, it is just one stage after another. And then you unlock stuff, there’s no like, Oh, you’ve earned some money. And you’re gonna have to repair your vehicle through this or upgrade a vehicle or buy a new vehicle. It’s just, you do well, in a rally, you unlock next rally and you unlock the next car to do the next rally. Okay, there’s going back, on the. First of all, the design of the career menu is really cool, like little Polaroid pictures, which is again, retro throwback. At the bottom, there’s like a gold bar. And if you win all the stages, that’s filled. So even if you finish first and unlock the next step, you might be tempted to go back and go. But I kind of want to get quickest on every stage or something like this. So it’s fine, I don’t really want to necessarily to have like this big XP level to go up a lot and microtransactions be thrown in there. But I felt like there could be a little bit more because it is one after another which is fine for me as a rally fan because unlocking the cars is the main bit. But if you’re not a little of this, the uniqueness might be missing a little bit for you.

John Munro  24:06 

I would agree, I would agree. And the fact that you know as the game as you, the more you play, the more you realise how linear it is. And obviously you’ve got car repairs and stuff like that, which adds something but it’s as you say, it’s the same every rally even if you’ve got interest within each rally. And because of that, I think that the the more you play, the more likely you are to get tired of it but also the rallies get longer. So it’s kind of, it almost exaggerates that even more because you know, okay, I’ve just finished a rally. I’m a bit tired of that now and the next one’s another stage longer or another event longer. And yeah, it does be it can begin to grate a little bit, especially when you’re locked into the same car for a certain amount stages, you just want to try all the different cars. And so yeah, there is an element of that definitely.

Tom Harrison-Lord  25:09 

Yeah. And the free roam mode is really quite interesting though it does add some variety, although it’s not really part of the main career, it’s like a separate thing. But for each sort of areas. So let’s say, Kenya, for example, which is new, as we’re recording. Obviously, there are multiple stages designed or levels or tracks, you might call them to go through. But really, I think behind the scenes, the developers sort of have to make this world of roads. And then from that, pick off what was going to be the stages, but you can in this game, you can actually play that entire world free roam, drive around, and you have to collect classic cassettes, there are scenes where you can take a picture or you have to collect some of those by finding them by driving around. And also the word rally, big letters R A L L Y are in the level like a Tony Hawk game or something.

Yeah, that’s, that’s good fun. The free roam model like is more of a relaxed environment and get used to a different car. And it’s just fun doing some exploring, really, I mean, it doesn’t, you don’t want to play it for too long. But the nice thing is they put the map there as well. So you can see exactly where you are and there is a unique unlockables from the free room mode, which gives you a reason to play it and therefore anything’s enjoyable when there’s something to gain at the end of it. Right. So I do like the free roam mode.

Unknown Speaker  26:21 

Yeah, the other slightly odd thing I would say is, I mean, we’re clutching at straws here, because we both really like it. But if you’ve got, I was playing through just a career race rally this morning, just on the normal, whatever the standard default difficulty is, I finished a three stage rally, there were quite short stages. And I finished second in the rally by 30 seconds, which, fair enough, I might be a bad driver. But I still finished second, way above everyone else. And I think third was over a minute behind me. And so while in like, I was in a 70s rally car in that era, the gaps at the end of the rally were quite large, which is kind of cool. But I’m playing just three short stages. So I felt like the timing of the AI could be maybe refined a little bit.

Tom Harrison-Lord  27:08 

Yeah, I think that it’s usually dependent on difficulty as well. And that’s where they make a mistake, because what they’ve done is the harder the difficulty is, the fact the AI get not only faster, but more consistent and less likely to make a mistake. So what you’re left with is, if you’re fast enough to race in the hardest difficulty, it’s awesome, because you do have a lot of drivers at the top end, but they’re still making mistakes. And it’s not as if it’s the same drivers winning every stage. So you’ve got that realistic feeling to it. Because it feels like you know, if I’m, if I come third in the state every stage and be consistent, I might even win the rally because the people around me might make mistakes at some point. However, as I say when you lower the difficulty, they not only become slower, but less consistent. So you can have them at the right speed for you. But you only have one competitor who doesn’t make a big mistake. So what would be good is if they had a kind of medium difficulty speed for someone who was still getting up to speed or not quite at the kind of faster level of the game yet, but at least has more than one rival or less people make mistakes. And that’s where you’ve got that void. So I think they they tried something quite cool. But maybe if there was two separate sliders for consistency and speed that might sit fix that it gets a bit messy. But yeah, that’s definitely something.

Yeah, and the game is being continually evolved even now, as we approach just shy of a year of its initial release, it wasn’t like early access or anything, it was just finished a release and they’re just keep adding new stuff to it. So and now new devices, so that could, everything we’ve said there could change in the future as well. So it’s definitely not finished with In fact, there is a little teaser on their website, or the game website, which, oh it’s update notes actually, where they’re still working on new environments, whatever it might be, might be tropical themed next time. So even if you play it now there’s gonna be more in the future, which is cool. Well, I think John that just about covers it for Art of rally. I feel like, what I hope is a lot of people who aren’t into rally games can approach this because it’s a smaller, more affordable title. It looks cool and doesn’t have pace notes. Is that fair?

Absolutely. It’s a game that anyone can get into but real rally fans will have ,you know, will make a connection with basically.

Yeah, so if you’re not into rally I would still recommend it because it’s a good game in its own right and it’s cool it looks amazing and drives well. And then maybe use it as a sort of tool to learn a bit more about the crazy weird sport of rally, get on that VHS rally YouTube channel, watch some old stuff because it’s, it’s brilliant. And then that will fully envelop you in the world of Art of Rally. It’s out now on PC, on the platforms like I say and Switch, Xbox. Stay tuned to the Traxion.gg website because it will have something when the PlayStation version hits as well because I know a lot of people are asking for that because it’s a very popular platform. And otherwise, check out John’s videos on YouTube for the game and any particular highlight one other than the world records or is that the one people should just dip into straightaway. Do you think?

John Munro  29:58 

I think the first video, I did on Art of Rally when that was a big one for me, because I didn’t expect to love it just as much as I did. So I think you can see excitement level as it goes through just getting higher and higher, of which then I then went on, of course, to do a follow up, which was really good fun as well in a Lancia. So I did that. Yeah, they’re the only ones you can really see how excited they made me for the game. But hopefully, we’ll have much more to come.

Tom Harrison-Lord  30:20 

Yeah, so like I said, Traxion.gg website is a hub for that. But we’ll put links to the in the description on audio and video platforms, wherever you’re listening or watching this podcast. There’ll be a quick link for you to check out John’s work there. And like I said, the Kenyan update is also out today if you already have the game on PC, and we’ll be having a video of that you can watch as well. And otherwise, that’s basically it for Art of Rally. It’s really good and we really like so go out and buy it. If you haven’t heard already. Thank you very much for listening, please do follow and subscribe on the podcast audio platforms, it really helps us podcast out. If you’re watching on YouTube, leave a comment below if you’ve tried this game before or not. So if you’re looking forward to it, we’ve maybe changed your mind or tempted you like and subscribe there too. And don’t forget to follow Traxion on social media it’s at TraxionGG otherwise, keep it pinned.

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