Dakar Desert Rally - Review

Indiefferential Culture

Dakar Desert Rally, developed by Saber Interactive Porto, is a truly remarkable video game that sets a new standard for off-road racing games.

One of the things that sets Dakar Desert Rally apart from other racing games is its level of realism. The developers have gone to great lengths to ensure that the vehicles, their handling, and the terrain are all as accurate as possible. This means that players get a real sense of what it's like to race in the Dakar Rally, one of the most challenging motorsports events in the world.

Dakar Desert Rally is the biggest and most epic off-road rally racing adventure ever developed, and is out now on PlayStation®5, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation®4, Xbox One, and PC. This next-generation racer features true off-road rally action from the official 2020-2022 Dakar raids with authentic vehicles, realistic physics, dynamic seasons, and weather.

The graphics in this game are simply breathtaking. The environments are richly detailed, with stunning landscapes that change as you progress through the race. The vehicles are equally impressive, with intricate designs and realistic handling that make you feel like you're truly behind the wheel. The attention to detail in this game is evident in every aspect, from the way the vehicles interact with the terrain to the way the dust and sand from your tires settles on the ground.


The gameplay in Dakar Desert Rally is both challenging and rewarding. The races are intense, requiring players to use their skills and strategy to outpace their opponents and reach the finish line first. The controls are tight and responsive, giving players the freedom to race in their own style. The game also offers a variety of vehicles to choose from, each with its own unique strengths and weaknesses, which adds to the replay value of the game.

Here are the main modes that players can expect to encounter in the game:

  • Career Mode: In this mode, players embark on a journey to become the ultimate Dakar Rally champion. Players start as a rookie driver and progress through the ranks, competing in various races and tournaments, earning points, and unlocking new vehicles.

  • Quick Play: This mode is for players who want to jump right into the action. Quick Play offers a variety of different races and challenges that players can tackle without the pressure of a full-blown career mode.

  • Time Attack: This mode challenges players to complete a race or track as quickly as possible. Players compete against themselves or other players to achieve the fastest time.

  • Multiplayer: Dakar Desert Rally offers an online multiplayer mode where players can compete against others from around the world. Players can race against friends or join public games to take on other drivers in exciting head-to-head matches.

The atmosphere in Dakar Desert Rally is truly immersive, with an energetic soundtrack that sets the tone for each race. The sound effects are also top-notch, with everything from the rev of the engines to the crunch of the terrain under your tires being expertly rendered.

Dakar Desert Rally is a must-play for anyone who loves off-road racing or motorsports. The level of realism, stunning graphics, and challenging gameplay make this game an absolute joy to play. Whether you're a seasoned veteran of racing games or just looking for something new and exciting, Dakar Desert Rally is the perfect choice.

There is no easy way to achieve victory in Dakar Desert Rally as it is a challenging and realistic racing game. However, there are some tips and strategies that can help improve your chances of winning:

  • Learn the terrain: The Dakar Rally is known for its tough terrain, so it is important to learn the nuances of each environment. Pay attention to the road conditions, such as sand dunes or rocky terrains, and adjust your driving accordingly.

  • Upgrade your vehicle: As you progress through the game, you can earn points to upgrade your vehicle's engine, suspension, tires, and more. Investing in these upgrades can make your vehicle more capable of handling the terrain and give you an advantage over your opponents.

  • Use the co-driver: In Dakar Desert Rally, you have a co-driver who will give you directions and warn you of upcoming obstacles. Pay close attention to their instructions and adjust your speed and direction accordingly.

  • Choose the right vehicle: There are various vehicles to choose from, including cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, so choose the one that best suits your driving style and the terrain you'll be racing on.

  • Practice, practice, practice: As with any racing game, practice is key. Spend time honing your skills and perfecting your driving techniques. The more time you spend racing, the more comfortable you'll become with the game mechanics, and the better your chances of achieving victory.

Overall, victory in Dakar Desert Rally requires a combination of skill, strategy, and persistence. By mastering these elements, you can improve your chances of coming out on top in this challenging racing game.

 Patch 1.4

The release of Patch 1.4, significantly improved the control of the vehicles. The Professional Mode, added a new dimension to the game with roadbook navigation. While the copilot occasionally gave incorrect directions, mastering the roadbook reading was incredibly satisfying. The game truly shines when it comes to rally raid and navigation.

After reaching Level 25, the 12 stages of Dakar 2020 in Simulation Mode, added a maximum speed limit of 170kph to the roadbook navigation. This made it a true coordination challenge for the brain, especially given that the stages took nearly an hour to complete and there was no option to restart from the last waypoint. This level of difficulty and realism was very enjoyable. While the game is forgiving of player mistakes, it is challenging without being frustrating. Even if your car rolled over, you could still win the stage, which was satisfying. Τhe landscapes in the game are beautiful and accurately representative of the country. 

Overall, it's a vast improvement over the previous edition, Dakar 18. However, there are still some areas for improvement. The patch update, which has fixed some AI overtaking behavior and bike handling issues. The game offers beautiful desert environments with a stunning weather system, and the vehicles look great with excellent attention to detail. The soundtrack is good, and the car audio is excellent. Difficulty settings are locked to three different preset modes, but the game is accessible to newcomers to the world of Dakar. PC performance was initially rough but has since improved. The handling of the vehicles feels grounded in reality, but the oversteer currently feels off, which is a known issue the developers are working on. There is one issue with an event that currently appears to be impassable for the majority of players. Despite these issues, the game is still a beautiful, wonderfully unique racing experience.

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