Title: V Rally 4
Publisher: BigBen Interactive
Genre: Racing, Simulation
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 13/12/2018
Price: £44.99– Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this game.
What the Developers say
The legendary off-road racing game returns! Enjoy an extreme experience while becoming an expert in a demanding simulation. Take on the challenges of rallies, rallycross, drifts, buggies and hill climbs, and set off on a spectacular journey across every continent.
Dominate dangerous roads, hostile conditions, and environments, constantly striving for more speed. Let adrenaline boost your reflexes at the wheel of the most legendary off-road vehicles in each category, and take on the most difficult routes in fabulous surroundings.
V-Rally 4 features over 50 car models, including the most famous in rallying and extreme motor sports, for you to test drive, collect, upgrade, customize and, above all, master!
As the trip is worth nothing unless it is shared, V-Rally 4 has a Career mode and an innovative online mode to transform your experience and progress.
Reviewing driving simulation games on the Nintendo Switch is more challenging than one might think. Which angle do you approach it from? Do you compare it to the competition on the Switch, of which there is very little? Or, do you relate to your previous experiences on other consoles and risk being disappointed with every Switch racing entry, ever? This conundrum is ever present in the latest Rapid Review, V Rally 4.
Developed by Eden Games and published by BigBen Interactive, V Rally 4 is the latest in the long-standing franchise which planted its roots in 1997 on the PsOne. With 16 years having passed between the 3rd and 4th iteration, there is a weight of expectation that surrounds this game. How has the time been used to develop a game which offers more than its predecessors? Why have they decided to release it now? In short, it is difficult to answer these questions: V Rally 4 is as classic a rally game as you will find.
V Rally 4 offers three distinct game modes, Career, Quick Game, and Multiplayer. The career, or ‘V Rally Mode’ as it is known, has the player travelling the world over to compete in the latest racing events. The races fall into five different categories: V-Rally Cross, Rally, Hillclimb, Buggy, and Extreme-Khana. Variations of these have been found in rally games over the years, but this extensive list is one I was very much pleased to see on offer here. The variety is excellent and ensures that the game doesn’t become stale throughout its lengthy career mode. Each car class handles differently and make for exciting races in their own right.
On top of the different race types, there are other inclusions in the ‘V Rally Mode’ which help to create immersion and provide longevity. The most influential inclusion is the ‘Recruitment’ section of the Player Hub. Here, you manage a crew of employees who, with their unique offerings, support your development from young up-start to the coveted ‘V-Rally Grand Champion.’
You can recruit for three different fields including research, mechanics, and agents. With each of the employees having their own skills and attributes, you must decide which you would like to utilise. Do you recruit a new engineer who has a wealth of experience in developing engines or one who has experience in gearboxes? Each of these decisions has an impact on the upgrades you can make for your vehicle, and this works exceptionally well. Naturally, these upgrades come at a cost and managing the weekly salary of your employees is essential.
Fortunately, Eden Games and BigBen Interactive have ensured that the management of staff and car upgrades is much more than a numbers game, with every change I made to my car having a direct impact on the gameplay itself. Top marks!
As with any racing game, my primary focus is the car handling. The early signs with V Rally 4 were promising, especially when I navigated to the ‘Car Settings’ and looked at what I could play around with. Everything from ‘ground clearance’ to ‘shock absorber compression’ and ‘brake distribution’ was present and suggested that there was a level of depth here that frankly, I hadn’t been expecting. Loading up the first race, I was not disappointed.
The car handles well, responding to any user input in a timely fashion and offering a fairly realistic account for how a rally car should handle. I use the phrase ‘fairly realistic’ as I believe that there are other
Looks and Sounds
Graphically, V Rally 4 is a mixed bag. It sounds unusual, but the only way I can describe it is that I feel the game takes a little while to warm up. It’s as if the visuals as the race starts are not the same visuals that the race ends with, and this seems rather unfortunate. Seeing the car approach the start line is where you should see it in all its glory, yet this is probably the car at its worst. It is often blurry and lacking texture. The visuals improve as the race goes on and I like what I see when this occurs. The settings are beautiful and have captured the essence of what the country you are travelling through offers. Racing through ‘Sequoia National Park’ in the USA was a delight, with the rain bouncing off the car bonnet and the light shimmering on the water.
Where audio is concerned, there is little out of the ordinary to report. It sounds just as a rally game should, and I enjoyed racing with the volume up to immerse myself fully in the rally experience.
The multiplayer offering includes both local ‘split-screen’ and online time-trial events which both work well. The online time-trial is a great inclusion and one that for me, epitomizes what rally games are about. I can see myself spending a lot of time here, especially as they update the time trial events daily.
For me, V Rally 4 currently holds the title as the definitive racing simulator on the Nintendo Switch. With an extensive career mode, online longevity and excellent handling, it is the best in its field for now. Whether V Rally would hold the title if a wealth of new racing games released on the hybrid console remains to be seen, and the fact that V Rally 4 has not been well received on other consoles tells you the state of play of the racing genre at present. If you are buying this because you want a decent racing game on your Switch you won’t be disappointed, however, don’t go comparing it to the likes of DriveClub and Forza, or Colin McRae: Dirt and World Rally Championship for that matter.
Rapid Reviews UK Rating
You can purchase V Rally 4 at the Nintendo eShop on the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch/V-Rally-4-1484375.html