Art of Rally is a game I adored upon release. Its received steady updates across the three years of its lifespan and all of them have been free. Australia is a premium paid DLC pack that breathes new life into Art of Rally and brought me back to a game that I love to remind me exactly why I loved it in the first place.
The Australia DLC pack provides 6 new courses that double to 12 when used forward or reversed, 4 new vehicles, 2 new songs for the soundtrack and one new open plan area to explore. The jewels in the pack are the tracks as they split into two distinct categories. Four of them are open, flowing, fast and narrow outback challenges. They are on the simpler side initially if you are already used to the easy-does-it nudge steering that Art of Rally excels in but have some hidden stings in the tail. That’s because you’ll come to a long, gentle curve and think you’ve got it covered by there will be a slight pinch on exit that will spit you onto the dirt or into hay barrels if you don’t respect them. There are some big elevation changes too and so cresting a hill to an immediate kink will catch you out. The remaining two are a little more technical with tight 90 degree corners with buildings either side and a few chicanes to deal with. Of course you can choose the car, time of day and weather to go racing and time trial offers out lots of leaderboard action to enjoy.
The four cars are all great fun to drive too. My personal favourite was the Kei Truck which had a whimsy laze to its steering. All four cars understeer a little and so there is great satisfaction in wrestling them around these new courses. It also made me laugh that the kangaroos and emus that line some of the fields won’t budge when you hit them like the people do. Instead your car slams to a halt and the animal stays perfectly still. They are hard as nails down under! The animals feature in the open plan area to explore for vistas and collectables as some of the vista feature giant balloons of the wildlife. Doing that with digeridoo synthwave makes it all the better.
If you haven’t played Art of Rally before, this is the ideal time to dive in. Grab the complete edition with the base game and discover one of the best racing gems of the last 5 years. If you are a fan of the original, this DLC pack is a no brainer. The only reason it doesn’t score a little higher is purely because I was hoping for something uniquely Australian for these courses. What’s here is fantastic, but it is more of the same and doesn’t try anything new. When you are doing something so well though, why change?
Art of Rally: Australia
A great addition to the base game which continues to go from strength to strength with every update and addition. A true gem.
6 great courses and 12 new tracks to enjoy.
4 new vehicles are fun to drive and wrestle around the track.
Fits right into Art of Rally as if they've always been here. Like a cosy armchair.
Very strong kangaroos and emus.
Doesn't try anything new and is more of the exact same. This is fine but it'd have been lovely to have seen a few new course design pieces.
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