art of rally review – a slight yet stylish take on off-road driving

If there’s one image that gets to the heart of the madness of rally driving – and of rally in its purest, rawest and most outrageous form – it’s of one of the Group B monsters soaring over a crest, parting a densely packed crowd and skimming their slacks as it speeds by. Here’s the motorsport of the gods condensed into one bedroom-wall friendly image.

And in art of rally, here’s the motorsport of the gods distilled into one brilliantly playable, arrestingly stylish little game. At first glance I thought funselektor’s follow-up to Absolute Drift might be an arcade affair – that view from the heavens and the silhouettes of iconic machinery puts 90s classics such as Thrash Rally and Neo Drift-Out to mind – but the handling here has more in common with Dirt Rally than Sega Rally. There’s more nuance than you might expect.

But you probably suspected as much if you’re familiar with Absolute Drift, another stylish little driving game with surprising depths. There are similarities, but things have come on a fair way – just as in Codemasters’ epic off-roaders, it’s about poise and momentum, and learning how best to maintain that in a diverse roster of some 50 plus cars. They might not boast any official likenesses, but that hasn’t stopped funselektor from dipping into rally’s rich history with a selection of silhouettes and liveries – there are facsimiles of Toyotas old and not so old, Sierra Cosworths, Renault 5 Turbos and so much more besides (including some fun unlockables such as Dakar trucks and three-wheelers).

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