Art of Rally’s release date announcement recently shined another light on this stunning-looking game – and it’s one we’ve covered a bit over the past year. Now, it’s finally here and it’s an amazing experience to behold. Art of Rally sprang to life out of a love for the sport and wanting to do something a bit different. We’re certainly no strangers to a great rally racing experience here at HG – but there’s nothing quite like Art of Rally on the market. There are plenty of isometric racing games, and some with distinct lo-fi art styles – but Art of Rally combines its puzzle pieces together to form something that may not be as approachable as a Horizon Chase Turbo or Hotshot Racing, but instead offers a bit more challenge and more rewarding racing action as a result.
With a healthy array of vehicles to unlock, you can enjoy a free ride where the pressure is of and you don’t have to worry as much about performing well. You’ll still want to use the mode to fine-tune your skillset, as this game does challenge you to be not only fast on the track, but accurate. Going quick on straightaways may seem smart, but if it leads to you going too fast into a turn, you’ll be stuck either trying to brake hard to avoid spinning out or starting the handbrake early and seeing if that steers you into safety. You can’t rewind – but you can restart your run, offering a healthy mix of learning while minimizing frustrating. Generally speaking, rally runs are only going to run you a few minutes – but having a perfect run throughout that time requires patience.
If you go into a race in a rush, you are doomed to lose. The best way to play is to be careful, but race as quickly as you can with each vehicle and then learn the car’s pros and cons as you go on. You probably won’t master a race during its first attempt, but that’s fine – when you eventually get to that point and win the day, you’ll unlock new liveries for your vehicle fleet. Art of Rally uses an eye-catching art style and lives up to its name with one of the best photo modes I’ve ever seen in a racing game. You can move the camera around and position it behind parts of the world to get a sense of depth that’s usually missing in a racing game due to the reliance of keeping the camera on the track.
Overhead racers are commonplace, but very few have the level of attention to detail and polish as this does. It’s clear that a lot of thought went into each part of its design, and it offers a unique experience when compared to other racing games on the market. If you want a distinct art style and a rally racing motif that explores the history of the genre with an alternate universe narrative, you’re in for a treat. Those seeking a more traditional racing experience will enjoy either the love letter to Virtua Racing in Hotshot Racing or the Outrun and Top Gear-influenced Horizon Chase Turbo, which remains the most diverse racing experience of the modern-day arcade-influeced fare. Art of Rally is available to pre-order now on Steam, or if you’d prefer a DRM-free version, you can get that on GOG as well. The game launches on September 23 and is a must-buy for anyone wanting a new twist on a well-regarded genre.