About This GameBased on the world famous annual rally raid organized by Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.) in South America, DAKAR 18 is a realistic simulation of the biggest cross-country rally in the world and features a variety of vehicles, including motorcycles, cars, trucks, quads and UTVs. Players will compete in fierce online multiplayer races as well as playing offline, to harness and grow racing skills in a huge open world.
In Dakar 18 you can choose between 5 vehicle categories:
- UTV (SxS)
Full Control over official vehicles and pilots:
- Cars: Peugeot, Mini, Toyota, Renault, Mitsubishi
starring Carlos Sainz, Stéphane Peterhansel, Sebastien Loeb, Nasser Al Attiyah, Nani Roma, Orlando Terranova, Mikko Hirvonen, Bryce Menzies, Emiliano Spataro, Carlos Sousa and many others.
- Motorcycles: KTM, Honda, Yamaha, Husqvarna
starring Mathias Walkner, Sam Sunderland, Joan Barreda, Adrien Van Beveren, Pablo Quintanilla, Laia Sanz and many others
- Quads: Yamaha Raptor
starring Ignacio Casale, Sergey Karyakin, Alexis Hernandez, Rafal Sonik
- Trucks: Kamaz, Maz, Tatra, MAN
starring Eduardo Nikolaev, Martin Kolomy, Aleksandr Vasilevski and many others.
- SxS: Polaris
starring Patrice Garrouste, Claude Fournier and many others
- Huge Cross-Country Open World: driving experience across Peru, Bolivia and Argentina with more than 12,000km2 of open world that doesn’t limit you to a track or certain roads
- Dakar Rally 2018 simulated 14 stages from Lima to Córdoba
- Realistic Graphics: through the conversion of satellite images on the game terrain
- Realistic Road Book Navigation System: Simulating the official Road Books of the Dakar Rally 2018 to guide you across that immense landscape where you’re free to roam. Can you get to the finish line without getting lost?
- Time and Weather Simulation: Get stuck in dry sand under the burning sun or fight against deep mud in heavy rain or river beds!
- Rescue and Repair: Are you just driving for victory or willing to stop and help others in need? Towing a stuck competitor will provide you extra repair points. You will need them!
- Single-player and Multiplayer: The game features a full-fledged online and offline multiplayer experience and competition. Race up to seven other competitors in online stages or play with a friend on split screen!
- OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-bit versions only)
- Processor: Intel Core i5-2400s @ 2.5 GHz or AMD FX-6100 @ 3.3 GHz or equivalent Core i3-7340
- Memory: 4 GB RAM
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 or AMD HD 7870 (2GB VRAM with Shader Model 5.0 or better)
Did I enjoyed? Yes, since I was waiting a Rally Raid game for years, I enjoyed to have hard times behind the wheel. But there is some things I won’t want to see in racing games.
Let’s take a look at pros and cons.
# Rally Raid, with official Dakar licence
# All categories (cars, trucks, motos, quads)
# Stages (dunes, tracks, rivers, slow zones, deserts, mountains, etc..)
# Steering wheels compatibility
# Navigation notes (actual road book)
# You can get out of the car for digging when you’re stuck in mud or sand
# Only 180° in the wheel (that’s sucks on tracks, not a big problem in dunes BTW)
# AI drivers are dumb (they miss all the f***ing turns)
# Co-driver will make you crazy. I know I’m lost, just HELP ME FOR THE F*** SAKE!
# When outside of the car the pilot is hard to control. And guess what? Your co-driver just stay stand up and saying "no time for flowers, let’s go" every 5 seconds. F*** YOU AND HELP ME STUPID.
It’s not so bad, after all. It’s not a Rally game, so don’t have a decent driving feeling because of the 180° is not a big deal. In Rally Raid we’re in dunes so it’s OK. Well, at the beginning at the game yes. We’ll see that later.
AI is missing all the turns, but we don’t see other cars often (and it’s a good thing in a Rally Raid) so not a real problem, because their time are OK. Yes, you guess right! At the beginning of the game their time are decent. We will speak about that later.
Your co-driver, your stupid co-driver…. In fact at the end it’s OK. I’ll come back to this later.
Get out of the car is a pain. And because of the difficulty of the road you have to get out often. In the first stages, after that you’ll finish all your stages by staying all the way in your car. Let’s get back to it later.
Did you seen the point?
First half of the game, in Peru.
The game is so awesome, you drive in dunes, keeping focus on your very sharp notes to find your way. You’re struggling against the road, against the clock, you’re late in the standings because they’re so strong. But it’s so exciting, winning a stage is pure adrenaline, you’re so proud of you, you want more, more, more, more!!!!
Then it come Bolivia.
But where the f*** are the dunes? Well, OK, tracks is a little less exciting but it’s the game, Dakar is not only dunes after all. But it’s a little more boring because this kind of driving could be better. But stages are still difficult. And watch of the rocks everywhere because you can break your car!
But, hey, what happened to all the drivers? I had 1 hour late when quitting Peru and I started to get 2 hours. OMG did I really lead by 2 hours? Did I become good at this? Not so sure…
Final country, Argentina.
Where I realise something. The dev team didn’t have the time to finish the game. The game became the shadow of himself when I started to drive in Argentina.
Stages description doesn’t catch the road book. What? Maybe I “read” the road book too fast, let’s get driving. OK… They said I’ll get back to dunes, but this stage is only tracks, rivers, tracks and rivers again. WTF?
Second stage, the same, but worst. And worst, and worst. The AI just fell in stupidity, I won this Dakar leading by 5 f***ing hours and half!!!
And you know what is very insane? The notes don’t match the road at all! The 2 last stages you can see notes don’t match the real thing. Waypoints are kind of delayed (they appear way before they should). They didn’t have the time to finish their game!
I don’t even remember the last time I was in difficulty in the car, stuck somewhere in mud or even lost. I almost forget you can get lost in the game! Crazy!!!
But I still have hope for Dakar 19. Please, make the same game, but finish it. Please.
That’s why I mark it as “recommended”, for the hope. And because the game is so awesome in Peru. Please, DO NOT ♥♥♥♥ED UP DAKAR 19.
And don’t forget the Africa DLC this time FFS.
Some people complain about them but they’re kinda fine except for braking being absolutely stupid… There’s no reason a car would spin out consistently if you brake in a straight line, it seems like the rear brakes % is 80 or something. Dumb but can work if you brake softly, whatever.
Power handling feels nice (maybe it should hold the line a bit better at high speed?), powerslides if you abuse it, doesn’t go forward if you don’t use it.
Mud puddles are annoying but avoidable.
Now let me get to the real bull$hit kind of stuff… Rocks, firstly. I once got stuck on a rock for a good 5 minutes even though I had both my rear wheels (RWD) firmly on the ground, they were unable to set me free and I literally had to ram the car with the driver, running into it MANY times, desperately, to set it free, but by then the race was ruined already. Is it realistic? No, I should have been able to wiggle off the rock or anyway slide off it, having both rear tyres on the ground.
Secondly… ******* POLES. You know those stupid 30cm poles at the side of rally roads that you can literally knock off with a kick? Well, you can’t knock the bloody things down and they will stop your truck going 200km/h into them (normally they would leave like a paint scratch or smth) and at any other speed, doing INSANE damage.
Mind me I’m rather mad about that kind of things because I already had to restart twice for the same reason – slightly hitting a pole sideways or frontally at low speed (I was in 2nd gear, so sub 80km/h) – insta-destroyed. Seriously, who the fk thought that was a good idea? Did you actually forget to make them destructable? Unreal, extremely sloppy execution on that last point.
EDIT: nope… They’re also ebola 🙁 The moment you get to stage 7 it will be full of speed limit zones and I had to restart several times already because they just go in at 200km/h braking at the very last second – got rear-ended for insta-withdrawal… If you try to do the same stuff you get 4 mins of penalty. Really badly done.
They should be amazing on a wheel, I’m on a 360 pad.
Co-pilot is also gonna look at you doing absolutely jack sh!t when you try to do anything outside of the car… Push it off a rock, try to help someone… He’s just gonna be looking at you with his helmet on, I can easily imagine his face under that visor like "lol" while I’m totally raging trying to get stuff done.
To put this into perspective I’ve been playing a game called Master Rallye (not really advertising, company is dead so yeah), which is kinda about dakar-ish races for about 10 years or more, it’s got crappy graphics but gameplay is great and it’s not frustrating at all even if you screw up.
Comments are welcome as long as they’re constructive somehow, devs also welcome except for the guy who did the poles, that guy is not welcome anywhere ever, sorry <_<
You also get a cookie if you read all of this.
There is a basic intro of how the navigation system works but you could do with looking for tutorials on YT to help either RL ones or for this game to explain it a little more, but its not complicated – its pretty straight forward once you understand it. But mastering it is another thing. The thing is to understand these are not like rally pace notes but point of reference from odometer reading and compass bearings as well as landmarks this is where the fun is, as well as the keeping your car or bike in one piece.
There is a rookie mode where you will always have the bearing and direction you need to go, however you do need to forgo this at some point to not rely on it. The trick is, i think, when you hit a waypoint to slow down and turn towards next Cap or compass heading without going off course too much, as soon as you do long turns to start heading towards the new bearing you can start to go off course and get lost. Sometimes ive had to do a 180 and go back and managed to find the waypoint or you see other competitors Ai or Players who know where they are going and that can help too.
Setting up the wheel is pretty straight forward, but you do have to bind some buttons on the wheel as well as unbind some that would be for a controller. Unfortunately at this point in time, you have to this again if you want to switch to a controller for the bikes for example and then rebind some buttons back to the wheel when driving a car. It would be handy if you could have profiles you can save and just load them at will.
For me at this stage, being competitive as far as speed goes is a secondary thing and just finding my waypoints is a lot of fun in itself and finishing the stages, later on when i get more confident i can focus on going faster. But its really satisfying to get difficult bits done both with navigating and terrain. When you finish a stage you can leave it there and resume another time so you wont be stuck in a race for hours on end, unless you get addicted lol. Im loving the bikes more than the other vehicles at the moment,
MP is easy to set up or join and you can race with up to 8 players. I highly recommend this game if you are into endurance off road racing. Also its pretty cool if you get stuck you can get towed out if another player is nearby and you can get out of your vehicle and place track boards or use a shovel.
I would give this game 9/10, loads of fun.
-Little selection of vehicles
Dakar is a rally raid game, very uncommon genre nowadays.
You will race in long and difficult stages with different classes of vehicles.
The game is far from being perfect since it lacks physics in some aspects and there aren’t enough vehicles but now it’s enjoyable thanks to the many updates released.
You’ll need to listen to your co-driver, pay attention to the roadbook, avoid damage to the vehicle and remain stuck into mud; these are the key focuses to succeed in this game.
Dakar provides very long stages (average of 30 minutes) that simulate real ones in 1:32 scale.
There are different surfaces: from sandy pathways to deserts, steppes, mountains, etc…
The objective is to follow the roadbook to reach validation waypoints and the finish line in the fastest time possible.
It will happen to get stuck into mud or want to help someone else; you’ll be able to get out of the vehicle and execute some operations like digging, apply recover tables under the tires, ask for help or tow vehicles.
Racing will damage and wear out the car; for every validation waypoint you will earn Dakar points useful to repair it (collecting time penalties meanwhile).
At the end of every stage, it will be possible to check the leaderboards and repair the car without penalties.
Some categories will also feature a co-driver who will read the notes, apart from this role he won’t do anything to help if you are in difficulty with the car, he will complain to you about being stopped while recovering the car or will shout every time the car is damaged.
The AI is competitive but sometimes too fast on impervious terrains. Recently, developers added penalties also for them, making the game fairer.
If you need help with the car, the AI at the moment will just ignore you.
-Adventure: the main game mode where it’s possible to race the entire Dakar 18 in one of the different categories (Cars, Bikes, Trucks, Quads, SxS)
-Dakar Series: it will be available soon; it’s like the Adventure Mode but set in other locations
-Quick Race: single stage mode with editable weather and time of the day
-Split Screen: single stage to race with another player in local
-Treasure Hunt: find objects placed into the various locations
-Training: series of challenges about different aspects of the game
-Tutorial: introduction video about the mechanics followed by a short stage to complete.
There are three difficulty levels:
Beginner gives you an aid for the compass to help pathfinding, less damage and repair costs, slower AI and autosave.
Competitor hasn’t compass aid, it’s the standard overall difficulty.
The legend difficulty will be unlocked after completing Adventure mode: there won’t be any aids at all, also, on vehicles without co-driver you will have to change notes manually and autosave is disabled.
The game has been tested with gamepad and G29 wheel + H shifter.
With controller, vehicles react decently but at high speed they become impossible to control and direction changes will lead to a spin.
The steering wheel was difficult to configure but the result was nice, it’s better than the gamepad, force feedback is strong and there are clutch and H shifter support.
Online is available and it’s based on single stages and treasure hunt mode with maximum 8 players.
Unfortunately, servers are empty and most importantly there’s no hotjoin.
The community is small but present and helpful; there’s also a Discord server run by the developers.
The three nations that hosted the Dakar 2018 are present in the game with 14 locations in total.
Those are very big and different with a total of 18.000 km^2
One of the biggest problems is the vehicle selection: there are all the classes that raced in Dakar but only a few vehicles:
6 cars and 14 crews
4 bikes and 13 teams
5 trucks and 9 crews
2 quads and 4 teams
2 SxS and 4 teams
A total of 44 teams against the 335 real Dakar 2018 entries.
Another problem are vehicles on track: there is not multiclass action like the real Dakar, you’ll only see vehicles from the category you race with.
AMD Radeon 380 4GB, Intel i5 6400, 8GB RAM at medium-high details.
Graphics and performances
The game runs on Unreal Engine 4.
Maps are detailed and well made with deformable terrains, day-night weather cycle and dynamic weather. Dust effects could be better and more to resemble the real dust clouds raised by vehicles.
Vehicles are also well reproduced but have only minor visual damage effects; drivers’ animations could be improved but models are well made with wind effects on suits.
Performances revealed to be good but two crashes during Adventure mode happened; luckily the game autosaves.
Vehicle sounds aren’t like the real counterparts and they all sound similar, the turbo sound is quite annoying but overall is decent.
The co-driver is nice with a lot of different lines and available in three languages.
Physics is simcade with realistic gravity, even if it never happens that a vehicle overturns on steep surfaces like dunes.
The collision model needs some work since vehicles hitboxes are smaller than the models. A lot of objects are irremovable and indestructible (it happened to jump on a fence and remain stuck on top of that). Sometimes even little bumps damage the vehicle; this brings to repairs and time penalties.
The grip is realistic and deformable terrains add realism to the experience but there are also some problems: with worn tires the grip will become extremely slippery, like ice, bringing to an unrealistic behaviour where the vehicle even at low speeds or stopped it drifts.
Most of handling problems are related to bikes and quads: bikes need a lot of work because the handling is very unrealistic, it will always remain stable and falling off is almost impossible; turning at very low speeds will make the bike return steady, like it’s stopped, causing an unrealistic drift instead of falling.
Quads are the worst category by far: the grip is extreme even on wet surfaces, every bump will cause an high speed U-turn without falling off the quad. It is just undrivable.
Some of the bugs were listed above as examples of some problems, the majority is related to physics and collisions. Here’s some more:
-I’ve been disqualified for injuries because while i was off the vehicle i asked for help to an AI car that rammed me, it also happened when the AI car passed me 2 meters away (this is due to the wrong hitboxes).
-There’s a camera bug where at the start of a stage is placed inside the vehicle
It’s still worth a try, maybe on sale should be a good deal.
Reviews are in fact split: overall average but recently positive.
In current conditions, i would recommend it but it still needs work, especially on physics and content.
I would like to rate it for three different aspects:
5/10 game at launch
8/10 post-release updates
6.5/10 game in v.11
the key was provided for free by the developer itself
Each of the five vehicle types are different from each other as well.
Devs are also extremely active, 6 patches have come out addressing issues players have been encountering (game came out 8 days ago at time of writing this). Hopefully all the kinks will be ironed out soon, and when they are this game will be the best rally-raid game I’ve ever played.
Co-pilot yells at me…
Stopped for repairs, then helped a Renault stuck on top of a dune then got lost…
Co-pilot screams at me…
Found my way back waypoint, but 6th speed downhill head on into a dune house wall… Busted axel…
Co-pilot is now cursing…
I had to abandon and withdraw on the 2nd segment….
THIS IS INSANITY!!!
Will see this one through 100%
I know I’m experiencing the game after 11 updates and I can say for certain it is a much better experience than the official reviews make it out to be. The few initial frustrations I experienced turned out to be more about the learning curve and getting used to the way the navigation works. Give it time and get usd to the way the co-driver makes the calls and it quickly becomes much more intuitive.
The difficulty system seems well judged to me. Easy places a direction marker at the topof the HUD compass and for me that made the gaem a little too easy – but it’s good to learn with that in the tutorial and training. This is the way of modern games to make the waypoint easy. The normal difficulty seems a much better balanced experience, the aids are reduced and it does feel like really navigating across the empty dunes.
Risk and reward is the best part of this game, deciding when to push and when to back off and show caution seems – along with nthe navigation – to be the real challenge. It’s easy to get hypnotised by the long distances and endless dunes so concentration is key. Initially the co-driver seems a bit shouty but now I understand why, he’s keeping me awake and on the right track! The AI might be a little slow (I could be judging this to early of course) as after 3 stages, about 1hr25m, I’m leding by about 4 minutes and have been able to repair any minor damage so far.
Steering feel and feedback on the TX458 wheel is more than good enough – it’s at the Forza Horizon 4 end of feedback but that’s good enough for me in a game like this where the focus is epic distances. The wheel bounces around realistically on the dunes and undulations. Only 360 DOR appears to be aligned but again, it works fine. The sequential manual gearbox settings are working well for me.
This game really stands out as something unique and different. I applaud the developers for the risks they’ve taken and the massive scope of the event and stages they’ve attempted to capture. It’s absloutely a fully playable game. If you like rallying and have some patience to get used to the navigation I think you’ll enjoy it. Well worth a try and plenty of value here once you get used to the way the game plays.
This game simulates the Dakar, a Rally Raid event where endurance and navigation matters most. It’s a different kind of sport compared to traditional Rally which you know from the WRC and can be played in the WRC and Dirt game series.
Dakar 18s damage model and driving model is only mediocre, the FFB is just generic rumble.
This would make an ordinary rally game a very bad game, is surprisingly forgotten soon in this game. The stages are very long (up to one hour) and the navigation is difficult. The atmosphere and challenges of Rally Raid are simulated very good. When you reach the finish line you really get the feeling of having acomplished something (even when you have not won). Finding the right way and not wrecking your car is the challenge. The map is huge and open. There is no auto respawn if you stray five meters away from the designated route like in WRC 7 or Dirt 4. You can drive for kilometers the wrong way and get lost. Behind every dune can be an obstacle which deals a lot of damage when hitting it. Go fast and risk wrecking your car or go slow and safe, but loose time because of going slowly? Will I make it to the finish line with my damaged vehicle or not? Loose time for reparing on stage or not? Did I really take the right path on a junction because the next waypoint seems to be undiscoverable?
If you want an arcade game like Forza or Need for Speed, a simcade rally game like WRC 7 or Dirt 4 or a sophisticated simulation like Dirt Rally or Assetto Corsa, you probaly won’t like Dakar 18 due to the long and challenging stages and the simple driving and damage model and absence of a detailed car setup. But if you want to get a glimpse of what Rally Raid is about, you will like it.