DiRT Rally 2.0's Pace Notes Are Recorded Three Times for Maximum Realism

Last month we got the very welcome news that DiRT Rally 2.0 is coming. The original has a reputation as brutally realistic, and now we’re seeing just how much Codemasters puts into the game to achieve that. Even down to the pace notes.

A co-drivers calls may not be the first thing you think about in terms of realism. But in a recent blog, Codemasters highlights just how integral pace notes are for the experience. Rally drivers may be preternaturally gifted, but the folks in the passenger seat are their guides. It’s important that they accurately convey what’s coming next on a flat-out stage attack — but also, that they sound like they’re actually in the car with you.

To accomplish this, the team records co-drivers three separate times. It does this in a full motion rig, with the helmet as well, to really up the authenticity. First is a low-intensity run, where calm orders are the norm. Moving up to a mid-level effort, and the jostling around has a noticeable impact on pace note delivery. Finally, at full-tilt, dial-at-11 madness, we get the sort of quick barks that keep drivers on their toes. Watch for yourself as Phil Mills calls all three levels:


Phil isn’t alone either. DiRT Rally 2.0 will feature co-drivers in French and German as well. WRC co-driver Tanja Geilhausen is lending her voice to the German notes.

As anybody that played the original Rally will attest, at some point, you will crash. Codemasters is tackling that too, as dialogue producer Olly Johnson explains recording with Mills:

“We also mentioned to him that we drove Nicky (Nicky Grist, former co-driver and DiRT 4 co-driver voice) into a few trees and off cliffs a few times to get the ‘reaction’ noises, and he couldn’t wait to have a go. We actually got Jon to sit next to him with a helmet on to do these – so Jon would drive him off the cliff and Phil would react to every bump and roll. Because Jon was there, after the car had stopped tumbling, he’d actually look over to Jon and say ‘are you OK?’ – and it’s that level of realism that makes DiRT Rally 2.0 stand out so much.


“As as a driver, when you’re in the zone, you’re in the zone, and we want it to feel real. Not robotic, not acted, but real – and with this, it is real. We use their equipment, we shake them around in the d-box, and the amount of stress we put upon them makes it real.”

DiRT Rally 2.0 is certainly shaping up to be a wild rally ride. While VR support won’t be in the game at launch, we do know each and every run on a stage will alter its surface, so having an authentic co-driver will certainly add to the experience. We expect to hear more about development before the game’s February 26, 2019.

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