Gravel is an arcade-style off road racer that eschews tight and twisty traditional rallying in favour of mostly high speed assaults on generously wide tracks carved through a variety of exotic locations. Think less Codermasters’ Dirt and more a store-brand SEGA Rally Revo.
The problem is that Gravel sits in a weird place on the racing spectrum; the casual driving dynamics are easy enough to pick up but the racing itself is surprisingly plain and basic for a game unshackled from any licensed motorsport organisations. The result is a passable yet unremarkable racer in a marketplace thick with better ones.
Gravel’s solo mode revolves around a globetrotting, fictional racing TV show dubbed ‘Off-Road Masters’ – but it’s only a thin thread of context to string together what’s essentially an entirely conventional single-player racing career mode. Other than the occasional boss race the only real baggage the TV show premise comes with is an unlikeable announcer I turned off very quickly.