I was going to start out this review saying how Gravel was very much a budget title when judged against other games in this genre when it comes to both looks and content, with my mind telling me I had seen this for around £29.99 when looking around for it before launch. My mind must have been lying to me though, as when checking around for prices as I started to type this up I was surprised to find that the cost for both retail and from the digital store is anywhere between £40.00 to £50.00. I will start off bluntly by saying I personally don't think the game is worth this much for a few reasons, with much better-looking racers in this genre, and also just offer a lot more bang for your buck when it comes to content.
Playing these episodes which have a number of events in them, your goal is to beat these events to gain stars which unlock more events for you to play, with special episodes unlocking every once in a while which see you racing what seems to be extras from the cast of every Fast and Furious movie in a head to head battle. Other events see the normal lap race, checkpoint race, championships (multiple races to secure points to be first on a leaderboard), elimination, time attack, and the unique one the bunch, Smash-up, which sees you having to hit arrow like checkpoints to be able to make it to the end of the race, To unlock all these episodes you will need a total of 120 stars to do so, with the game offering up a total of 180 to you to try and win.
Other modes on offer outside of this main mode are all very basic, with Time Attack which sees you having to set a time to sit high on those leaderboards, with another mode called weekly challenges being more of the same of you entering a special event and getting a good time to score high on the online leaderboards. You also have free race with the game letting you race any track you have unlocked via the Off-road master mode, with any car you have unlocked also being available.
The game also has an online mode too, one I was hoping was still active but as of typing this (and numerous attempts) I'm actually yet to find an active game when searching using the matchmaking option. The only other option being to invite friends in who have the game, which of course I have no such thing.
Overall: The one fault that lets the game down is the high price for the content you get back in return, with the game having the look and feel of something we would normally find around £20.00 on the digital store. If you liked games such as SEGA Rally and Daytona USA, then you will enjoy this, as while it is priced high, the only thing letting it down was content for your money, and not how the game feels to play, as that side works really well. The other worry, of course, is the dead online so soon after release, as once the single-player mode is out the way all you have left are online leaderboards sadly.