Gravel – Review
Follow Genre: Racing
Developer: Milestone S.r.l.
Publisher: Milestone S.r.l.
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Tested on: PS4

Gravel – Review

Site Score
Good: Arcade feel, Nice selection of cars
Bad: Loading times, Graphical prowess, Feels somewhat unfinished at times
User Score
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.7/10 (3 votes cast)

It seems that the days of the sim racer are nearly over, safe for the leaders of the pack, such as Forza and GT. Lately a lot of arcade racers have been popping up, be it in the indie scene or by big developers, such as in this scenario, Milestone. We were ready to get down and dirty with this mudslinging game that is aptly named Gravel, and while we mostly enjoyed ourselves, the game has a few points it should work on before becoming the muddy, gritty racer we were hoping to find by leaving our tracks in the puddle infested title that is Gravel.



Gravel does not really have a story present in the game, but it is being presented in a fairly fun fashion. The entire setup of Gravel is as if you’re a racer that’s being broadcasted on the Gravel channel, and thus commentaries will follow, announcements will be made, which creates a fun vibe. Sadly, the comments are somewhat short, a bit on the bland side and often repeated throughout the different tracks. Nonetheless, the getup is interesting and creates a certain frame for the game  to adhere to.


Gravel left us with mixed emotions when looking at its graphical prowess, which was sometimes impressive, but downright dated at other times. The game throws a lot of cars at you, which look like the ultimate rally and off-road vehicles with their colorful and bright decals, promoting liveries of all kinds, but the damage done to them looks a bit unrealistic, simplistic and downright poorly done compared to the cars themselves. Same can be said about the tracks, which all look neatly detailed, until you start driving in them. You’ll quickly notice that the soil is nothing more than a texturized bottom layer, which hardly shows tracks, and even on muddy tracks, you’ll barely leave an imprint with your car. The latter is very regrettable as you’ll never be seen flinging mud around with your tires, which would have made this game pure eye candy, as nothing beats a car covered in mud after a good off-road session. The game actually tries to cover up the lack of special effects when driving through a puddle or a lake by making your screen a bit blurry, so you’d miss that fact that there are no actual water splashes.

Gravel 1

We tried the game on an original Xbox One, so we weren’t able to enjoy the enhance visuals, but even so, the game didn’t pull all the stops when it came to the capabilities of Microsoft’s device. The game is flustered with frame drops, short freezes and loading issues, the latter influencing the smoothness of the actual gameplay.


Gravel is soaked in generic rock music, which certainly works for a game such as this. Sadly, in the menus the music is repeated over and over, and during the actual gameplay, the roaring of the engines is often too loud to properly enjoy what’s going on in the background. Nonetheless, the soundtrack works to a certain degree. You’ll notice the music jamming and glitching during the many loading sequences however.

As the game is presented in a game show format, you’ll also hear commentaries, which are cheesy enough to be the real deal. While the latter is very entertaining, you’ll often hear the same phrases and it would have been nice to have gotten some remarks during the races themselves instead of before, albeit with the option to turn said function on/off when you get sick of it.

Gravel 2


Gravel is an arcade racer that is all about racing off-road on sandy, muddy and gritty tracks. The main component is of course racing, all on a large list of tracks with a decent amount of different racing formats. You’ll be going from cross country, to small indoor tracks, to checkpoint racing and so on. After a few sets of tracks, you’ll always have to take on a ‘boss’, which you’ll have to race one on one, in order to progress to the next few sets of tracks. Overall the concept is simple and it works for the most part, but it’s sad that this game also neglected to implement a local multiplayer mode, which is a shame that it is being overlooked more and more in modern racing games.

Truth be told, we initially had some issues with the game’s controls, as you’ll have a lot of trouble keeping your vehicle under control, but the more we played, the more we could see why the game was designed as such. You’ll be fighting your vehicle every step of the way, but it’s only natural when you’re cruising at high speeds through the muddy and sandy surfaces, taking sharp turns trying to nab the first spot. You’ll have to temper your throttle a lot during the game, which makes for a semi realistic experience adding some extra depth to the gameplay. When you’re up to it, you can also mess with other settings to make your car’s performance a little different. Not only the controls and settings may be difficult at first, but the opponents’ AI is also impeccable, even when playing on lower difficulties, making the game a lot harder than you’d think.

Gravel 3

When playing the game for longer periods of time, you’ll get bothered by the long loading times, which feel a bit excessive for a game that doesn’t really push the Xbox One’s capabilities. It feels as if this game was somewhat rushed and not optimized for Microsoft’s console.


Gravel is an entertaining off-road arcade racer, but it certainly has its flaws. If you can look past the lack of details, the repetitive soundtrack and the long loading times, you’ll have a blast with the many different tracks, the assortment of vehicles and the overall racing madness. While this game may be an arcade title, there’s still a lot to master in terms of difficulty. We hope Milestone picks up this title again in the future for a sequel and irons out the dents that are currently plaguing this game’s bodywork.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.7/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Gravel - Review, 6.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

Aspiring ninja.

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