Written by Johnathan Bodily
Codemaster Studios DiRT 3 Reviewed
DiRT 3 is the latest addition to the Dirt series by Codemasters Studios. It delivers an excellent racing experience, with Rally, Rally Cross, Drift, Gymkhana, Head to Head etc…
With Gymkhana being the most difficult mode to master, having to slide, crash, jump and spin your way to victory. It incorporates live multiplayer in all modes, with a voting system you can veto game modes or specific maps that you and your fellow racers have had enough of, or just want to skip.
DiRT 3 has more cars, locations, routes and events than any other game in the DiRT series. There are over 100 routes in the game compared with DiRT 2’s 41. DiRT 3 offers the finest selection of licensed action-sports racing cars; from the rally classics like the Mini Cooper and Audi Quattro to Ken Block’s rally spec Ford Fiesta.
One of the interesting features in multiplayer mode is Rally Cross. You are racing against time, more than you are your competitors. Other players show up as “ghosts” on your screen so if you are hitting that turn majestically and your opponent has spun out on that same turn instead of smacking into them like a ton of bricks you coast right on through. This all changes when you switch over to Rally Cross. Your skills will be tested right out of the gate with other players bumping, and nudging you to gain an upper hand. It is an all out free for all for position, so bring you’re “A” game because you are going to need it.
Much like Rally Cross where your competitors are ghosts Gymkhana thankfully is the same way. Otherwise, it would be nearly impossible to pull off a trick, with a handful of cars drifting, spinning, crashing and jumping through the obstacles at the same time. With the incorporation of Gymkhana DiRT 3 has pulled off a gaming first, and no doubt put a smile on the faces of many Gymkhana fans.
A fun twist in your standard racing play is the addition of snow. You will notice a sea change from the dry surfaces. A highly advanced particle and physics model powers snow that builds up on the track, wheel tread and the car as it falls throughout the race. Night racing, and racing through the rain have also upped the ante.
Of course, what would a game these days be without the addition of a social networking component? Have you got a killer score in Drift? Absolutely sick combo in Gymkhana? Did you just smoke the competition in Rally Cross? Hit a jump at just the right speed to get some sick air? DiRT 3 allows you to clip out a short clip of your best moves in the replay, than upload it to share on YouTube.
Codemasters sent us a copy of DiRT 3 and we’ve had fun with it. I have to say I was impressed with how smooth it feels. Unlike some other racing titles, you don’t have to constantly correct steering, it only requires a mild tap to the left or right to keep control most of the time, and the multiplayer mode is just plain fun. There is nothing like going head to head, and beating the guy who is ranked higher than you. Showing them that it isn’t all about your rank, but also your skill, and in some cases sheer luck.
For example, in third place, with the second place car just over one second ahead, I bank a turn just in time to see both first and second players judge a right turn wrong and go wide right into the side of a bridge, giving me first and what ended up being a ten second lead.
Those of you who haven’t played a DiRT title in the past will enjoy the Casual gamer mode. This mode will help keep you on the track and help you get a good feel for the game before you eventually move on up to Intermediate and/or Pro modes. Overall, I’d say Codemasters did a great job with DiRT 3 incorporating a large number of rally cars, trucks, and buggies as well as the addition of Gymkhana.
DiRT 3 is fun game for all ages, and experience levels, Codemasters has provided a riveting gaming experience that doesn’t shy on detail, and tricky game play. I give DiRT 3 a solid 8 out of 10 stars.
DiRT 3 releases globally on May 24th and is available on the Playstation 3, XBOX 360, and PC.
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