Codemasters brings you its next instalment in its racing franchise Dirt 3, this is Codemasters 8th game in the series given that Colin McRae 1 through 5, and Dirt 1 and 2 were its predecessors. It’s a rally game with a few extra elements thrown in for good measure. So how does it hold up against the best?
On the title menu you can choose from ‘Tour’, which is similar to career mode in most games, you are also treated to time trial, head-to-head mode, multiplayer and finally options
to change your profile and game settings. Without the Internet though, the multiplayer is as redundant as a can be. Dirt 3 uses Fame points as a form of transaction instead of money; this means certain tracks are unlocked as your reputation increases. The accumulation of reputation will unlock the ‘final track’, even if you have skipped some of the earlier tracks and a good position on the final course will unlock another ‘season’.
The courses are incredibly detailed and offer a vast range of driving surfaces and structure that will suit everyone. The artificial intelligence works rather well as a competitor. If you have had a huge crash there is an option to rewind the action a total of 5 times so you can retry that corner over and over again. Most of the courses are very fun to drive through, although they suffer greatly from being far too short, and the rally cross sections are looping courses for an even shorter run. The game can be played from a variety of views – and the ‘in car’ view is particularly well done. As another bonus, even the grooves made by the tyres on the track surface are kept throughout the race; so expect to feel the reverberations of this if the track loops over the same old ground. Dirt 3 features vast amounts of branding, reminiscent of an X Games event but makes great sense in the context of a video game. If you do well you can upload direct to YouTube to show your friends your skills.
Just as the player is getting used to one discipline, the game mode changes to offer something else – such as the much touted Gymkhana sections (need to be unlocked). These increase the player’s ability to pull stunts such as spinning, gaining air, and looping around objects, which can come in handy when rallying around tight hairpin bends. Other distractions include short ‘drifting’ courses; where the player has to power-slide their way around every bend, and the often exciting one-on-one ‘special stages’ where the track weaves over and under itself as the player fights a single adversary against the clock.
Graphics in Dirt 3 are rather impressive from sunset to snow flurries, Dirt 3 looks beautiful. The dirt getting lifted from the road while you are flying down the road at top speed is a great added feature to make your driving experience look more realistic. The background detail e.g. buildings, look just as good as they do on any other modern racer and the in car view look perfect. While you are viewing the game from the drivers’ position the environment looks beautiful and it looks good enough it may result in you crashing a few times while you take in the scenery.
Dirt 3 sound score comes with a marvellous dance soundtrack and the voice acting is very clear and easy to understand just like previous Dirt titles. However it does get boring after a while but you will probably be too gripped by the racing to even pay any attention. Details like the crunching of packed snow and skidding onto tarmac sound amazing and the sound of the engines on different cars is very well executed.
Overall the tour mode provides an excellent amount of events, I’d guess it will probably last about 10-12 hours and after you have completed the tour mode the multiplayer should keep you hooked as flying through tracks to beat your friends and setting new time records will surely keep you playing for the future.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.