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DiRT Showdown Preview

DiRT Showdown Preview

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DiRT Showdown (PC) Preview

DiRT Showdown Preview (PC)

Creative Writing Diary Entry Essays In 1998 Codemasters released Colin McRae Rally and with it started down a path which has seen them become a hugely significant player in the driving genre. As the series has evolved and moved away from the original brand to the newer "DiRT" naming we have seen the gameplay evolve significantly to the point the most recent game, DiRT 3, included some rather fun arcade game segments based on gymkhana. These served as a nice change in pace from the racing and showed that when Codemasters are not creating more serious racers, like the excellent F1 2011, they know how to have some fun.

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Application Letters Gameplay
As mentioned above the Showdown steps away from the off-road action of DiRT, the street racing of GRID or the more serious F1 franchise and carves its own niche in the Codemasters racing family. In this game we work our way towards the "Showdown Finals" taking on various styles of gameplay as we go and the game very much has a pick up and play feel. The controls are simple, the usual mix of steering with accelerate and brake but we also have access to a handbrake for more advanced cornering or moves and a boost button which gives us a temporary increase in speed and therefore more powerful impacts, of which there are many.

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Next up is Ram Rage where we are placed in an arena with various opponents. Each car has a health meter and the aim is to crash into each as much as possible, until they are wrecked at which point the health bar replenishes and the car re-enters as new. Points are awarded for more powerful moves and boost once again makes an appearance.

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That takes us to 8 Ball mode which is back to limited laps racing style gameplay however the track is designed to offer a high level of crashes and therefore plenty of action. Long straights end in loops which then end in crossroad sections where one group of racers often hit another side on, and our aim as well as watching the health and boost bars is to destroy our opponents and make it to the end of the race, finishing in the top 3 if possible.

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Graphics and Audio
For anyone who has played a recent Codemasters game from the DiRT or GRID franchises Showdown has a very familiar look and feel. It is especially close in visual style to DiRT 3 even in terms of the menu structure and available camera angles. When we then move into the main gameplay the use of Codemasters EGO engine is clearly evident, though the visual style is enhanced with the designers focusing on some rather lovely lighting effects, decent destruction models and quality use of fireworks, flames and the like. Essentially we are looking at DiRT presented as an extreme sport and on the whole it works well. It is also worth noting that the game also runs well on a wide range of systems as this is a mature engine now though we would have liked to see a few enhancements such as the use of higher spec systems to retain debris on the tracks to be knocked about as the race progresses rather than have it disappear.

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English Paper Wjec Summary
Based on our time with DiRT Showdown it is clear that Codemasters want users to forget about the more serious aspects of racing and just sit down to have some fun. The graphics, particularly the use of lighting, look great. The audio suits the onscreen action and overall the gameplay is fast and frantic as it should be. It is also nice to have a game which is very much pick up and play with no need to invest hours at a time. We can drop into a game, play for a few mins and head off again having had a concentrated battle and plenty of enjoyment.

What we also look forward to seeing is whether this signals a new approach from Codemasters Racing with a Showdown brand offering the arcade options and DiRT 4 focusing more on the traditional gameplay which the franchise is famous for.

DiRT Showdown will be released on May 24th/25th in Europe and May 29th in North America for 360, PS3 and PC. Selected retailers (such as GAME and Gamestation in the UK) will also offer special Hoonigan Editions which feature unique packaging, an in-game cash boost, an online XP multiplier plus Monster Energy liveries for the Kohler D350, Duke Coupe and Ford Fiesta Gymkhana 3 and Hoonigan liveries for the Holbrook Growler, Logan Vulture and Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X JUN (as seen in the ‘Ultimate Hoonigan’ video), redeemed via an online code.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

Stuart Davidson is Senior Editor at HardwareHeaven having joined the site in 2002.