When DiRT 2 was released in 2009 it received positive reviews with this site scoring it 93/100 and praising the game for its vast range of events, vehicles and modes which were mixed with pick up and play controls. Since then Codemasters have been busy working on a follow-up and this month that hits the shelves in the form of DiRT 3 and weve had a chance to play through the first year of the Career mode as well as a few multiplayer races...
The first thing which Codemasters are keen to put across is that DiRT 3 is a huge game, their biggest ever and it features double the track content of v2 with three times the rally-specific content. The best cars from the last 5 decades are included (think Audi Quattro) but we start our career as a full-fledged action sports driver with a top-flight career. The aim, to increase our global standing.
The game features various race styles including straight up rally, landrush buggies and the new Gymkhana sections. These Gymkhana sections are what really separate the game from its predecessors, those games were always fun with plenty of action, crashes and smashes but this new style ramps the fun level up even higher through the requirement to perform tricks as part of the race.
This of course also adds to the multiplayer experience where we can try to out race and out trick our friends (online or split screen) before uploading our best attempts direct to YouTube to share with the world.
Graphics and Sound
Codemasters introduced the EGO engine in the original DiRT and have been enhancing it since, hitting version 1.5 with F1 2010 and in this latest release we hit version 2.0. On our preview build, which is still being optimised, its fair to say that the graphics are very impressive. The detail level has been bumped up since DiRT2 with nice variation from track to track. This is backed by a decent soundtrack with plenty of growl from the more powerful cars.
Our first taste of DiRT 3 has been packed with fun and overall we have been very impressed. The fact that the code has been receiving further polish since our build was created is great to hear and the huge amount of races and cars mixed with varied visuals should make for a quality title when the game is released on May 24th... most importantly though all of the fun that was present in DiRT 2 has been retained and then maximised thanks to the inclusion of Gymkhana.