DiRT is back, and it’s back really good. This is arcade rally racing at it’s best with lots of fun minigames and challenges to complete.
You can choose to play as yourself, your idol or some very dead world famous person like Ghandi if you’d like – you can fill out a self-chosen name, and then decide which nickname the narrator should be calling you – I ended up with “Cutie”. While there’s lots of different vehicles to choose from in the different classes, each with a number of vinyls and sponsors, I still miss the opportunity to make a vinyl/paint from scratch to make my car unique, especially when playing online.
It’s all about having fun on four wheels!
The career mode is called Showdown Tour, and you have to win events to unlock new events, ultimately reaching and beating the final event in each championship. As you progress in the championships, you’ll discover that the difficulty raises a bit throughout the game. I played through the game on casual setting, and to be bluntly honest, it was too easy, but I decided to play it on casual as I had to come to terms with getting the game done and writing the review. And it’s not like I’m a racing master – I love racing games, being it simulation(forza link) or arcade(nfs hp link) but I can’t dedicate myself to one game, even if I prioritized it in my life, so compared to other racing gamers, I’m easily beatable.
The events are varying throughout showdown tour;
Race-off: Simple racing, be the first to reach the finish line against a line-up of other cars – the track have obstacles such as ramps, jumps and barrels.
Domination: Have the best time on the sections of the track within set number of laps – your opponents will be on the track at the same time, so you can affect the other drivers driving and effectively time – and they can affect yours.
Elimination: Last place when the counter hits zero is taken out of the race. Winner is the last car still driving on the track.
Rampage: Destruction Derby, ‘nuff said. Hit the other cars to get points, and when time is up, the car with most points is awarded the winner.
Knock-out: Just like Rampage, but with the option of pushing your opponents off the elevated arena, awarding you points.
Hard Target: You have to survive as long as possible – the other cars will attack in attempt to wreck your car, and more attackers are being added as time goes by.
8-ball: Pretty much a regular race, but the track have intersections, so you’ll encounter your opponents in a new way – from the side.
Trick Rush: Complete as many tricks as possible within a given time – where you can do the tricks is shown on the area with icons.
Head 2 Head: Finish a course with tricks faster than your opponent over two laps.
Smash Hunter: Smash the blocks in the given colour as fast as you can.
You can send challenges to your friends, asking them to beat your time or score in the single player mode, improving the replayability a little.
What I loved the most in this game
Joyride mode initiated, and what a joyful ride it actually is! Your car is dumped at one of the trick tracks/areas, and your job is to fulfill different stunts, all shown with icons and described in the menu when pausing the game. In this mode you open up for additional parts of the areas as you do the stunts. This is very fun to play with friends, taking turns – if one of you can’t do a stunt, it’s likely another set of hands will be able to.
What I missed the most in this mode is more varying stunts as only donuts, jumps, spins and go from A to B within a certain time was presented. Also, it was too easy and more of this mode wouldn’t hurt. Maybe some DLC, Codemasters?
Impression of multiplayer
The multiplayer is fast and fun. Once you’ve jumped into a game (everything, hooligan, party or race) it’s a continuous chain of events that suits the class you’ve chosen – everything covering all the classes making it more varying. An online session can only end if you jump out of it or are left as the only player. Matchmaking is fast efficient and fast, though I’m quite sad that the team games aren’t being played by many this shortly after release. As opposed to the single player career, it’s much harder to actually win something (as I said, I did play on casual), not to mention the frustration when another player is making you spin out or hitting a wall. This doesn’t really happen in single player as the AI/CPU is driving exemplary – most of the time.
The game looks great overall, as every other triple A title, only a little aliasing in a few places. The cars handles arcadey, the narrator is jarringly enthusiastic and a little annoying to listen to. I know this game is an arcade racer, but I do wish there was a simulation mode included in the game, including taking turns with your friends in championships.
The career is too short, tracks is too flat and predictive and the option to design your own vinyl on the cars is downright missing from the game, especially for the multiplayer. On the good side there’s plenty of cars to choose from, the different modes are fun and addictive and the aggressive high-rev motor sounds from the cars is topping it all off nicely. Career mode will be too short for those who expected a lengthy one – GT and Forza expectations, but in my opinion the length of the showdown tour is just fine as it makes it manageable.
Miss; Annoying narrator/commentator, and the little customisation available is hard to find. Career might be too short for some players.
Need; Customisation, especially vinyls and car setups.Customisation, especially vinyls and car setups. Not to mention a simulation mode with time trials on real courses.