|a game by||Codemasters, and Codemasters Birmingham|
|Platforms:||XBox 360, PC, Playstation 3|
|Editor Rating:||8.5/10, based on 2 reviews|
|User Rating:||7.3/10 - 6 votes|
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|See also:||Download Racing Games, Games Like Blur, Games Like NFS, Games Like NFS Unbound, Colin Mcrae Rally Games|
Making a racing game that breaks boundaries and deliver a whole new experience is by no means easy to do. It requires a holistic creative mind, vast understanding of the genre, enthusiasm for motorsport, and a drive to fulfill those ambitions. Given the genre's simplistic mechanics, not many shoot for the stars. DiRT 3, on the other hand, aims for the moon.
This racing series has been rightfully acclaimed as one of the best out there. DiRT 3's predecessor has left some big boots to fill; consider the critical and fan praise it received from all over the globe. Perhaps that pressure will drive development to meet or even go beyond expectations. Or maybe it will collapse under the weight of anticipation?
Serious as Dog DiRT
The DiRT series is now seen as the bar for many racing games. The realism, design, excitement, and overall experience behind the races spearheads it as a leader in the racing genre.
So what's left for DiRT 3? Is there anything it could possibly do better than the last title? Well, there's always room for improvement. Especially in the racing genre - and the developers know this.
DiRT 3 yet again brings a very tweaked and tuned racing experience where every nuance is a marvel yet a challenge. Visually, you could spend an eternity staring at the gorgeous backdrops from the brilliantly crafted race tracks. The adverse weather supplements the scenery and becomes a core part of gameplay, too. It tests your driving so that every way is changed up.
The diversity in driving makes up the beauty of DiRT 3 mechanically. While randomness is often more frustrating than challenging, the snow, sleet, and rain present more of a skill test than a cognitive one. Every track is exciting because you're not sure what you're going to get - yet you can train yourself to prepare for the obstacles.
The gameplay feels seamless with the career mode, minigames, and hardcore mode to keep things interesting. It's hard for even someone who doesn't like racing games not to enjoy DiRT 3. There's enough to get engaged with that it will trigger even the most genre inept player with a sense of entertainment.
It's not to say that DiRT 3 doesn't have some flaws. A couple of the design choices in driving and the bland social features could have been better. However, we can argue that DiRT 3 is a damn near-perfect racing game from a general perspective. It shows that while prominent titles like NASCAR: The Game 2011 struggles to engage their audiences, you can take a page out of DiRT 3's book.
Yes, the hardcore racing fans will pick the bones apart of this game. There will be some things that frustrate and don't feel entirely as accurate as they could be. But we need to sit back and admire the level of effort in a genre that too quickly delivers bland and uninspired games. DiRT 3 is a gem compared to pretty much the rest of them.
Round-Up - Pros & Cons
- Outstanding visuals that bring the races to life
- Realistic driving mechanics that are challenging yet fun
- Beautifully designed UI
- Lack of social features make it hard to share great racing experiences
Download DiRT 3
Codemasters Racing Studio hasn't put out a bad game in years and DiRT3 is apparently going to be its biggest racer yet. The emphasis is firmly back on rally this time around and traditional rallying in particular, which will please those people for whom DiRT2's rock 'n' roll makeover went down like a Hindenberg full of cold sick.
You'll still be seeing Ken Block and chums whooping and incinerating their tyres but they're accompanied by European pros such as Kris Meeke and a garage full of iconic motors. There are more challenging environments to test them in as well, with a weather system that simulates the full gamut of the average British day - rain, blizzards and oppressive gloom - and applies it to the stages.
Apparently this means greater variety during the career mode as one visit to a location might be in blazing sunshine and the next time you rock up it could be a thunderstorm in the middle of the night. The snow effects are particularly impressive, with SEGA Rally-style snow deformation at the sides of the icy roads.
Fun In The Mud
The final big addition is a Gymkhana stunt driving mode, which replicates the hugely popular Ken Block YouTube videos. Each arena has a number of obstacles in it and you're scored for performing unique manoeuvres and getting as close as possible to the prop without nuzzling it with your bumpers.
This mode ties in neatly with the ability to take a slice of any replay and export it to YouTube from within the game, even the flashback ones. Now that pride you get when you successfully scatter a million pound rally car across the countryside can be shared with other maniacs.
Snapshots and Media
XBox 360 Screenshots
Playstation 3 Screenshots
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