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.