|System: X360, PS3, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Codemasters||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Codemasters||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sep. 11, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: Multiplayer (1-100)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Cole Smith
Watching someone play DiRT in a video game store can lead to some serious rubbernecking. This is one amazing looking game. Those who haven't witnessed the power of the PS3 are bound to be suitably impressed. DiRT has graphics up the wazoo. Not only are the environments totally interactive and destructible, but the vehicles also take a serious and detailed beating. But a closer examination under the hood reveals a game that looks a lot better than it plays. It suggests sim, but delivers arcade.
DiRT is a fantastic arcade racing game. There is so much to exploit, you'll spend days in the single-player mode, which is a good thing because the multi-player modes leave a lot to be desired. Sure, a hundred gamers from all over the world can partake in each and every race, but you don't ever get to see them during the race. So what's the point, really? It's less fun than playing against the A.I.
As an arcade racer, DiRT is virtually impossible to beat. I'll give you a more detailed explanation later. The gameplay is divided into two main difficulty modes: default and Pro. The default, Clubman mode, is forgiving. It provides an entry-level, arcade-style of gameplay that will allow any player, of any level, an opportunity to spin their wheels with the big boys. The Pro mode offers a distinct increase in the level of challenge, but it's the A.I. that really picks up the slack. The way your vehicle handles becomes the most serious factor in the race, and it's not exactly up for the challenge. The Pro mode still maintains the same arcade physics, but demands a more refined sim approach - which just can't be delivered.
DiRT is an excellent game if enjoyed for the right reasons. It's definitely worth a rental, because the sixty-dollar price tag might be a little too rich for some budgets. DiRT doesn't do everything right, but enjoyed as an arcade game, this game is so sweet you might need to take an insulin injection before playing it.
As I mentioned, one of the first things you'll notice is that everything looks great. The environments are huge and filled with all kinds of details such as tree branches that bend against your vehicle, sand that is parted by your knobby tires, and signs that can be smashed and become permanently attached to your vehicle. You'll drive through deserts, forests, hills, mountains, muck, and sand beaches. From rough terrain to smooth asphalt highways, you'll encounter virtually every surface that North America has to offer. You vehicle turns on a dime. It almost defies gravity. As long as you can keep it pointed in the right direction, you'll stand a chance of keeping ahead of the pack. But the difficulty does increase, so you have to begin developing your skills early or you're going to be left in the dust.
In Career mode, there are a number of different rally styles including Crossover, Rallycross, Rally Raid, and Hill Climb. There are half a dozen rally race styles altogether. You have to get through each and every one of them to complete the mode. It's really a nice touch that the races are so forcefully varied. It keeps things from stagnating, and helps develop your skills in different areas.