Dirt 3

Tilce | 17 June 2011 | 15 comments (off)

Dirt 3
Submitted by Leevers

Many of you no doubt can recall the original Colin McRae rally games. They provided countless hours of fun driving through snow, dirt and mud as well as spectacular crashes. They were nothing short of the best racing games ever released. Rally driving was at its peak and Colin McRae took Subaru to new heights. However, nothing prepares us for the generation of games that are presented to us today.

The original DiRT was a huge success selling 500,000 copies within the first week! However, whilst the game received fantastic reviews, it was shadowed by the Helicopter accident that claimed Colin McRae’s life. At this point people were buying DiRT for very different reasons, and no doubt the entire rally community was in mourning.

I had been anticipating the release of DiRT3 ever since I finished DiRT2 but I had reservations in my expectations as I had no idea how Codemasters were going to top a realistic and visually stunning DiRT2. However, Codemasters set out to prove me wrong.

I started up the game and straight away I was presented with visually stunning menus and design. A tad complicated maybe, but that’s not going to tarnish my thoughts. I dove in the deep end and jumped into the campaign mode. Off I went…. Straight away my eyes went from half shut due to lack of sleep the night before to nothing short of full of life! The graphical detail of this game blew me away. DiRT2 gave us next generation graphical detail, but DiRT3 gives us out of this world visuals. Here I am planting my foot on the accelerator and I find myself blinded by the dust of the drivers ahead of me. Rocks are thrown up on my windscreen only to cause large cracks in the glass. As each second goes by I find myself fully immersed in what could possibly be the closest thing to the real deal!

It is really difficult to give you an idea of how marvelous this game really is and I don’t think any video or screenshot can prepare you for when those lights go green.

I have since completed a very large chunk of the campaign mode and with so much put into this game by the legends over at Codemasters, I will provide you with some examples of the level of detail shown that I think are incredible.

Sounds – Who would of thought driving through snow with a 650hp engine would have your ears listening to snowflakes chewed up by the spikes on the wheels along with the roar of the turbocharged engines.

Weight Distribution – Many rally games have lacked the ability to allow you to jump into a car using helmet cam and race around corners and giving you the ability to feel the weight shift of the vehicle. Codemasters have really hit the nail on the head with this one. Racing around a corner flat stick whilst holding the car in a drift has you really feeling the roll of the body and what’s better is that each car feels different! Simulation has hit new height people!

Water Crossing – There is a point in a programmer’s mind where they ask themselves ‘how far do I go?’ The addition to DiRT3 that had me most excited is the fact that you could be racing on a dirt track and find yourself with a water crossing obstacle. You think ‘I’ll hit it as fast as I can’ and sure enough, you plant your foot on the pedal and you race through it. Little did I expect that the driver behind me to experience the water being thrown from my vehicle and onto the dry dirt creating mud, thus changing how he/she drives out of that puddle as the mud causes a different traction effect. This feature and level of thought blew my mind!

I cannot express enough how incredible I think this game is. It blew my mind and I guarantee it’ll blow yours.

The only 2 things negative I found about the game was the menu system that I believe took a backwards turn from DiRT2, making it slightly more complicated than it had to be. The second is what I myself feel is true in that the vehicles feel a little light on their feet. Sure the weight distribution is there, but it just seems like the cars float more than they did in DiRT2. Does this occur in real rally driving? I’ll let an expert answer that.

All in all, fantastic game and true credit goes to Codemasters for providing a no bars held approach to gaming development.

Immersion: 5/5
Graphic Quality: 5/5
Sound Quality: 5/5
Content Quality: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5

I present you with ‘The Answer’ to Rally Simulation

15 Comments so far

Nice read i have had reservations about buying this one because as good as Dirt2 was i did not particularly like all the circuit driving with silly buggys and so forth. I am more interested in the Rallying that the first games gave us on PS1.

Yet i hear lots of good things about this one so think i will give it a shot.

Nice review Leevers, and agree with what you said.

King_Rocket | 12:53 am - 19 June 2011

Mutliplayer is also a blast, something that the reviewer seems to have overlooked. 

Play it with mates and a good time <b>will<b> be had by all.

I did neglect to mention the multiplayer aspect. As rocket has stated, multiplayer is incredibly fun and addictive that 6 hours of your night can disappear before your eyes. I believe it may even increase blood pressure but am yet to prove this.

Good review, but in my humble opinion i can’t agree in any way, shape or form with calling it “‘The Answer’ to Rally Simulation”

Too most, if not all in the Simulation community that title still belongs to Richard Burns Rally.

nice one Leevers
Looks like they have managed to bring out yet another awesome game of Dirt

I’ve been looking for this answer for quite some time Leevers..............  :) gg mate I’ll get it soon

ChrisClyde | 05:58 am - 4 July 2011

I am very pleased with the thought and don’t feel like adding anything in it. It a perfect answer.

executive offices south palm beach

Having great fun with DIRT3 on the Xbox.  Then discovered the online mulitplayer. HUGE fun :-)


Gamertag: ZALP66

Just noticed the comment in Richard Burns Rally.  Another one lost from the Sport :-( Anyway, anyone else play the Mobil 1 Rally on PC?  15 minute stages based on real UK rally stages.  Could find that 60 minutes playing at 9pm would result in the clock going to 3 am.

Ricki Sparks | 01:41 am - 14 July 2011

Thanks for the article Leevers.  I’ve been thinking about getting this one.  I love the Colin McRae rally games and I’ve got Dirt 2.  I didn’t know if this one would be much of an improvement so I’d been dragging my feet but it sounds like it’s taken the next step with graphics and game play.

Thanks for the review mate

I agree with most of it.

The major issue I have with it is the epic load times on the PC.

I found the amount of time i spent playing the stage was axctually less than the time it took to load it.

This is a great game but I just can’t bring myself to wait that long for a 1 and a half minute stage.

Wow. Doesn’t take me anywhere near that time to load in stages.  I thought for the level of detail etc the load times was extremely quick.  Must vary a lot between PCs.

I enjoyed reading your review.
Actually it makes we want to get this game :)
Haven’t played a rally game since the Colin McReay series.

I’m wondering if my old steering wheel is still compatible. I might get a demo and give it shot.
Thanks again for a great read!

Nice review, Leevers! There is one other thing that I liked better about DiRT 2 - the ability to purchase and upgrade your own vehicles. I don’t like that DiRT 3 forces you to choose various “teams” to drive for, each with it’s own vehicle. How many professional drivers change teams from race to race in RL? I’d much rather have “Team Swift” with it’s own small fleet of eligible vehicles to choose from for each race. DiRT 2 was much better at providing the feeling of a rookie rally driver moving up through the ranks and becoming world famous...giving 2 much more of a RPG feel than 3.

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