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.
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