It's time to get dirty with Codemasters third installment to the popular
off-road rally series.
Dirt 3 is here and without doubt the best in the series. When DiRT first came on the scene it brought a refreshing and solid take to the Colin McRae series. DiRT 3 is a welcoming addition and is a completely solid experience. Everything in DiRT 3 feels as if it's been tweaked to a higher level. Steering a Rally car around bendy roads in Finland, or making donuts in the new Gymkhana events, controlling each vehicle is tighter than ever and it makes you feel in full control of your vehicle.
If your new to the series DiRT 3 offers some great options for inexperienced players. You can change the difficulty of the AI drivers from 1 to 6. There's also different assists options to choose as well as a racing line to help you out, but this can be taken off if your familiar with DiRT.
The snazzy menu is back but this time not from inside an RV. Instead it goes back to a more original look. The Tour menu is laid out with pyramid shapes that fold out with events inside. The career is packed with a variety of events that will challenge you. From Rally, Drift events and more. There's a bigger percentage of Rally this time around as Codemasters listened to their fans. The biggest new addition to Dirt 3 is Gymkhana. Using a tutorial in a DC Compound you will be taught all the tricks. From pulling off donuts around obstacles, drifting around archways, smashing through blocks and more. It's the most challenging addition to the series yet but once it's mastered you will be set for the DC challenges scattered throughout the Career. These are great fun and it gives a nice contrast between race events.
Separate to the Career you can practice your skills with a selection of set challenges in the DC compound. These can be from drifting around a certain corner, spending so much time in the air, or collecting all hidden packages. There's three different areas in the compound, The Parking Lot, The Depot and a Power Station but they will need to be unlocked by progressing your Career first.
As well as Gymkhana, Dirt 3 is packed with all the events featured in the previous titles. There's the traditional Rally, Rallycross, Landrush and Head 2 Head. Trailblazer also makes a return which featured in the original. These events are span around different locations. Finland, Kenya, Monaco and more. Something I was extremely exited about whilst talking about locations are the new Snow events. Snow has been featured in previous Colin McRae titles but it's the first time in a DiRT title and it's nice to see it back.
When I first started to play DiRT 3 I noticed the graphics have improved. I couldn't imagine it looking any better than DiRT 2 but Codemasters have done it. If it be driving in Monaco marveling at a firework display, driving through a puddle or watching the sun glaring in Kenya, each environment is incredibly detailed. The graphics are extremely sharp and polished. This is the best looking racing game I have seen to date. Even little details like pedestrians running across the road as you approach them add to the experience of making the environment feel lively.
Multiplayer is at a larger scale this time. It's packed with so much more to do than in DiRT 2. All the modes can be played either in Solo or as a team. All modes from it's predecessors are here. For example, Rallycross, Head 2 Head and Trailblazer. But there's some new exiting modes on offer. Party is one of my favorites. It takes away that realism and gives it a more arcade feel. One of the game modes is called Invasion, where you must smash cardboard Alien cut-outs and earn points. Transporter is my favorite of them all. This is a capture the flag mode just like in first person shooters. It's a lot of fun, especially when your been chased carrying the flag.
The sound in DiRT 3 is just as good quality as it looks. From the roar of the engine to the tires screeching across the terrain. The overall quality is great and so is the soundtrack, with a mix of songs that suit the game very well.
Dirt 3 is another solid title to the series. It's the biggest Rally game yet and Gymkhana is a welcoming addition. This is the best Rally game on the market and if you enjoyed the previous titles you shouldn't hesitate to buying it.
Review by Gareth Smith