Dirt 2 review

Too much of a good thing?

Pros

  • Polished gameplay
  • Good track editor
  • Rock-solid frame rate

Cons

  • Feels like we've played this before
  • Doesn't look super-great
  • No real improvements in handling

Firebrand is a developer with impeccable credentials in the DS racing arena, having worked on the likes of Trackmania, GRID and Race Driver: Create & Race. You can guarantee that its technology will deliver a rock-solid frame rate and a friendly, flexible track editor.

DiRT 2 is no exception, replete with the usual Firebrand bells and whistles, and as slick and fast as you could hope for on DS. The game is structured much like its disappointing big brother on Wii, with a Career mode launched from the back of a trailer, and a selection of 4WD vehicles to send sliding around the sweeping corners of tracks around the globe.

As polished as it is, there’ll be a strong feeling of familiarity if you’ve tried any of the aforementioned titles. It plays very much like a reskinned version of an earlier game, and although the tracks are new, the differences in handling aren’t so pronounced. No doubt the technical limitations of the DS and its D-pad controller mean there was only so much Firebrand could do to adapt the game while retaining its speed and fluidity, but the end result is that it’s nothing new.

Of course, if you don’t already have one of those racing games, DiRT 2 is a decent starting point. For those of us who have already played one or two of them, it’s a case of diminishing returns.

Sep 24, 2009

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