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Rally car racing is a sport in transition. Like mixed martial arts, it’s spent the last several years carving out a slice of mindshare from sports fans eager for new spectacles. Rally has long been popular in Europe and Asia, and now has growing mainstream acceptance in America thanks to the late Colin McRae’s efforts to hitch the sport to the X Games.
I'm 40 minutes into a Gymkhana session - you know, the discipline of motorsport that sees you showing off in increasingly mind-blowing displays of driving finesse. But I'm still on step one of the tutorial. Nobody likes playing tutorials. All I need to do is drive through some polystyrene blocks within a time limit, yet the daft thing is, I have. I was up to Gold Medal standard on my first attempt. So why am I still sat here some 40 minutes later, unable to select anything other than 'retry'? Because DiRT 3 has nailed the 'just one more go' factor and I'm completely hooked.
If there's anything that just about everyone loves, it's a good party. So why not take that good time and put it into our racing games? Dirt 3 is ready to deliver the party to the rally racing crowd with a slew of arcade-style multiplayer modes. There aren't any time trials or serious races anywhere in sight, just all around great times jammed into the world of rally racing goodness. I got to play three new modes that are making their debut in the third entry to the Dirt series, and they're certainly not your normal racing game fare...
The Dirt series looks set to become even more epic in 2011 thanks to a whole host of new features revealed for the next game in the rally-based racer. Dirt 3 will have snow effects, 50 year's worth of vehicles from Mini Coopers and Audi Quattros to souped-up Ford Fiestas, a revamped career mode and promises to cram in 'more than double the tracks from Dirt 2 and three times the amount of rally-specific content'.
It's sort of amazing that Dirt 3 is still a long way off release. Codies third installment in their superb racing series might not be coming out until Q2 2011 but from the hands-on time I've had recently it's already shaping up to be a screeching beauty.
It’s always been sort of baffling that rally racing isn’t the most popular sport in the world; turbocharged monster cars, triple digit speeds on narrow dirt roads and catastrophic wrecks? Yes please. The sport couldn’t have a better standard bearer than Codemasters, whose recent near flawless run of racing games have captured the visceral feel of the sport without ever getting too arcadey or too simulation. We recently got some hands on time with DiRT 3, and from what we saw it’s looking even better than the already good DiRT 2...
If you haven't already heard, Codemasters are splitting their superb DiRT franchise into two. The first part will appeal to fans of serious rallying action, which will see a return the simulation skills of the Colin McRae series.
The second, DiRT Showdown, is for the bat-shit crazy folk who have a complete disregard for their own safety. The sort of person who giggles at the sight of twisted metal and likes nothing more than lead-footing pedal to turn their car into a battering ram.
It isn't DiRT 4, but DiRT Showdown's destruction and stunt heavy action is aiming beyond the hardcore sim crowd...
We've sampled the delights of DiRT Showdown's career mode in a new preview version of the game. There are arena-based sumo wrestling (with cars) events, destruction derby 8-Ball races and a streamlined version of DiRT 3's freestyle challenges. But there's also something else that's worth mentioning. Something else worth mentioning... dude.
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