Xbox 360 Review: DiRT 3

Time to get down and DiRTy once again…

DiRT 3 has a lot to contend with from its predecessors and rivals on the rally market, but can it step upto the mark and gain the crown as the rally king once again? Time to find out…

The 3rd DiRT game is nothing short of brilliant, surpassing the previous games in every conceivable way. You don’t go buying cars like in most racers, but instead do events with specific vehicles to gain reputation that will unlock more vehicles and events as you progress, certain vehicles have secondary objectives that will gain you more reputation if you complete them. There’s a nice mixture of events including Gymkhana which is pretty darn tricky to grasp.

You can save replays of 30 seconds, but only directly to YouTube and only in 480p, which feels like a missed opportunity for those who want to see HD replays of their greatest racing moments. You’ll also need to redeem an online pass, so make sure you get a copy with a valid code or you’ll have to pay to unlock online modes, which are the great part of the game. Multiplayer is a mixture of races, a Hardcore mode which switches off the HUD and assists, plus a Party mode which includes events which are takes on Infection and Capture the Flag as well as running down targets that pop up.

You can set your difficulty to anything which can add damage to your vehicle, but you can also set it to Casual which seems to give you very little control of your vehicle, such as seeming to brake for corners automatically, which I found rather odd…it didn’t even feel as if I was playing it. As with DiRT 2, you get flashbacks to rewind before a crash, except you get the same number regardless of difficulty and the only price you’ll pay is losing some reputation for each one you use in an event.

Visually, DiRT 3 is stunning. Cars look authentic and very well detailed, damage is realistic and the courses are just breathtaking. The only downside is that the game still hasn’t got any track deformation as you drive around, but it’s a small price to pay for a game that looks this good. The soundtrack is also superb with some catchy tunes that match the nature of the game.

The Verdict

I didn’t think it was possible to outdo DiRT 2 as a rally racer, but damn was I wrong. DiRT 3 does this effortlessly and makes me wonder where the series can possibly go from here and I for one, cannot wait to see the result.

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