After a notable 2 year absence, Codemasters have returned with the latest entry in the Colin McRae rally series, DiRT. 360 owners have certainly been spoiled for choice with driving games of late, so how does DiRT stack up against the likes of Forza 2?
DiRT continues the Colin McRae series, and as you’d expect the predominant feature in the game is rally racing. But in order to appeal to a wider fan base, a multitude of competitive racing modes are also available. The bulk of the game is situated in the career mode. Each completed challenge rewards you with prize money, the amount varying on the difficulty level. This money can then be used to purchase new cars and liveries.
There are 6 disciplines in which to compete in DiRT; rally, hill climb, rally cross, CORR, rally raid and crossover. While most of this may sound like gibberish to non-petrol heads, DiRT does an excellent job of deciphering and explaining these. DiRT offers plenty of ways to play these different modes too, from championships to single races and career mode.
The presentation of DiRT is superb. The graphics are stunning. The track and car design and damage modelling are extremely well done. The cars are wonderfully detailed but look even better after a few crashes with the damage system. Flying doors, smashed glass and ruined paint-jobs are just some of the outcomes on the way to a deformed, destroyed rally car. Damage to components can also lead to a premature end as the results are suffered by the car.
The tracks are not immune from this damage and expect to see torn up fences as cars slam through them. Tracks are beautifully detailed and use lighting to great effect. All of this comes at somewhat of a price however, as frame rates tend to suffer; this varies from choppy to a downright stutter. This is a severe agitation as are the horrendous load times, however neither are a deal breaker.
The audio is definitely up to standard with each car having a noticeably unique sound. Crashes sound realistic. Your co-driver talks and the only way to truly understand this is by experiencing it. The soundtrack, whilst unlicensed is still very good and pleasant instrumentals accompany menus and replays.
One to 100 players on multiplayer sounds fantastic until the true reality of this is realised. Only two modes feature in multiplayer; hill climb and rally. Both of these are time trial style events and don’t have you competing against other cars. The track is voted for by players in the lobby and then it’s merely the fastest time wins.
Even with the disappointing multiplayer and dodgy frame rates, DiRT is still a great game. The stunning visuals and rock-solid presentation alone make it a game that belongs in any true racing fans library.