Codemasters Colin McRae: DiRT

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Codemasters Colin McRae: DiRT

Pros

  • Non-stop fun, amazing graphics, creative courses, addictive gameplay

Cons

  • Annoying navigator, some courses take a long time to beat

Bottom Line

DiRT is by no means for everyone. Most racing games are difficult at first, but you eventually master them. In DiRT, you are always on the verge of totalling your car. There's never a moment to screw around, because you will crash. If, like us, this prospect sounds like fun, than this game is definitely for you.

Would you buy this?

If you don't have an ATV or monster truck sitting around in your garage, DiRT gives you the chance to experience off-road racing without the messy cleanup, while serving up one of the best racing games we've ever played at the same time.

Off-roading at it's finest

Unlike games that depend on finesse and familiarity with the race tracks, DiRT is centred around intricate courses and worthy opponents that force you to constantly adapt. Mud, water, rocks and just about anything you'd expect in an off-road race make this game fun and addictive. But be warned; this is not for gamers who restart a race every time something goes wrong. You will slam into other cars, spin out and even flip over, but half the fun of this game is messing up and watching it on replay.

DiRT takes advantage of the PS3's powerful graphics capabilities as courses and car details are intricate and realistic; even the damage you accumulate looks real. However, it's the unique environments that really make DiRT worthwhile; puddles of mud and sprays of water are par for the course; if you're car isn't filthy halfway through the race, you're doing something wrong.

Although you can play individual races and rallies, Career mode is the way to go. Presented on DiRT's sleek interface, Career mode lets you start from the ground up; harnessing skills and acquiring and upgrading cars. Most races pair you with a navigator who prepares you for the twists and turns of the course -- though sometimes, you just wish he'd shut up. Completing races opens up more challenges, and eventually a new tier. It's a long way to the top, but there is an addictive quality that won't let you quit.

Controls are simple and play well into DiRT's overall scheme. Most of the cars' steering is sensitive, so it's easy to overcorrect when you're out of control. It takes a while to get used to, but eventually it all works out to your advantage, and power slides, handbrake turns and racing lines are all available to you. You also need to get used to some aggressive opponents. Even though the field is smaller than many racing games, courses can get a little claustrophobic, but it's all part of the fun and all the more satisfying when you win a race. DiRT also offers multiple camera angles, so you can pick whichever one you're most comfortable with -- and unlike other games, they all look great.

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