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May 24, 2011



- Enough rally cars to make even Jay Leno envious



- A lot of repeat trips to the same 6 venues



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Dirt 3

Score: 8.5 / 10


dirt 3          dirt 3


Rally racing is the pinnacle of true terrain racing – no perfect roads, no perfect weather – sometimes the Earth itself is the biggest challenge. Trying their best to show how difficult this can be, Codemasters has gone to great lengths to show the difficulty in just keeping the car on the road (if you can call it a road in some places) forget trying to race on them. Transitions between gravel, snow, ice, and dirt to pavement can be as unforgiving as the curves on the courses. Kicked up dirt




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and snow wash from a leader can be just as difficult to deal with as the course.

Starting off as a signed driver, you are allowed to join into open competitions with the goal of raising your profile through placing. Instead of using a monetary system to purchase new vehicles or upgrades for these new cars, your own ranking (Driver Reputation)


determines which vehicles are available to you. Newer vehicles provide significant improvement over predecessor cars, and so your personal favorite can quickly become insignificant or unusable in later courses. Needless to say I was more than a little miffed to lose my beloved Subaru Impreza WRX early on.

The event variety in Dirt 3 is quite impressive, besides the rally events that you would expect to see in this title, there are Rally-X races, Buggy, Truck, and the Gymkhana events to partake in. The racing events themselves are more serious in nature – just you and the field against the road; the Rally-X races are the furball races where trading paint is a near requirement to edge the field; the Gymkhana events remind me more of the SSX franchise – trying to pull off the best tricks on the course. With all the variety, you can just choose to focus on the events your best prefer or be a completionist and do everything.

To better balance the experience for all drivers, the difficulty and the driving assists can make the race a breeze for even the most inexperienced of drivers. But honestly, what’s the point in having a difficult terrain if you don’t challenge yourself against it? The casual gamer setting made things so automatic for you, that I don’t think I even had to let up on the accelerator while driving – I just had to aim the front end of the car. As you start pulling off the driving assists, the game dramatically changes from an easy endeavor to a controller tosser.


dirt 3          dirt 3


If I were to have complaints about the game – they would be limited to the following areas: The lack of variety in regions, how the DLC was integrated into the campaign mode, and the grey area where the game treads between true simulation and video game. The game has only 6 regions where events take place in (excluding the Gymkhana events) and so you become just a tad too familiar with some venues for their own good. As with most racing games – Dirt 3 has a whack-ton of DLC content, be it additional cars, tracks, or exclusive competitions but for some reason they always tend to showcase those missing content as if the game you just bought is incomplete. You’ll be flipping through an event to see the 2-3 events you can’t play because you haven’t bought them, choosing a car with the 3-4 you can’t use because you haven’t bought them… it’s doing themselves a disservice in making people believe that the game they just paid for is missing part of it.

The final argument comes with regards to the whole simulation/video game argument that inevitably comes up whenever you make a very true-to-life game. The game does a lot to make the world and the cars look as realistic as possible, with as many tuning options to make only the Forza-philes and GT-nerds upset. With as much as was done, I found some of the transition driving to be rather poor – anyone who has driven like a bit of a jag on snowy roads or gravel terrain will know exactly what I mean – the game is a little too forgivable at times.

All in all, I really enjoyed Dirt 3. From the polish of the cars, to the highly stylized menus, the attention to detail is there and it really shows through on the finished product. A good solid driving pick-up.


- Tazman

(August 11, 2011)


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