Colin McRae Rally DiRT Review
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This is a game that once you pick up, you’ll love. Even if you’re just a casual fan of driving games, we recommend you pick this up. And if you love your driving, then this is a cert, as its quite simply one of the best PS3 racing titles currently on the market
- Realistic damage
- In-depth career mode
- Plenty of unlockable cars and liveries
- Online mode could be better
- No "real" arcade feature
The beauty and emotion of racing is captured right from the intro movie, to the first time you grab the wheel. But once you put the less important things to one side, you’re stuck in the rough and tumble ride that is rally driving.
Colin McRae Rally DiRT is the latest in Codemasters’ series and breaks away from the traditional route it has followed in the past. No longer are you restricted to event upon event, series upon series; there’s now a wide variety and diverse selection of off track competitions. Previous games in the series have seen you merely plump through a bog standard World Championship, racing through stages across different countries in your quest to become the best. Well DiRT is different. And in a positive way too.
The game has three main modes – Career, Championship and Rally World – as well as an entertaining multiplayer section for online and LAN play. As always, I dived in feet first in to an extensive Career mode. Your aim is to race through 11 tiers of events up to the final “Champion of Champions” section. You need to raise enough points from each tier to progress to the tier above, with each tier getting progressively harder.
Usually, career modes can be a bit bewildering, but the useful voiceover at the opening of career mode gives a useful insight to DiRT, and also provides information and advice to manage your career – it’s the perfect introduction to the game, as opposed to some games where you load up the career mode and haven’t a clue what to do next.
So once you’ve settled in it’s now time to get racing. A good feature of this game is the ability to change difficulty depending on the race. As you select a race, you can choose from the 5 difficulty levels - Rookie, Clubman, Amateur, Pro Am, Pro. The harder the difficulty, the greater the reward. You can then buy different cars and liveries with your hard earned cash.
You’re stuck with a fairly limited selection of vehicles to start with, so a Chevrolet Silverado it was. The race loading up, and there I was alongside 9 other vehicles. This isn’t like the Colin McRae’s of old. It was new. But it certainly wasn’t nice. As I tried to exert my authority on the opening straight, I was shunted to the side and to the back of the field. Welcome to the game.
And once you’re in, it’s bloody hard to get out. Each race is different. Each one brings a new challenge. The beauty of it is, if you ever feel yourself getting a little too good for the opposition, you can always try the next level, and return if you’re not up to it.
Each vehicle has an incredibly in depth history. With this game, you can literally find anything you need or want to know about the vehicles, the tracks and your own personal driving experience. In the pause menu in-race, you can see the damage being done to your vehicle, which is monitored in nine different areas. Do too much damage and you’ll get a “Terminal Damage” message and your race is over.
Together with that, the game compiles interesting statistics about your own personal driving experience, such as total races, time spent on two wheels and miles without damage. You can view them at any time, but cleverly, Codemasters have hid a perhaps slightly longer than usual loading time by flooding you with interesting snippets that grab your attention whilst waiting for the main show to begin.
It all sounds rather cosy, well until you’re hurtling down a fresh track with a pocket sized map at the top of the screen. It’s not the clearest of facilities (the in game map), especially when you are concentrating so hard on avoiding that tree on the inside of the next bend, and it certainly isn’t a patch on the old McRae navigation. But as you become more of an expert, you’ll start to pick up on the Co-Driver terms, and of course get used to the tracks as and when you race them.
Otherwise, during the ... (continued on next page)
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