Written by Mike Lowther
During the previous generation of consoles, the foundation of graphics has expanded what developers can do in the creation process of designing games. In flight games, we can see gorgeous rendered skylines and shooters can view explicit detail through sniper viewfinders. Though these are nice things to have in a game, the Dirt series always seems to carry beautiful graphics with extremely fun gameplay. With a flawless cross between simulation and arcade racing, Dirt 3 releases itself as the second sequel in the series, and hopefully not the last.
Codemasters has strived to make this game different than the rest of the series by providing diverse features. Fantastic cosmetic effects such as fireworks in the distance and gorgeous sunsets pave the way to the finish line. Things like financial currency have disappeared, but the ability to tune your car has remained. Dirt 3 has tons more driving conditions, including snow and variants of rain. I still enjoy the way the windshield wipers switch on when the interior view is on, as it's the best way to drive.
Dirt 3 comes out of its shell with the brand new Gymkhana mode. It's like a Tony Hawk approach meshed with the racing genre. See how many spins you can do around a lamppost, strive for air off ramps, and drift longer than the rest of the competitors. Earn points to remain in the competition. The cars in this title are epic, as you're able to race in models from concepts to as early from the 1960's. As much fun as it is to race these beasts, crashing into mountainsides and concrete barriers at speeds in the triple digits never fail to get old. The same 'flashback' mode applies in this game, as you have a limited amount of times to revert to back to where you can correct your crash. You can also upload 30 seconds of your replays to Youtube, which is pretty awesome.
In my honest opinion, Dirt 3 classifies itself as a sequel with its intense graphics and new additions in the gameplay department. But the challenging aspect has evaporated. No longer can you adjust the difficulty to earn more points. This idea spawned from MSR: Metropolis Street Racing (pre Project Gotham Racing) on the Dreamcast, where you wager Kudos to see how well you do in a race and how much you've gambled. Codemasters' Grid and Dirt 2 have used this feature and it brought me back time, and time again. Gone is also the hip and upbeat extreme sports stars and their enthusiastic metaphors.
Ultimately, this game is a huge success in the racing world. Its advanced tuning system with auditory help can make anyone a more professional driver. The sound design is flawless through a great sound system, whilst crunchy snow and river runoff splashes can be caught through the ear. While some emotional and fizzy features are lacking, Dirt 3 attempts to bring a more simulative racing experience to its fans, and delivers and overall addicting game.
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