DiRT 3 Review

Wait... what happened to the WRC?

  • Developer: Codemasters
  • Publisher: Codemasters
  • Release Date: 24 May 2011
  • Time Played: 2.5 hours (INCOMPLETE)

While I haven't exactly been a devoted fan of rally games released by Codemasters, I do have really fond memories of Colin McRae Rally 2.0 and that game came out in 2000 – almost 13 years ago! The game had a realistic and fun single-player World Rally Championship mode and it was a blast to play on multiplayer. So when I noticed that DiRT 3 was on sale on Steam (which is apparently part of the Colin McRae Rally series), and after hearing positive comments on the game from friends, I thought it was time to reintroduce myself to the series. And yes, it's been almost a decade since I played a rally game on PC!

Gameplay (4/5)
Unlike Colin McRae Rally 2.0, the World Rally Championship seems to be absent from this iteration of the series. Single player consists of either once-off races on particular tracks or competing in a series of races and challenges. While there are the traditional rally stages there are also dirt buggy stages, drifting contests and Gymkhana. There is also a multiplayer mode too but I never had the opportunity to try it.

While I did enjoy the rally stages I believe the game is somewhat diluted when compared to the Colin McRae Rally 2.0 experience. I would've much preferred if they just focused on the World Rally Championship entirely. I mean, if I wanted to do the Gymkhana stuff, I would've got a different game, like Burnout Paradise or a Need for Speed title.

Gymkhana features prominently in DiRT 3

Sound (5/5)
Thankfully, the voice acting by your navigator sounds authentic enough and the sound effects are spot on. No complaints from this area.

Graphics (5/5)
The graphics are the best I've seen in a racing game – there is definitely a very high attention to detail. This becomes especially apparent when racing inside the cockpit of some cars – you can even see the wind rippling across your jacket as you turn corners!

Replay (0/5)
While I did not completely finish the DiRT 3 single-player mode I think I experienced enough of the game within the two and a half hours I played. At a guess, you probably could finish the single player campaign in less than 10 hours.

The real reason the replay score is 0 though is because the ability to play this game in the future is uncertain, thanks to the fact it uses Games For Windows Live (GFWL) which is going to be shutdown

Codemasters have apparently been investigating the issue but have no further word about severing the game from GFWL. According to a Codemasters Community Manager:

Just an update on this guys, we had all seen the Bioshock 2 thing today and was really impressed with what they had done. I'm not going to have anything concreate for you on what we are doing for a while GFWL is really hard wired into DiRT 3 and taking it out is a big job. We are on it though and I'll keep you updated.

Polish (3/5)
The game is generally well polished except for the fact it is integrated with GFWL. One of the most ridiculous examples of how strongly coupled the game is would be the fact you can't save any progress unless you're logged in to GFWL! I found this out the hard way and thanks to it not saving progress, I received the double whammy where I had to re-watch and re-listen to all the tutorial videos and audio clips again. Best of all, you can't skip them! Not very choice!

Score – 7/10

DiRT 3 is not as great as previous Codemasters rally games which actually focused on the World Rally Championship more than other modes and there is still a question mark as to the game's future after Games for Windows Live is shutdown for good. However, the game is still entertaining with awesome visuals and audio to boot.

If you want to get the game, you can get it on Steam.

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