DiRT 2

September 27, 2009 by Dave Burns  
Filed under PC, Playstation 3, Reviews, Xbox 360

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Overview

Title: Colin McRae DiRT 2

Release Date: 8th-11th September 2009 (Consoles Wordwide) / December 2009 (PC version)

Developer/Publisher: Codemasters / Codemasters

Genre: Racing

Platform[s]: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC, Nintendo DS & PSP

Storyline

Colin McRae is arguably the best Rally driver to ever grace the world of racing and that is still true today, even after the tragic events that took 10place 2 years ago in which Colin McRae and his son died in a helicopter crash, which left a huge hole in everyone’s hearts. Since then there has been a lot of drama online about whether or not Codemasters should be sanctioned to create another Colin McRae title, a series that has been going strong for over 10 years and is seen as the definitive rally driving game. Codemasters were granted permission from the McRae estate to go and create a new title based on the DiRT IP and here we are today with a fantastic title that Colin would surely be proud of if he was still with us.

DiRT 2 introduces Rally X Games, a sport in which Colin McRae was heavily involved with after leaving the WRC (World Rally Championship) and it brings a fresh, definitive look at rallying and introduces part off-road and part on-road rally driving. You see yourself travelling the world taking on Rally X Games, Rallying, Baja and many more.

Gameplay

A lot of improvement has gone into DiRT 2 after the feedback from the masses after DiRT, and playing this game reminds myself a lot of playing GRID. Whether your a seasoned racing game fanatic or a casual Sunday driver you are going to fail when you start, (unless of course your name is often featured on the WRC leaderboards) and you will probably find it slightly daunting, but after a few failed races you will learn the in’s and out’s of each car you get to drive in the tournaments and races. Each car does drive differently from the next so you may find yourself changing cars after failed races, in fact I probably kept swapping my cars for the first 2 hours of playing the game just to get accustomed to the style of each vehicle and learning the drive styles that match races and tracks.

2As mentioned before you get to visit tracks and race types all over the world, for instance London specialises in Rally X Games where as Croatia will see race in Rally’s. At first I felt a little overwhelmed by the different types of races but that quickly settled down as I learnt the tracks and felt comfortable with the cars.

Overall the game feels a lot like GRID and the original DiRT and it certainly accommodates new drivers with a difficulty system, there is a disadvantage to playing the game on easier levels and this is the amount of XP that you earn after completing races, but the difficulty can be adjusted before each race so as you get better at the game you can slide the difficulty up slightly to reflect your skill level. The XP that you earn levels you up unlocking a wide range of items such as liveries, cars and dashboard toys. Earning XP also unlocks new regions and new races to visit and special events such as Rally X Games, World Tours and a special Colin McRae challenge which upon completion unlocks a special tribute video of Colin McRae which will turn the hardest most daring people into a big pile of tears.

Graphics

“Does it really get any better than this?” a question I asked myself numerous times while playing DiRT 2, the scenery, the tracks even the advertising is extremely vivid and certainly leaves an imprint on your mind that will last for quite sometime. The whole design of the menu system is very unique and sees yourself looking around a trailer to enter races, configure options and play online amongst other options that we won’t bore you with. Your trailer also comes complete with a TV playing music video’s from the games soundtrack which we will talk about in the next section.

Sound

I haven’t wired up my gaming chair directly to my Xbox since I first got it, I just simply plugged it into my TV with 9loads of adapters and cables all over the place but this title made me want to get the most out of my system and I’m so glad I did. The roar of the engines at the starting line is quite phenomenal and I’m pretty sure you could find someone gullible and tell them that your not actually playing a game, your watching a race on TV. The unique sound of a Mitsibishi Evo X is unmistakable when your here it Rev up on TV or at a race but when your hear it from your own sound system it would almost be impossible to tell the difference between the two.

Not only has the game got unreal sound that’s identical to real life races, it has a killer sound track made up of artists such as Queens of the Stone Age, Prodigy, Bloc Party, Ladyhawk and Rage Against. In fact I could probably sit here all day and rave about the sound track but the only way your going to see is going out and buying the game for yourself.

Overall Score and Replayability

Overall this game is suitable for racing pro’s and newcomers alike with a fantastic engine thats made for everyone. Even if you only love racing sims you really need to give this game a go and see how fantastic it is for yourself, infact I don’t know how not to live without this game and it would certainly be a crime not to drop down to your local video game retailer and pick up a copy!

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Colin McRae: DiRT 2 demo now available on Xbox Live and Playstation Network

August 20, 2009 by Dave Burns  
Filed under Playstation, Xbox

Codemasters has just released the demo onto both Xbox Live and Playstation Network for you all to test out your rallying skills.  We expect a lot from this title so don’t disappoint us Codemasters.