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Dirt 3

Dirt 3

Rally ho!

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Review The fact that rally is a niche market, even among petrolheads, perhaps goes someway to explaining why Codemaster’s Dirt franchise strives to rein in the time challenge aspects of the sport – instead favouring racing, albeit in a way which retains the drifting and suicidal cornering of the motorsport. Codemasters: good decision.

Dirt 3

Rally forth fourth?

Indeed, by embracing the mentalness that is Rallycross (whereby drivers race on circuits with as much dirt as tarmac) the company has managed to create a hugely diverse racer. Dirt 3 still just about walks on the simulator side of racing games, but feels arcade-like enough to please speed freaks too; beating Sony’s Motorstorm at its own game in the process.

It’s a long chalk from the series’ origins, Colin McRae Rally which first hit shelves way back in 1998 – a fine attempt at a pure simulation of the sport. Given that the game took a further nine months, after its European release, to find its way over to the US is perhaps a fairly massive indicator of why Dirt 3 crams in as many extreme, destruction derby type of races as it possibly can. Alas, pure rallying is still not particularly well followed in the States.

Dirt 3

Safari car

Having booted up the game you’ll first be tasked with selecting a nickname from the likes of Ace, Maverick or Jester. Suitably titled, then it’s straight on into your maiden race, which, rightfully enough, is a traditional timed rally in the wooded expanses of the Alpine circuit. The more engineering-minded might be disappointed by a lack of customisation options, the rest of us will just be happy enough to select one of the two cars available and rev the engine.

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