DiRT 2 Reviews

  • DavieMarshallDavieMarshall221,342
    20 Apr 2010
    22 0 0
    DiRT 2 is an accomplished title, without doubt. Codemasters know how to present a product well and this is the first thing you will notice as you jump into your gaming experience.

    There are no standard menus here as such. Most of your options are presented to you by way of interaction with real objects in your RV, your base of operations throughout your DiRT World Tour. This looks brilliant, and most importantly, doesn't compromise speed and efficiency in the place of being flash and stylish. You can still jump around the options quite quickly and have things tailored to your needs very easily.

    The RV offers you two key options in the form of the DiRT World Tour (Single Player) and DiRT Multiplayer. Both of these revolve around a levelling system. Completing a race will bag you XP. Similarily completing 'missions' (such as driving a set number of miles, jumping a total of so many feet) will yield bonus XP. This goes toward increasing your driver level which unlocks numerous bonus items, such as toys for your dashboard, or new liveries and vehicles.

    The only issue with this system is that it stops paying out at level 30. You'll manage to hit level 50+ easily in the process of completing your DiRT World Tour which makes the post-race screen detailing your performance and XP reward rather pointless and you'll be stabbing at A in a bid to skip it to no avail.

    The events in World Tour include your usual suspects, Rallying, Raid, Trailblazer as well as some new ideas such as Gatecrasher which sees you flying around a given track hitting 'gates' on the way. The idea is to hit as many of these as you can (each of which rewards you with +2secs) in a bid to cross the finish line with as much of your starting time intact as possible as it continually counts down throughout the event.

    Rally fans will be disappointed by the lack of rallying in the title. There's some rallying but just not enough. It's arguably the most exciting game mode and the most iconic. You'll also find that the rally tracks are very limited. Typically each country (of which there around seven or eight to visit) will have four rally tracks.

    There's often the short version of a rally course, an extended version of the same course. Then the short course reversed and the extended course also reversed. This is in fact a problem throughout the whole game. There's just not enough variety in the tracks. Racing a track and then that same track in reverse just isn't as fun as racing two separate tracks with different styles and approaches required no matter which way you look at it. So when you visit a new area, you'll have raced pretty much all of the available courses by the end of the first tier of races. For the following two tiers it'll be more or less the same thing in faster cars. Give the tracks are all beautifully crafted and great to look at, but you'll end up driving in 'robot mode' after a while and not noticing the great details thanks to over exposure.

    Furthermore, this means once you hit driver level 30 and are out to complete the rest of your career, your enthusiasm suddenly wanes and the game becomes much less interesting.

    There's some nice extra events throughout the course of your World Tour. You'll compete at the X Games and also in World Rally/Raid etc events (same tracks again mind). You'll also earn the chance to compete in a quite special event once reaching a certain level. It could be considered a spoiler seeing as how it's a secret achievement, so I won't ruin it here.

    Perhaps the thing that annoyed me most in DiRT 2 however is the name checking and indeed voice overs provided by drivers such as Pastrana and Block. You'll be asked from the beginning to choose your commentary name. Not having 'Davie' I opted for 'Dave'. Throughout every race and every post race screen you'll hear "Hey Dave", "Sweet Dave", "Awesome Dave", "Totally sick Dave", "Dave, Dave, Dave, Dave...". Sometimes less is more...

    The voice overs are particularly inane too. You have the chance to befriend the stars throughout your careers. That's fine. But when I blind side Ken Block and put him out of the race I don't expect to hear him apologise to me and ask if I'm OK. Luckily you can turn these voices off however, and you may be tempted to do so after listening to drivers chat to one another whilst racing. "Hey Travis! How are you?", "I stayed up way too late last night, I'm paying for it now". Please. Shut up.

    The online mode is solid and runs well without any discernible lag. It's a highly competitive environment however, so don't expect to jump in to the world of DiRT online and be competitive without having unlocked some of the best cars in each tier first though.

    All in all, it's an exceptionally well done off roader, extremely well presented and very enjoyable to play. I would have liked to have seen more rally action and a wider variety of tracks as the repetition comes in quite heavily towards the end of your play through.
    4.0
  • Harrison101Harrison101156,511
    30 Nov 2009 01 Dec 2009
    14 3 7
    So, how is Codemasters sequel to the best Rally Game of all time. Simple, they added personality and made it even better.

    Dirt had the prettiest looking menus in Video Game History. Ever. Without debate. This is no exception again, Codemasters really know how to design their games. It looks superb. The Meuns here are you in an RV, travelling the world, and you get to move around in a First Person view. It looks wonderful. And graphically, it's even better than the original. The visuals, the damage and the textures of Mud and other surfaces are superb. This game doesn't put a foot wrong presentation wise.

    Sounds fantastic, the engines are great, the collisions are great, and the soundtrack injects a lot of personality, with stuff from The Kaiser Chiefs, Bloc Party and Franz Ferdinand. Great stuff and it gives DiRT 2 a real injection of fun, quirkyness and personality, something the original lacked. Also, pretty nice verbal stuff from Rallying Icons like Ken Block, Travis Pastrana, Dave Mirra and others, and this can happen while they're actually racing, which is a cool touch.

    The main emphasis of the game is the DiRT Tour, a 100-Event Tour of 8 different locations, Morocco, England, Los Angeles, Utah, Croatia, California, Japan and China. They're split into 6 Different disciplines, Rally, Rallycross (Circuit based racing), Raid (Rally race in Trucks), Trailblazer (Rally stages but with no Co-Driver), Gate Crasher (Hitting gates on a stage to gain time), Domination (Racing in circuits to be fastest in individual parts of the course) and Last Man Standing (Elimination). Funny how in the first game, Rallying was the emphasis. Now, less than 20% of the game is pure Rally stages. I like this, adds to the longevity and freshens things up a bit. Pure Rally fans might be a little disappointed with this, but I think that it's better this way. There is also a levelling system, with you gaining levels with experience. Small gripe with this is that they stop being generous with goodies after you hit Level 30. And you'll be far beyond that by the time you complete DiRT Tour. I was Level 69 by the time I finished all 100 Events. See what I'm getting at? However, you get a lot of nice stuff, so it's not that big a deal. (Also, small mention, the RV can disrupt the flow from race to race a little too much, but that's a minor quip. Thanks to Mr J1m for mentioning that)

    GRID's Flashback system is here as well. Basically if you make a mistake, you can go back 10 seconds and replay that area and try again. Works well for novices, as does the 6 Levels of Difficulty affecting how many you have, with 'Easy' carrying 5 up to 'Hardcore' having none at all. This also affects the very good AI and targets you have to meet, and the Prize Money and Experience you gain. This is nice as it lets the player dictate how to play the game and play at a level of skill that suits them.

    The format is great overall, because the build up is nice, and it allows you to play at your own pace. Completion is difficult, but rewarding, and it isn't hard to get a lot out of this game, which benefits more people. Also there is a friend system, which lets you gain the respect of more famous drivers as you play such as Ken Block, Travis Pastrana, and Dave Mirra who I mentioned earlier. I wish it wasn't as positive though, you can wreck Ken Block and run him over, and he'll still be your best friend. Maybe a Rivalry system would be nice, but at least everyone gets along eh?

    There are 100 Different Events, so it'll take a good 20 Hours to knock everyone out and pass the X Games events, World Tours and buying all the different cars. Online Multiplayer is so much better than the original as well, in actual racing against up to 7 other people in any DiRT Tour event, over Xbox Live, with a smiliar levelling system as the Tour Mode. Very fun generally. Also Tournaments and News updates and the promise of future Downloadable Content, will mean that this is a very hard game to put down.

    Without any doubt, the best off-road racing game that's ever been. It's fun, it's beyond arcade with it's settings, it's hard, but most of all, it's enjoyable. Pure Rally fans might be slightly disappointed, but everyone else will love this. Even if you're more of a Track Racer, check this game out, you won't be let down. It's like they took Dirt and made every part of it that bit better. And a fitting tribute to the Rallying Legend, Colin McRae. Near perfect, and well deserved. Good job Codies, now do me a favour and make GRID 2 just as good, if not better.

    Graphics: 10/10 - Masterful

    Beautiful Graphically speaking, cars look great, realistic crash damage and everything from the dirt coming off the ground to the fireworks at the start vision line. And the Menus are the best looking I've ever seen in a video game.

    Audio: 10/10 - Masterful

    With Artists such as Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party, Kaiser Chiefs, The Prodigy and Rise Against, the background music is sublime and really suits the atmosphere. Since you're in an RV most of the time, it all comes from a Stereo, and it's really nice sounding, even in the loading screens.

    Controls: 9/10 - Outstanding

    A very nice blend. Not too Arcade like, with fellow Codemasters game GRID, and not a proper Simulation like Forza or Gran Turismo. The cars are much more weighted down, so they feel more like Rally Cars, and the surfaces generally feel better than it's predecessor.

    Lasting Appeal: 9/10 - Outstanding

    With 100 Different Events, plus a much improved online mulitplayer, there's a lot to keep you busy here, I reckon at least 16+ Hours to get them all. Codemasters are also fairly rewarding with the achievements, and it's not a really hard game to 1,000, so it's good incentive to make you play on.

    Story: 9/10 - Outstanding

    You play from the RV, and generally, it plays really well. You don't have an ACTUAL storyline, but you can gain the respect of Pros such as Travis Pastrana and Ken Block, as well as race for Colin McRae, so the way the game is presented allows you play at your own pace, which is nice.

    Overall: 9.2/10 - Outstanding
    5.0
  • xxW0LFxx TFDxxW0LFxx TFD209,205
    05 Jan 2010
    10 0 1
    When Dirt 1 came out many fans became annoyed as the series became americanized and drifted away from its rallying route’s.

    Those people will be horrified to know that Dirt 2 has become even more americanized and even less of a pure rally game.

    Instead the series has evolved into a off-road racer which combines its rallying heritage with tight circuit racing and X-game event’s and a many celebrity names that will most likely not be recognised over in the UK.
    Names like Ken Block and Travis Pastrana,who are extreme sport legends in the US are less widely know over here in the UK which make’s the choice to include them an odd one.

    There’s some unusual additions to Dirt 2,like your on track competition talking to you via the radio that can actually ruin the overall feeling of the game slightly.
    When you slam into someone on track you do no expect that person to pipe up over the radio with “don’t worry,it’s a tight track”.

    However if you ignore the americanized feeling of the game then what you find is a fantastic off-road racer that makes any one who plays it feel like some sort of driving god.

    Thanks to the game’s beautiful graphics engine,off-road racing has never looked so good.
    Dirt flies off of the wheels and water splashes glisten in the morning sun and it’s a truly wonderous spectacle to behold.
    The games damage model is superb and cars crumple with such realism you find yourself wincing as it plows into a wall.

    However,it’s the handling model in a racing game that make’s or breaks the experience and Dirt 2’s handling model is beautifully crafted and a dream to play.
    Car’s slide round corners with amazing grace and ease,giving novice players the feeling of being a demigod of driving while giving the more experienced players the perfect handling to get those all important record times.

    The new career system in Dirt 2 is well crafted,though disappointingly short.
    As you may expect you complete race’s over a variety of events,such as Trailblazer which is a point to point race in some very fast cars or your more traditional Rally races.
    As you progress you can gain rival racers friendship to unlock more events,but to be honest gaining their friendship is far too easy and you can barge into them countless times and still become friends,making the entire idea seem pointless.
    You then unlock the X-game events,of which there are 4.
    These spectacular events are multi race tournaments that progress you further along the Dirt tour.
    All of this is done through a new menu system that has you walking around your mobile home in a first person perspective.
    However the Tour is over far to quickly,taking around 6-8 hours to get through it.

    Dirt 2 does not have a huge selection of Cars,instead going with the simple idea of quality over quantity.
    The car’s are all fantastic,ranging from Rally cars,Trailblazing beasts and massive Hummers to race in.
    But what if you love the first car you buy and don’t want to have to swap cars for every different event?
    Well Dirt 2 allows you to buy car “packages”.
    These package’s change your car so it can compete in almost every event throughout the career.
    This allows you to quickly pick your most loved car and take it through the entire Dirt Tour.
    It’s something that should be in more racer’s.

    The entire game is also a fitting tribute to the Legend himself,Colin McRae.
    You start the game in Colin’s old car and take part in a tribute race to the great man in which other racing legends like David Coulthard take part as well.

    disappointingly for a series that has its root’s in Rally racing,Dirt 2’s career mode is only made up of around one quarter of rally race’s and the rest are different variety’s of off-road racing such as Buggy’s.
    And while Dirt 2 is the pinnacle of off-road racers it’s still a shame to see it’s rallying route’s slowly disappearing into the background.

    Dirt 2 has a great multiplayer mode to bolster its lifespan however,with a variety of racing to keep you happy.
    And if you dont want to barge around with others you can choose rally racing or trailblazing,in which case you race each other’s ghosts on track so contact cannot ruin your race.
    Multiplayer feels fun to play and will keep you entertained for a while.

    At points Dirt 2 feels gimmicky due to its americanised nature and less focus on traditional rallying,but once you get past that you find a stunning off-road racer that thrills players in every corner and keeps you coming back for more.

    If you enjoyed this review,please check out my website at:
    http://wolfsgamingblog.com/

    SCORES:

    Graphics: 92%
    Beautiful cars and stunning environments make for a truly breathtaking game.

    Gameplay: 93%
    Off-road racing at its peak.

    Lifespan: 85%
    A short Tour mode,but the multiplayer might keep you going for a while.

    Overall: 93%
    It may have lost its pure rally background,but Dirt 2 is off-roading brilliance.
    5.0
  • CAMOKIERENCAMOKIEREN153,504
    28 Sep 2010
    5 0 0
    And all I can say is its superb, in my opinion its the best racer on the Xbox. The graphics are absolutely excellent along with the sound effects. Everything about the game just seems really stylish, out of races, for example the menus and the area where you select what you wish to do just looks great. And in races you can choose from a number of different views, personally I like going into the dashboard view (inside the car). Some games dont include this view, or if they do its hard to see where your going. But DiRT has got it just right, everything inside the car looks good and you can see where you are going very well and adds more atmosphere to the game.

    The gameplay it self is superb. The handling is good and you soon get used to it. There is a variety of different race types, such as rallying, time trials and also the X-Games . There is also a very good choice of cars which you can buy and modify the looks of. There is plenty to do with 100 events you can complete. Even after you have completed all of the events, there is a very strong multiplayer system. Ive played quite a few games online and its really fun and it will keep you interested.

    This game is an excellent racer and I recommend it for anyone who likes racing games. If you liked the first DiRT you will definitely love this one!
    5.0
  • cc99999cc99999322,931
    28 Sep 2009
    3 4 0
    Dirt 2- In a Minute - Review


    Dirt was an easy to play and relatively enjoyable racer for the Xbox 360. Dirt 2 expands on that formula, notches up the art style and event variety, and adds a more fleshed out multiplayer element in Dirt 2.

    Part of Dirt 2's appeal to me is that it is easy to play and even has an easy setting for the 95% of gamers who aren't hardcore racer nerds. This is great if don't mind barrelling over your competitors (trust me- they don't mind running into you) but not so great once you play online and every game turns into a bunch of twats running you off the track before plowing ahead to win by thirty seconds.

    Ranked online play feels like a retarded cross breeding of computer-un-aided car handling and bumper car damage modeling and physics. If someone wants to be a jackass online and ram into people- shouldn't they obliterate their car in the process? There are a few online achievements worth getting- but for the most part, the game is better without multiplayer.

    As for the length of the single player campaign, Dirt 2 is about 10 hours too long. The further you progress in the game the more the events start to blend together- except instead of racing one track- you have to race two, three, or four tracks as part of a tournament. This gets old fast- but if any of you remember the 200 miles driven achievement from the original Dirt- finishing the game and all its events is a matter of endurance over fun.

    To sum up my in a minute review, Dirt 2 is a highly recommended rental or a buy if you can finish it and flip it while it's still new. It is a quality product and has lots of style and personality.
    4.0