DiRT Showdown Reviews

361,645 (207,802)
TA Score for this game: 2,651
Posted on 23 May 12 at 10:28, Edited on 29 May 12 at 08:53
This review has 15 positive votes and 4 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Single Player:
Codemasters have kept the way of DiRT 3 in this aspect where you have a career mode, named “Showdown Tour” in this game which you have to complete events with podiums in order to advance to the following races. The aptly named “Joyride” does make a comeback from DiRT 3 where you are tasked with performing manoeuvres that in turn unlock new areas in “Joyride” mode.

Now, they have included new types of races/games that require you to destroy your opponents, knock your opponents off a platform & run from your opponents to stay alive the longest. At first I was rather unsure about these types of races/games as, with it being a side project of a racing series, I was not sure what to expect. Now if any of you have played the demo then you are given a 8-ball race that can cause some rather big carnage and they did really well with that, and let me tell you they have done really well with the destruction side of the games. There are so many different ways that you are able to cripple your opponent that you will always be finding new ways no matter how many times you have played it.

The only downside that I have found to the single player is that it can all easily be done within a 24 hour period, of course this would me no retries of races to get first place but that is, in essence, all that completing the single player is. Now if you were going for all the achievements then it could take you a bit longer than that depending on your skill level, but at the end of the day it is a very easy game, you could make it harder with adjusting the difficulty but there is nothing saying that you have to do it on the hardest you can cope with…

This is not really a downside but some of you may be put off by the fact that you are unable to have a custom difficulty setting, well I have not found out how to anyway, but there are 3 different levels but it does not actually state what each does to the handling of your car. After all it is really an arcade type racer.

I hereby welcome you to “Challenges”. This is a mode as the name suggests that when you are working your way through single player and you feel that the time you set would give one of your mates/friends a hard time to beat then you can challenge them to beat it, that is why it is in the multiplayer section. You are given a score at the end of it, for every one that you win you will get 1 point added on and 1 point taken off for a loss, if you had not figured that out already. The best bit is that you can eventually dominate your friend if you ever get that score up to +10, which could be a lot harder than you think it would be.

Split screen has been incorporated into the game and it does work very well. The only issue that i do have with this is that it is split horizontally so when playing on your nice big wide-screen TV it can look squashed, a quick fix for this would be an option to allow vertical split screen, but alas I cannot find this option either. Not much else to say about it really…

Now onto the normal multiplayer. For those that have played DiRT 3 then they will notice the same sort of format with solo and team races and then the different disciplines. It also has the same sort of ranking system as DiRT 3 had. After all at the end of the day why change something that has worked fine in one game to something that may not work…

These are the typical DiRT graphics really, not much has changed except from the car’s and their liveries as they will have changed from season to season from that they are based on.

I guess saying that they are the typical DiRT graphics can be seen as bad but there is absolutely nothing wrong with them. The menu’s are nice and easy to navigate around and make it obvious what is highlighted and everything is smooth. When you are racing and crashing into other vehicles it could have been a bit better, but then it still looks good and the damage that you can see on your car is truly reflective upon what has happened to your car.

Each car has its unique sound which is always a good thing when you come to racing cars and when you couple this up with the way that the environmental sounds act as you are switching sections of the track of even surfaces it just makes the racing sound really good. You do occasionally get a little glitch in the sound when too many events are happening at the same time but I will get to this in a later section for other reasons.

Personally I do think that the soundtrack of the game could be better, but that could be because I am not so much into the type of music that it is. Even though, saying that it does not feel repetitive when you are navigating your way through the game, this is one thing that I do really hate about some games so I really do have to commend Codemasters on this.

Looking for the quick 1000 then it is possible to finish it within a week at the most. Obviously the most time-consuming achievements will be getting all the cars and then upgrading them along with getting rank 30 online. Overall though it is a really good set of achievements but does have the odd time-consuming one in there and the odd one that isn’t really an achievement in the sense of the word.

When you look at the list of achievements you can just see though where the developers have been a bit lazy, this is mainly evident where they put in achievements for buying all the cars and upgrading them and getting silver and bronze in all single player races, why not just have the one for gold and be done with it???

There, more than likely, will be DLC that comes out for this game that adds extra achievements on so if you do like to get the full GS out of a game then do not get rid of it straight away as you may come to regret that in the future.

So onto the conclusion. Well it is a very good game albeit with its little niggly flaws. One of them being that the disc is always spinning even when installed to the HDD, another one is that the game will freeze at times for a few seconds during a race, but then both of these could just be my console trying to be funny.

There is a great range of vehicles in the game for each game mode that will help you to make your DiRT experience that little bit better and it is the type of racing game that you could just sit back and enjoy playing without having to think too much about what you are doing. The same could also be said for the different events that you can find from the normal racing to the gymkhana to the destruction.

As for is it worth a release day buy? Yes, if you are into the DiRT franchise and want a racing game that doesn’t take the genre too seriously, there is Forza 4 for that. Would your kid’s enjoy playing it? Another yes there as they will get to crash into things, always a bonus in my view. But if this is your first DiRT game and you go into it expecting it to be a "sim" type racing game then you will really be disappointed as it is more "arcadey". It has lived up the hype that was built up about the game and really does what it should well.

Single Player: 8/10
Multiplayer: 8/10
Graphics: 7/10
Sounds: 9/10
Achievements: 7/10
Other: 8/10

Total (Average, Out of 5): 47/60 (8/10, 4 stars)

Note 1: Some scores were lowered due to short single player and reasons mentioned in the relevant section.
Note 2: Thanks to Oriole2682 for helping me figure out what I meant.

This was originally written for http://www.vpgaming.co.uk/?p=60
There are 13 comments relating to this Review | Please log in to comment on this solution.
144,306 (80,140)
TA Score for this game: 1,844
Posted on 28 June 12 at 23:31, Edited on 01 April 13 at 14:15
This review has 13 positive votes and 3 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
This review was originally posted on my website, http://gamingirl.com

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DiRT is back, and it’s back really good. This is arcade rally racing at it’s best with lots of fun minigames and challenges to complete.

You can choose to play as yourself, your idol or some very dead world famous person like Ghandi if you’d like – you can fill out a self-chosen name, and then decide which nickname the narrator should be calling you – I ended up with “Cutie”. While there’s lots of different vehicles to choose from in the different classes, each with a number of vinyls and sponsors, I still miss the opportunity to make a vinyl/paint from scratch to make my car unique, especially when playing online.

It's all about having fun on four wheels!
The career mode is called Showdown Tour, and you have to win events to unlock new events, ultimately reaching and beating the final event in each championship. As you progress in the championships, you’ll discover that the difficulty raises a bit throughout the game. I played through the game on casual setting, and to be bluntly honest, it was too easy, but I decided to play it on casual as I had to come to terms with getting the game done and writing the review. And it’s not like I’m a racing master – I love racing games, being it simulation(forza link) or arcade(nfs hp link) but I can’t dedicate myself to one game, even if I prioritized it in my life, so compared to other racing gamers, I’m easily beatable.

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The events are varying throughout Showdown Tour;

Race-off: Simple racing, be the first to reach the finish line against a line-up of other cars – the track have obstacles such as ramps, jumps and barrels.
Domination: Have the best time on the sections of the track within set number of laps – your opponents will be on the track at the same time, so you can affect the other drivers driving and effectively time – and they can affect yours.
Elimination: Last place when the counter hits zero is taken out of the race. Winner is the last car still driving on the track.

Rampage: Destruction Derby, ‘nuff said. Hit the other cars to get points, and when time is up, the car with most points is awarded the winner.
Knock-out: Just like Rampage, but with the option of pushing your opponents off the elevated arena, awarding you points.
Hard Target: You have to survive as long as possible – the other cars will attack in attempt to wreck your car, and more attackers are being added as time goes by.
8-ball: Pretty much a regular race, but the track have intersections, so you’ll encounter your opponents in a new way – from the side.

Trick Rush: Complete as many tricks as possible within a given time – where you can do the tricks is shown on the area with icons.
Head 2 Head: Finish a course with tricks faster than your opponent over two laps.
Smash Hunter: Smash the blocks in the given colour as fast as you can.

Side note;
You can send challenges to your friends, asking them to beat your time or score in the single player mode, improving the replayability a little.

Joyride mode initiated, and what a joyful ride it actually is! Your car is dumped at one of the trick tracks/areas, and your job is to fulfill different stunts, all shown with icons and described in the menu when pausing the game. In this mode you open up for additional parts of the areas as you do the stunts. This is very fun to play with friends, taking turns – if one of you can’t do a stunt, it’s likely another set of hands will be able to.

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What I missed the most in this mode is more varying stunts as only donuts, jumps, spins and go from A to B within a certain time was presented. Also, it was too easy and more of this mode wouldn’t hurt. Maybe some DLC, Codemasters?

Impression of multiplayer
The multiplayer is fast and fun. Once you’ve jumped into a game (everything, hooligan, party or race) it’s a continuous chain of events that suits the class you’ve chosen – everything covering all the classes making it more varying. An online session can only end if you jump out of it or are left as the only player. Matchmaking is fast efficient and fast, though I’m quite sad that the team games aren’t being played by many this shortly after release. As opposed to the single player career, it’s much harder to actually win something (as I said, I did play on casual), not to mention the frustration when another player is making you spin out or hitting a wall. This doesn’t really happen in single player as the AI/CPU is driving exemplary – most of the time.
Multiplayer has the aforementioned events, but also Smash & Grab (capture the flag, hold the loot for as long as possible, Transporter (capture the flag with drop off points) and Speed Skirmish (checkpoint race).
The game looks great overall, as every other triple A title, only a little aliasing in a few places. The cars handles arcadey, the narrator is jarringly enthusiastic and a little annoying to listen to. I know this game is an arcade racer, but I do wish there was a simulation mode included in the game, including taking turns with your friends in championships.

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The career is too short, tracks is too flat and predictive and the option to design your own vinyl on the cars is downright missing from the game, especially for the multiplayer. On the good side there’s plenty of cars to choose from, the different modes are fun and addictive and the aggressive high-rev motor sounds from the cars is topping it all off nicely. Career mode will be too short for those who expected a lengthy one – GT and Forza expectations, but in my opinion the length of the showdown tour is just fine as it makes it manageable.

Hit; Easy to get into, no complicated setup and knowledge from the player is needed.

Miss; Annoying narrator/commentator, and the little customisation available is hard to find. Career might be too short for some players.

Need; Customisation, especially vinyls and car setups.Customisation, especially vinyls and car setups. Not to mention a simulation mode with time trials on real courses.
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