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Review – Dirt 3 | Level Up News - Part 2

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Review – Dirt 3

 

Gymkhana is basically car gymnastics.  A course is laid out on a wide track, like a parking lot, with various obstacles and stunt opportunities laid all over.  The goal is simple, do enough tricks (donuts, spins, drifts) to win the crowd over and earn the most points than any other driver.  You can’t just keep doing the same trick over and over, though.  Do something too many times, it grows stale with the crowd.  The more you win the crowd over, the higher the score multiplier goes.  I’m usually not a fan of drifting events in racing games, but Gymkhana is genuinely fun in Dirt 3. It’s something different to do when you want to get away from rally for just a little bit.

After each race, you’ll earn Reputation Points.  Reputation Points level up your driver, earning new liveries and cars to use in the game.  As you would expect, the better you do in an event, the more points you’ll earn.  However, the use of Flashbacks will be deducted from your bonus tally for a race.  The less you use, the more bonus points you’ll earn.

On the multiplayer end of Dirt 3, you couldn’t ask for a more robust package for a racing game.  You can play any of the events of the game, offline or online.  Offline, you can play two-player splitscreen in any of the events.  Online, you can play with up to seven more players in solo or team-based events.  Not only are all of the career mode events available for play online, but there are additional modes available to play online.  Modes such as Cat and Mouse, Capture The Flag and Invasion are available to play online against the world.  While Cat and Mouse has been a staple for most racing games, a mode like Capture The Flag doesn’t seem like it would fit in a racing game.  Well, it does and it’s absolutely a blast to play.  Invasion is a mode where you try and smash aliens along a course while trying to avoid skyscrapers on the course, much like an alien invasion.  In short, Dirt 3’s multiplayer will keep you busy for hours upon hours.

Graphically, Dirt 3 is a winner.  Excellent car detail along with superb track detail make this game a treat to watch while playing.  Even the presentation menus are done quite nicely.

What’s Not: One of the major issues I had with Dirt 3 was with freezing.  Numerous times during my single-player sessions the game would completely freeze when going from one event to the next.  This was a big problem as it hampered my progression through the career mode.  As of the writing of this review, there was no patch or solution to this problem that I could find.

The AI of the other drivers seems to fluctuate a lot during the game, too.  Sometimes, they’re quite aggressive and pose one heck of a challenge.  Other times, not so much.  There were numerous occasions where it seemed as if the opposing AI drove like their was nobody else on the track.  This, in turn, caused me to either run into them or vice versa.  The result of this was having to burn one of my Flashbacks during a race.  It got rather frustrating after a while of having to correct myself for a mistake that I didn’t make.

The audio department gets a barely passing grade in my book.  While the sound experience is awesome when you’re on the track, it’s completely dull when off of it.  The soundtrack, which ranges from techno to indie rock, is nothing to write home about.  Add to the fact that the voices of your agents, which are never physically seen in the game, are completely dull and scripted make it just seem as if it were an afterthought of the whole career process.

A few little nitpicks on the online side of things:  First, I am a bit bummed out on the track and race selection when it comes to playing online.  I remember being able to have choices in the last two games in the series of what track and what parameters the next online race would be.  This year, it seems as everything is randomly selected.  If you veto something, another random race and parameter are chosen with little to no feedback from the game room.  Secondly, the head-to-head races are done simultaneously via ghost racing.  I would have liked to see a tournament structure with eight racers done with them, much like they are done in the offline portion of the game.  Again, these are not glaring negatives.  These are just my infamous nitpicks that I do in some of my reviews.

The Bottom Line: Dirt 3 maintains the level of fun and excitement that has been shown in previous editions of the series along with adding an awesome new mode that is sure to develop quite the following.  However, the technical issues hurt the experience a bit and just cannot be simply ignored.  That is a good chunk of the reason why there’s a half star in this review.  The AI issues and disappoint audio experience is the other chunk of it.  But in a package as complete and as entertaining is this, I just can’t help but to love what Dirt 3 ended up becoming:  An essential racing title that everyone should play.

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  1. Eldora Supplice says:

    good game !!

    VA:F [1.9.8_1114]
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