Developed and published by Codemasters, Dirt 3 hits our consoles with style finesse and gameplay that will make you want to shift into gear, slam down the brake pedal and Gymkhana your way to victory. Most racing games often become a drag to play due to sticky controls and awkward handling … let’s just say Dirt 3 is not one of those games. Dirt 3 offers a great responsive feel to it regardless of whether you are using a control pad or a steering wheel and this can be felt when shifting to different terrains such as snow, tarmac, gravel or sand. One thing that stands out about Dirt 3 is during night races your headlights are your best friend, the same can be said about driving through weather conditions such as snow or rain, your windscreen wipers will definitely play a role in where you place at the end of a race.
For those of you who are new to the racing scene, Dirt 3 offers various assistance’s while driving such as automatic breaking and steering assist – these will help you get to grips with the control system as well as the various tracks on offer. The assists can be turned off and once they are you will feel the difference and handling that each detailed vehicle has to offer. In my opinion, learning how to drive in Dirt 3 is far better with the assists turned off as it gives a nice depth to the racing experience offered within Dirt 3.
The events held in Dirt 3 are fantastic and to be honest there are plenty of them to be experienced. Rally racing has returned and offers one of the best Rally experiences I have come across in a title to date. Gymkhana is a great addition to the Dirt series; I had loads of fun Drifting underneath trucks and doing endless crazy Donuts and jumps, not to mention crashing into walls while trying to learn the Gymkhana style of racing.When I loaded up Dirt 3 colourful menus and visually appealing vehicles greeted me, this was great as other racing titles tend to offer up boring menu displays. The one thing I’d like to point out that was truly impressive was the way the development team portrayed damage and dirt on each vehicle for instance, hit a tree hard enough and you will crack most of your windows, dent your bonnet, lose your bumper and scratch the hell out of the nicely detailed decals and paint job. The same comes with driving on different terrains for instance driving through a rally course you will notice that your car will gradually get dirtier the more you progress through a track, but once you hit a section of water your car gradually becomes cleaner, this really adds to the graphic appeal that Dirt 3 has to offer. Each track is detailed and visually appealing and each track offers some great lighting effects, especially when the sun is on the horizon or while racing through forest areas.
Dirt 3 offers a phenomenal soundtrack that adds value to the entire gameplay experience. The vehicles sound great especially with the different sounds that can be heard on different terrains. I hooked my console up to a JBL surround sound system while playing and it pretty much blew me away (thumbs-up to Codemasters). The downside of the sound was the voice over’s, I found these to be bland and boring.
One of the most appealing features of Dirt 3 is the fact that you can upload gameplay straight to YouTube and show off your skills to the world. The online modes in Dirt 3 add great replayablity to this title long after you have completed the season mode.
Dirt 3 is possibly one of the best racing titles I have come across to date; this title offers a great vehicle handling system, detailed vehicles, fantastic online multiplayer modes and detailed tracks and vehicles. The only downside to Dirt 3 was the voiceovers, which ended up being bland and boring.
Predominantly reviewed on Xbox 360.