Wot I Think: Dirt 3

By Jim Rossignol on May 25th, 2011 at 5:27 pm.


Dirt 3 slid neatly into its release spot on Tuesday, before accelerating its way onto my hard-drive. Ah, driving metaphors. That’s enough of those. Let me tell you Wot I Think.

There’s no accounting for taste. Good thing too, because I’ve come to realise that my tastes are not consistent. Sorry about that. In some areas of gaming I enjoy simulation, even crave it, but not in racing. Never in racing. Perhaps it’s down to years of trying to compete with my Grand Prix Legends-loving chum and sliding off at the first or second corner on each attempt, or perhaps it’s because I just want something different from racing. I just want to throw a car about and not care about the consequences. I want the thrill of sliding on gravel, but not the actual physics. I want the sense of speed and the feel of mass, but without the hubris of honest handling.

It’s been true that Codemasters’ recent racing games have satisfied these desires for me for the past few years, and Dirt 3 is no different. Accurate simulation it is not. Tight, satisfying, forgiving off-road racing, it most certainly is. It takes a broad approach, and tries to be as lively as possible in its portrayal of hi-tech hatchbacks and vintage rallycars alike. I’ve enjoyed it a great deal.

This third Dirt game seems to have stepped back a little from the excesses of the previous game, in which the attempt to merge the relatively austere accelerated dangers of rallying with the XTREME AWESOMENESS of our American Cousins’ X-Games branded attitude sports experiences seemed a little-the-top. There’s no carnival trailer-yard pseudo-character menu here, just some platonic shapes floating in a strange menu dimension. I’d imagine it’s a place that cars dream of, and Codemasters have been granted access to it by the ghost of a Ford Cosworth, or something like that.

Anyway, the transatlantic nature of the game has not disappeared, because one of the core sections is a Ken Block-led “Gymkhana” series. The first of these might be set in Battersea power station, but it is most certainly not within the spirit of old fashioned British Rallying. Instead you are obliged to spin and slide your way around a number of plastic bollards. This would have been fine if it was optional, but it is not optional. I could have screamed when I realised I was going to be forced to make my Ford Fiesta dance like a ballerina for an imaginary crowd of open-mouthed Londoners. It’s a stage that you cannot skip in the single-player tour – a baffling decision when the previous tour menus of Dirt 1 & 2 were so open and forgiving of what events you’d have to participate in.


We’ll let that pass, however, and focus on the stuff that I do enjoy, which is pretty much all the other racing events. Once again there’s some traditional rallying, complete with reliable navigator noises, some rallycross, and a few other random events, such as hill-climbs and Preposterous Offroad American Truck Thrashing (I think that’s what it’s called). Once again there’s also the return of the superb trailblazer tracks, which essentially see you trying to make the best time along a single course with an absurdly overpowered car and no navigator. I love these the best, and there are plenty of them.

Disappointingly, however, the true rallying stages do seem short. Too short. What I really want from an offroad racing game is a fully afternoon of rally, and there really isn’t enough of that here, with each section being a couple of stages taking up a couple of minutes. You pretty much have to go off and do other events, which wasn’t quite as true in Dirt 1, or indeed previous rallying games in the Colin McRae series. I don’t begrudge this now being General Offroad as a game theme, but we all know that rallying is best.

What I do love is the breadth of options that the game provides. The default setting for driving is the gaming equivalent of leaving the house wrapped in cushions and wearing a crash-helmet. It artificially stabilises the car, gives you the perfect racing line as a visual cue (as you will have seen in F1, I believe) that even tells you went to brake by showing whether you are going too fast for a corner. It’s so friendly that even our time-travelling correspondents from the 1870s should have little trouble getting their head around good track times. Of course where the joy is for the likes of me is stripping that away to a point where it feels challenging, without actually being treacherously simulatory. Fewer assists here, more challenging AI there, until the races become a competition, without ever really making me accept that I am just a retired boy-racer from Kent.

Speaking of treachery (and retirement from boyracery, come to think of it), one of the additions to the game includes the weather stuff from F1, which now delivers heavy snow and pouring rain the tracks. These result in some spectacularly tricky conditions, as well as looking superb. That stretches to pretty much the entire game experience, of course, with the Ego engine now flexing its lighting systems across a huge selection of attractive and highly detailed environments. It looks good at different times of day, and under varying atmospheric conditions. It’s a racing game that revels in its messy, particle-dusted offroad world, and as such is a far cry from the drier, less interesting track games that I’ve recently been massaging my gamepad for. (I am thinking Shift 2, right now, which I got bored of in just a couple of hours.)


In fact Dirt 3 goes a long way to try and get your attention – way beyond presentation. It gets downright eccentric in the multiplayer modes, especially in what is available to you in the various stunt-driving gymkhana arenas. There’s a capture the flag mode, and also a “zombie” mode where infected cars have to try and hit others to tag them and get everyone on the zombie team. Silly, but there it is. Also on the topic of multiplayer, here’s something else that is good: split-screen on the PC! You need two gamepads to play, or a pad and a wheel (which I have!) and it is a splendid thing, if anyone you know likes racing games. Your Dad probably does. Ask him!

Finally, I have one, single complaint remaining, which is this: the game crashes a few minutes after alt-tabbing out. Initially I thought this was a general crash bug and reported to Codemasters that I was crashing after “3 to 4 races”. It turns out that “3 to 4 races” is actually a measure of my attention span, since if I do not tab out to obsessively check RPS comments, or tell John he is a nerd, then the game does not crash.

These issues of desktop-access aside, Dirt 3 is fantastic fun. The driving model is consistently comprehensible while providing options enough to suit a range of traction tastes. Flinging various machines around the exotic lanes of Michigan and Kenya – machines that range from 1960s relics to supercharged contemporary abominations – has been a delight. I just wish my “hosts” wouldn’t waffle so much in the interim. Those lavish menus remain lovely, but I am just in it for that sense of speed, and I don’t care what you think of my podium position, Ken.

And yes, I always play with the bumper-cam view. And I’m going to play some more of that right now.

, , , .

103 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge

    scudly says:

    Have to agree that it’s pretty damned fun since I played it for nearly 4 or 5 hours last night. Though I guess I’m more of a target, because I really enjoy the hell out of the Batter Sea stuff where they just give you the area and a few “missions” that you can do whenever you want. It’s great to toss the car around and then also smash the hell out of it.

    My “big”, which isn’t big really, gripe is that the Youtube stuff they have in the game only lets you upload things at really shitty 480p resolution instead of any decent HD one since most computers should be able to handle that now.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      Maybe I’m just better at rally racing, but I can’t stand Codemasters’ car “physics”.
      There’s nothing wrong with unrealistic physics, if they still feel like a centrifugal power, giving you little explosions of adrenaline in your tummy. I played Hi-Octane and Screamer for months in a row!
      We already have enough realism. If we’d want more realism, we should go outside more, right? ;)

      The problem is, that CM is acting as if it’s supposed to be a realistic racer. But the way the cars behave is literally anti-exciting. Like being close to an orgasm, and then having to think about your grandma, naked, on the toilet, from the POV of the toilet.

      You approach this corner, hit the brakes hard, but not too hard, throw around the steering wheel… and get this mushy, weak, slow-reacting experience. Like it’s not a curve in the track, but space-time is twisted itself, and you’re just driving straight, with way too much wobble from a drunk steering wheel.
      It becomes extremely obvious, after having played Richard Burns Rally (try Fraizer Wells), and chased though the tracks like a madman, always on the brink of a horrible crash, always way too close to the limit, and sweating like a pig even when trying to keep the car straight on that long straight part, and still not only getting to the end (a small wonder in itself) but also improving on your time. Pure adrenaline!

      If you ever played half an hour of intense Quake 3 pro-mode (CPMA) on a small map with one or two friends… and then tried something like CoD, or even Bulletstorm, you’ll know what I mean.
      Game?: Too weak!

      And unless they drastically change the feel of their cars… not necessarily the realism… I won’t have another look at the series. After all, I started out with CMR1, gave DIRT2 a biig chance, and the physics feel like they changed not at all. (Even though they say they did.)

    • Ultra Superior says:

      “Like being close to an orgasm, and then having to think about your grandma, naked, on the toilet, from the POV of the toilet.”

      No! No! Noo! What have you done to my mind!

      If that’s what YOU think about while you’re at it, you must have a terrible case of PME to resort to such methods.

    • nakke says:

      Totally agree with Barefoot. I wonder when they’ll stop using that goddam pivot turning system.

  2. Premium User Badge

    AndrewC says:

    Choice of camera in driving games as personality-type indicator. Psychologists should use it. Which one are you?

    • Premium User Badge

      AndrewC says:

      It’s a trick question. The psychologist knows exactly what you are, because you play PC driving games.

    • Terry Wogan says:

      I go full-on serious as chuff bumper cam if I’m trying to beat a particular time/difficult stage/important multiplayer race, but I can’t resist a “3rd person” perspective if I’m just messing around. 83% of driving is looking at pretty cars. Sue me.

    • Premium User Badge

      AndrewC says:

      I’m helmet cam! The one true cam! Well, until I crash, then I go back to bonnet cam.

    • Gothnak says:

      As high a cam as i can get.. Yes, you can all hate me, just so much easier to hit those apexs (or is it apexes) when the other mode don’t let you look into the corners. Sorry…

    • Premium User Badge

      tomeoftom says:

      I hate not knowing where my wheels are! Doing those visual estimates like “oh shit ah I going to make it past this cliff no I’m not” is half the racing fun for me. Driverface-cam for me, or 3rd person if I’m feeling game-y.

    • MrMud says:

      Cockpit view always.

    • Sinnorfin says:

      If the cockpit is decent then cockpit, if not ..bumper.. but when its seriously about winning: bumper.
      Exception is games based around destruction instead of racing..3rd person goes with those..

    • Baboonanza says:

      Cockpit view in Dirt 2 was great, and always my choice.

      And isn’t Cockpit a funny word.

    • Bhazor says:

      Cockpit 4 life y’all.

    • MikoSquiz says:

      As forward and low as possible. If I can’t imagine I feel the asphalt grazing my chin stubble, it’s not good enough.

    • trjp says:

      Bumper and bonnet cams are your average driver’s chosen favourites.

      In-car cams are harder – they’re a whole new difficulty-level in themselves (esp if you have rain or broken windscreens to consider)

      Third-person cams are for people who should not be playing driving games – at all – or driving real cars either come to think about it.

    • Chirez says:

      Third person, high as you like. Rarely find it useful to use any other view.
      Anyone who thinks any racing game remotely resembles driving a real car probably shouldn’t be.
      And the plural of apex is in fact apices.

    • chakraist says:

      Third person as far away as possible, because otherwise you can’t look round the corners! It’s worse on bike games- you see at 60 degrees round the corner and can’t look towards the apex. I do a lot of biking/some track riding (club racing soon hopefully) and if you don’t look where you’re going, you don’t go there. It’s the only problem I constantly have with racing games. In Forza, I tried using the right stick to look through the corner, but it didn’t really work very well.

    • Atomosk says:

      I love the cockpit/helmet cam but it’s almost impossible to see. As someone who drives a real car everyday it’s easy to see the 1st person view in these video games cut your vision almost in half. Maybe I just need an 80inch monitor but 75% of the time I need 3rd person camera just to judge the depth.

    • whydidyoumakemeregister says:

      I really loved that Shift 2 introduced a new camera mode– helmet cam that looks ahead & around corners rather than just straight ahead. It still wasn’t quite perfect and was nearly useless for some races, but on open tracks with a car that likes to slide around corners it was a breath of fresh air.

    • trjp says:

      Third person camera in racing games isn’t far off using NOCLIP/targetting mods in FPSes – it’s a whole notch or more off the difficulty setting…

      If you need that edge tho – knock yourself out…

    • MrMud says:

      Dirt1 and 2 supported trackIR (not sure if 3 does) so no need for silly helmet cam that thinks you want to look where you dont want to.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      3rd person maybe “that extra edge”, but the cockpit view is unrealistically difficult, how am I supposed to drive round a corner, if I my view is locked narrowly to the same direction as the car is facing? When you’re driving IRL you look towards the apex of the turn so you can see what’s coming up next, until I can get some kind of head tracking then I’ll be using 3rd person to give me something close to the viewing area I need.

    • groovychainsaw says:

      You’ll drive better in third person, particularly in a ‘slippy’ car, as you can see what the rear wheels are doing. Otherwise you have no feedback until they’ve already slipped too far in the in-car view. And then you just look silly. You also won’t know if a rear wheel has hit a bump and is about to lose traction either (as you’re not IN the car, just looking out the front).

      Plus 3rd person helps simulate peripheral vision, which is completely lost in an in-car game view. Being in-car (or bonnet-cam) is least like driving a real car IMHO, and a very poor simulation of what driving feels like.

    • godgoo says:

      I’m a bonnet guy. Always tempted into the cockpit until I hit my difficulty ceiling, then i’m back on the bonnet again.

      Truth is the camera I really want I’ve never found which is dash board cam, maybe with the instruments included, basically its a close-up cockpit view with the wheel removed because I play with a wheel I want the immersion of not seeing the steering wheel in cockpit but seeing more than just the bonnet.

      come to think of it that makes so much sense, why doesn’t it exist?!!

    • psyk says:

      Are you guys saying that pc racing games are dumbed down compared to most console racing games where you can manually look around the cockpit? ;)

    • Calabi says:

      @Groovychainsaw

      Not true I never look at my wheels to tell me what they are doing. How would you be able to slide at all in the other views if you needed to view the wheels all the time. Even when I use third person view I never look at or even see the wheels.

      With bumber cam you can tell way quicker than having to look at what they wheels are doing. Just by the feedback from the controls and the view, you know how much tracktion with what wheels and what is required to counter that. I’m guessing you dont play those views, because, its not like you are controlling the car its like you are the car you feel it and know it.

    • MartinNr5 says:

      Bumper cam if I need the feel for speed. Cockpit/helmet cam if I need more of a challenge.

    • S.T.A.L.K.E.R. says:

      EyeFinity (3 25.5″ ASUS Monitors) and TrackIR 5 Pro demand cockpit mode.

    • rowan_u says:

      Bonnet Cam in Stereoscopic.
      I figure that my desk IS the dashboard, so having another one would be just redundant.

    • leagle says:

      Cockpit view.
      G27 kind of demands it.

  3. The Hammer says:

    This may just be the first driving game I buy in yonks.

    It’s either this or Super Street Fighter. Nnnnrgh.

    EDIT: Ummm. Not trying to imply SSF is a driving game (though the concept of a Street Fighter kart racer -does- appeal.)

  4. feffrey says:

    Is there a cheat code that lets you shot fireballs like the orginal colin mcrae game?

    • _Jackalope_ says:

      I’d rather have the Delorean cheat back. I thought it would just make the car models hover in the air, I was awestruck when the stage started and the car lifted into the air and the wheels tucked under. Best cheat ever.

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      I can’t find a video of that, would be interested in seeing the Delorean cheat in action.

  5. Wallllrod says:

    I emphatically agree on the waffling. All of the racing games from codemasters for a few years now seem to treat you like an emotionally fragile child that needs constant support and encouragement from some chirpy twat. It’s like having a really annoying friend that is amazed you managed to put your trousers on this morning.

    • Jim Reaper says:

      This definitely gets my vote for comment of the week…!

    • Howl says:

      MUCHOS GRACIAS AMIGO, RAMP IT UP AND SPIT IT OUT AND FLOOR IT AND ROCK IT AND THAT WAS TWADDLY WARESOME DUDE, UPLOAD IT TO YOUTUBE1!!1!!

      I want DLC where I get to drive and reverse over this Christian character in the Battersea Compound.

    • Bhazor says:

      What a great comment.

      Well done you.

    • Thants says:

      You beat the race! Ken Block is now your bestest friend!

    • Schmung says:

      Splendid. Absolute true.

    • whydidyoumakemeregister says:

      Wow, the beginning of this game is insufferable. The constant lip service from these pointless characters is bad enough, but I feel like I’m watching some demo reel for a 3d video editing application when all I want to do is race a damn car. Every single menu selection has an animation that has to load and then play and you can’t skip any of it. This is a textbook example on how NOT to make a user interface.

  6. Cryotek says:

    Where’s an actual review for The Witcher 2?

    And I really want this game, but I need to catch up on my backlog a little, first x_x

  7. Linfosoma says:

    Dammit Codemasters! I really want this, why the hell is this game locked in my region?

    It sucks to be left out, it sucks to want something and know that your money is worthless to some, this needs to stop.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      GfWL regional restrictions, I suppose.

    • Linfosoma says:

      Yeah, I dont get it, I could purchase all their previous games but now all of a sudden they decided to block all GFWL games in my region. What am I supposed to do? Finding a retail PC game in my country is impossible, and if I do it’s overpriced and in Spanish (which is quite possibly the worst thing that could happen to you).

      Rockstart got it, they unlocked their games and I purchased their entire catalog (on a semi related note, Max Payne 2 still looks amazing, but the game hasn’t aged well), why cant Microsoft do the same?

    • Thants says:

      Max Payne 2 has aged very well!

  8. chokoladenudlen says:

    Whenever I consider getting myself a new driving game, all I need to do is read a review of whichever new game I’m considering, and I wind up going back to what I have (In this case it would be the forced Gymkhana-shite meaning I’ll save my bucks and stick to Dirt 2/Forza 3).

    A couple of questions regarding Dirt 3:
    - Is there a proper cockpit/in-car camera view?
    - Any options for tuning the cars (brakes, differentials, gearing etc.) – or is it just a matter of deciding which tyres to put on?

    The Zombie things sounds like it could be a blast, though. It’s been years since I played a good round of Destruction Derby or the like.

    • MrMud says:

      Hopefully there will be mods and save files that you can use to override such absurdly silly decisions.

    • Premium User Badge

      scudly says:

      Yes there is a proper cockpit view where you can see your drivers arms flailing about while you slam into things, but it suffers from letting you see enough of the track at times.

      You can do more tuning options than just tires, the options are gearbox, downforce, ride height, springs stiffness, differential and one other. There’s just a few ticks on a slider to them all though, but you can save setups and then recall them on any car. So I have a “Gymkhana” setup that has the gearbox slightly shorter and my rideheight lower as well to let me get better turn in.

    • trjp says:

      As Scudly says, In car camera is there BUT it’s really hard to do some of the stuff (esp Gymkhana) as you don’t have a wide enough field of view (it’s hard to donut around something you can’t see).

      It’s great for rally stuff – adds challenge to races etc. – you’ll probably switch to bonnet/bumper for the stunt stuff tho.

  9. simoroth says:

    Anyone tried it with a steering wheel and pedals?

    I have been playing NFS Shift this week with my gf, but its getting tiring and we need moar. :D

    • Howl says:

      I enjoyed DiRT2 so much that I wished I had invested in a proper wheel. I went for a G27 for DiRT3 and it’s wonderful. It’s probably overkill as I only like things like DiRT and Hot Pursuit and other such arcade nonsense but it feels fantastic. It’s like playing a different game entirely.

    • Premium User Badge

      Phinor says:

      As someone who preferred keyboard over wheel in Dirt 2, I have to say Dirt 3 works rather well with a wheel (at least with my Fanatec Turbo S). The default settings were completely unplayable but luckily you can adjust the deadzone and steering linearity to zero. It’s no RBR even with a wheel but very much playable and enjoyable.

  10. Vinraith says:

    Is part of getting older getting more and more hilariously behind? I haven’t even played Dirt 1 yet, and not for lack of interest. Ah well, it just means Dirt 3 will be cheaper (and possibly more patched) when I get around to it, so I suppose there’s no down side.

    • Premium User Badge

      AndrewC says:

      I think the only thing distinguishing these three games are the menus. I guess it’s how much of a menu whore you are. Dirt 1′s were LOVELY. Dirt 2′s AWFUL!. There were also some really long circuits out in the dusty desert in Dirt 1 that you mostly raced with trucks that had a lovely sense of space, but that’s it. Dirt 2 looked a millionty times better.

      Maybe get Dirt 2, I’m sure it’s dirt cheap. !

    • Howl says:

      It already needs patches yes: SLI and reflections halves framerates, wheel settings and defined keys disappear unless you start the game with the wheel button, there are numerous crash bugs, HUD placement in Surround/Eyefinity isn’t working for me and lots of others. etc. etc.

    • MrMud says:

      Dirt1 has some amazing tracks though that you dont get in Dirt2 (im looking at you Australia)

  11. CaLe says:

    I’m currently holding a few of the world records on timetrial.. and my finger hurts. This is a good game.

  12. Grinnbarr says:

    Played the shit out of Dirt 2 and now I’ve finally got a proper 360 pad (was using a cheapo knockoff that had the triggers bound to the same slider… so annoying) I might just have to pick this up. Does it still have GFWL does anyone know?

  13. Merkoth says:

    Glad to hear they toned down the “rad-dudeness” of Dirt 2. It was horrible.

    • Howl says:

      They didn’t tone is down, they ramped it up. The voiceovers are more obnoxious than all the trailerparks in DiRT2 put together.

  14. brulleks says:

    Dirt 2 is great when it finally gives you control (what is that ridiculous beginning about? An unskippable movie and full race before you can access the options? Shocking) and closes its damnable hollering mouth long enough for you to hear the roar of the engine.

    As far as camera views go, let’s just say I’m more interested in seeing the glorious full panorama of the environments than I am the milometer and dashboard toys.

  15. Love Albatross says:

    I’m looking forward to trying this, but seriously, fuck forced events. Don’t make me do shit to get to the racing. These things should be consigned to the same pit as unskippable intro movies and escort missions.

    • Hardtarget says:

      from what I can tell so far only the very first Gymkhanna even is forced and it’s extremely easy and fun so… ya. I’m actually kinda surprised it even got mentioned in the review.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      It is easy, I just felt annoyed that it was forced on me.

    • Veracity says:

      Isn’t it about time someone put blether like gymkhana into a game of its own and stopped arsing up racing games with it? They can take drift events, while they’re at it. I wouldn’t buy a speed skating game (likely as that is to happen – qwop sequel?) and expect access to half its tracks to be contingent on executing a clean triple lutz.

      There’s (at least) one obvious reason – it’s more feasible to sell one bigger game to a bunch of people most of whom only really wanted isolated bits of it – but if that’s how they’re coming at this, surely they really need to structure it so it’s never shoving the bits you didn’t want in your face?

      That said, I think I kind of want this, which surprises me a bit, since I like Outrun 2006 and Race ’07, but not so much the neither here nor there thing Codemasters has been hawking for a while. Dirt 1 was tolerable, though – maybe I’ll reinstall that and try actually finishing it, this time. Should take until about Christmas, by which time this might turn up somewhere for a fiver.

    • thinsoldier says:

      @Veracity: Just finished Dirt 3 today ( non 100% but I did get the ending credits screen.)

      Dirt 2 took me a ridiculous amount of time to finish! I’m still not sure I’m even finished since I haven’t encountered any rolling credits yet.

      I bought Dirt 1 Long after I got Dirt 2. I think I’ll finally get past the Australia track sometime in summer 2012!

      I’m going to do some of the secondary pyramids in Dirt 3 until I get bored and maybe play some CTF & Invasion online until I get bored of that. Then I’m going to re-play Dirt 2, win Australia in Dirt 1, maybe finally finish GRID and then check out Toca 3 and Richard Burns Rally.

  16. Hardtarget says:

    Picked up Dirt 3 from Direct2Drive for 38 bucks which I’m pretty happy about since I think the price is back up to 50 now. Freaking love it. Put a ton of time into Dirt 2 and I’ll definitely be putting a ton into 3. I think the only Colin McRae game I haven’t owned is Dirt 1 and I can’t remember why I never got around to getting that one.

    As long as Codemasters comes out with a solid GRID 2 they’ll have done everything I’ve asked for. (I’m curious about F1 2011 as well since I skipped 2010)

    • pepper says:

      Well, interesting enough Dirt3 is 39 euro’s on steam, not with any discounts or such. This surprised me when each new game on steam is 59 euro’s nowadays for “triple A” titles.

      EDIT: Addont is correct. Couldnt reply to my own post(?!).

      Anyway, I must have missed something recently since it all does look like its 50 euro’s. Beats 60 any day.

    • Bhazor says:

      Sixty Euros? That’s almost twice the price of a new game in England. I guess we get a discount for all the drizzle or else you’re paying extra for being on the same land mass as Swedish women.
      Everything evens out eventually.

    • adonf says:

      It’s more like 50€ for a new big budget game. 60€ is for collector’s editions or for console games (maybe even 70€ on the PS360 ; 60€ is for Wii games)

      But yeah, it’s a big rip-off. Games are usually cheaper in Britain, I don’t know if it goes back to the time where most games sold in Europe were made in the UK and thus were sold at an “import” price on the continent or if it’s because they are in line with US prices (I’d says the latter because DVDs and records are also cheaper)

  17. Jason Moyer says:

    How short are the stages? And why has no one tried to do real, or at least real-length, rally stages since Rally Championship 2000? I’m ok with the sim-lite style of physics that Codemasters aims for, I just wish they’d give us some 15-20 minute stages that are narrow enough to be frightening.

  18. vrekman64 says:

    Hi guys,
    I see lots of you have the game already (lucky b

    anyway, can somone comment on the quality of graphics? What I would like to know is if there is a big difference in DX11 vs DX9. In dirt 2 the difference was there but it was not very big. What About dirt3?
    any comparison shots or anything?

    Thanks.

    Ps. I know about “gameplay>graphics” and the like, it is just a question to the buyers

  19. Creeping Death says:

    I have a fix for your alt tabbing problem! Add the game to Steam and use the overlay’s web browser to check rps/send abuse at people. Sorted!

  20. airtekh says:

    Just what I wanted to hear. :D

    I loved DiRT 2, will definitely get this at some point.

  21. Synesthesia says:

    im thinking of buying a wheel for this one. Which one do you people recommend?

  22. skinlo says:

    How playable is this on keyboard? I don’t own a gamepad or steering wheel (although do own a joystick).

    • trjp says:

      Unsurprisingly, it’s perfect on a 360 pad – and everyone should own one of those anyway :)

  23. Premium User Badge

    Monchberter says:

    It’s a stunner. And the whole split-screen multi-player thing made me very very happy.

    Now, GRiD 2???

  24. Bhazor says:

    Quick question.
    So has the DiRT and GRID games now officially merged? Because I loved GRID and all it’s sparking, shoving semi-burnout dueling glory but I didn’t really care for the rallying in DiRT. It just seems a shame to merge the two and end up with less of both. So it means I’ll have to endure the rallying to get to my demo derby anger management and meanwhile rally fans will need to endure the shunty and thoroughly impolite stock car racing before they get the chance to ruin some rural picnics.

    Also everyone now as to endure the thoroughly silly gymkhana.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      I think Grid didn’t do so well. I don’t think it counts as merged. I’ll try and find out if there’s plans for another.

    • trjp says:

      Grid was fantastic and still sells even now – I’d be amazed if there wasn’t a market for a sequel.

      The big issue is that on consoles you have GT (yawn) and Forza (slightly less yawn) which are tough opposition – and the PC market isn’t enough to make that difference in sales.

      Meanwhile, don’t forget NFS:Shift – get the controls sorted and they’re fine titles…

    • Bhazor says:

      Well to me DiRT 2, haven’t played 3 yet, felt like two different games and neither of them feels quite extensive enough. By the sounds of it 3 leans back into Rally territory with the GRID arcadeyness mostly reserved for multiplayer. Not complaining about the game so much as the thought of two different audiences, arcade racing fans and sim fans, both being slightly let down.

    • Veracity says:

      @trjp: actually just started looking at Shift thanks to recent cheapness. It’s better than I expected so far, which isn’t saying a lot, but I am more swayed by its “action video game with sim-ish handling” shtick than Grid’s, even despite the inevitable EA HUD/interface cluster bombing. Not sure what to make of the controls yet, but they’re not as awful as many reports suggest, just saddled with plainly nonsensical default controller setups and a weird fondness for oversteer you probably want to get rid of one way or another. I’m more concerned my patience might not hold up with the AI. On medium it might as well not be there; on hard it’s more reasonable, but alarmingly aggressive, to the extent it sometimes seems more interested in spinning me off than staying on itself. Can this be worked past, or do you just have to learn to treat AI cars like proximity mines?

    • whydidyoumakemeregister says:

      The first Shift was a surprisingly fun game, and I LOVED that it rewarded you for clean and dirty driving. I get no joy from getting a perfect corner, but I get immense joy from slamming into an opponent and making him fly off the track. Unfortunately Shift 2 got rid of that and added in really confusing menu animations and just didn’t seem like as fun of a game. Maybe I just didn’t play it long enough, but I found myself bored of the tracks within a few leagues and traded it away on reddit r/gameswap.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      Why doesn’t anyone ever talk about iRacing?

      Also, the first picture brings me great sadness as it reminds me of a time when Lancia wasn’t shit.

  25. Megadyptes says:

    Eh screw this arcadey nonsense, I want my proper hardcore rallying games. RIP Richard Burns, both the driver and the last good Rally game. :(

    • trjp says:

      Simple fact is no-one buys those games – they knocked-em-out and they sold tiny amounts so they stopped. The same lack of interest seems to have afflicted the real sport too.

      Dirt was a good rally game if you turned-up the difficulty/damage etc. – Dirt2 and 3 have their moments (again if you ramp up the diff you’ll suffer from damage and need to compete against tough opponents).

      I suspect what a lot of people are missing is the “dreary grey rally nerd bullshit” and I don’t miss that at all – I love that rallying is being given a lick of paint, a dose of cool ‘yoof’ factor and made exciting and spectator friendly again.

      That said – Ken Block is barely younger than me – so rad dude, knock out those donuts yo, it’s how we represent…

    • Bhazor says:

      While they’ve not made any Rally games anything by Simbin should tick all the sim boxes you have.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      Knocked-em out? You mean the one or two rally sims anyone’s ever made?

  26. Schmung says:

    I do wish for a Forza/GT style ‘proper’ rally game that lets me noodle around the Isle of Man, Rheola, Hafren, Brechfa and Kielder and so forth, but in the meantime there’s Dirt. It’s too short, too arcadey and too littered with bullshit, but with all that said it’s still good fun. They’ve found a better event balance than Dirt 2, the cars are more associated with rallying, the physics are sharper feeling and a bit more fun and some of the actual rally stages are bloody fun. It’s just a shame that they didn’t bury longer stages in there somewhere or give us longer rally events or whatever and that voiceovers are complete shite weasels.

    GRID 2 would be most welcome as well actually, it captured some of the really good close racing of the earlier TOCA games at it’s best and had some jolly nice tracks as well.

  27. Meatloaf says:

    Hey, my dad actually does really enjoy racing games. Totally shit at them, though.

  28. Binho says:

    I’d never thought I’d see my beloved Lancia Fulvia on the RPS frontpage <3 Well, except I only have the second series 1,3s, instead of the sexier 1,6 HF Fanalone in full works livery in Dirt 3

    That just sold me Dirt 3!! I liked the Rallying in Dirt 1, but not enough classic cars! Classic rally car fans need a little love to! Thanks Codemasters.

  29. zipdrive says:

    This WIT makes me want to bring my Momo wheel back from the closet retirement and race around!

    BW, is it me, or is Force Feedback dead and buried?

  30. poop says:

    shoulda called it D3RT imho

  31. Sunjammer says:

    Gymkhana was the part of Dirt 3 that made me want to play more of it. It’s not that bloody hard if you take the time to actually learn how to do it, which is frankly something that i’ve missed from driving games in the past. Yes that sounds like a paradox. I just think “drive slowly into corners and accelerate on the exit” makes for a very boring game, even when it’s as chaotic and wild as the racing events in the rest of Dirt 3.

    Actually, while we’re talking about that, the regular rally events, are you telling me you didn’t get a supernaturally sharp ability to hit the restart option from the menus without looking at it? A huge part of what makes this game fun, to me at least, is trying again and again to get better and better, and Gymkhana epitomises this.

    I just don’t understand the snobbery. I could understand it with Dirt 2 with all the xtremeness, but this game is positively royal by comparison.

  32. Papageno says:

    I want more rally racing games with the physics of Rally Trophy and Richard Burns Rally. The physics there felt real. I don’t feel like any driving games (particularly rally racing ones) have these physics anymore.