Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Dirt : Showdown Review

Dirt : Showdown is an arcade style racing game that was released on June 12, 2012 in North American by Codemasters for Windows PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Linux and OS X. This is the next game in the Collin McRae Rally series and is the successor to Dirt 3.


You are a driver looking to climb the ranks of the rally world. Showdown has four main tours; Pro, All star, Championship and Legend. Each tour has a number of different races that need to be completed to advance.

There are basically three different types of races that you that you will encounter; Racing, Demolition and Hoonigan. The cars you are split up into the three different categories, cars for the Demolition races can not be used in Hoonigan races.


There are three different types of Racing races. Race-Off which is a regular race against seven other drivers. Domination is a race against seven other drivers where the driver who earns the most points wins the race. The track is split into four sections and you earn point by driving the fastest through that section. Elimination races are against seven drivers and you race against the clock. Once the race starts a clock will count down from around 15 seconds, the driver that is in last place is eliminated and the clock counts down again. You win after all other drivers are eliminated.


In Demolition there are four different types of races. Rampage is a demolition derby, points are awarded for damage done to opponents cars. Knock Out is similar to Rampage but the battle takes place on a big wrestling ring and you get points for damage done to opponents cars and you can also get big point by knocking them off the ring. Hard Target is the reverse of a demolition derby. The goal of this game is to survive the demolition derby the longest, the last to be destroyed is the winner. The final type of Demolition race is the 8-Ball which is a race where the track intersects with itself and you run the risk of being hit by your opponents.

You can see I'm about to get T-Boned pretty bad!


Hoonigan has three different kinds of races. Trick Rush is similar to Gymkana from Dirt 3, you have to score the most points doing tricks within a time limit. Head 2 Head is a race against another car with tricks throughout the course. You cannot proceed until you complete each trick, the first car to finish wins. The third race is called Smash Hunter, in this race a course is made with colored blocks outlining the path to take. You need to hit enough of the specific colored block before you can advance. The winner is the driver with the fastest time.


Dirt : Showdown is more of an arcade racer compared to Dirt 3. I'm usually more of a fan of simulation games like Gran Turismo or Forza but I liked who this game played. Drifting around corners is very easy and makes you feel like you really know how to drive.

The Demolition races are new to Dirt and I really had a lot of fun with them. I haven't played a game with a demolition derby since Twisted Metal many years ago.

When you win races you earn money to be used to buy new cars and upgrade them. The cars for the Hoonigan races are real race cars that cannot be upgraded. Some of the models you can drive are Subaru WRX STI, Mini Cooper, Ford Fiesta and Mustang.

The cars available for the Racing and Demolition are fake cars that can be upgraded. Keeping with the arcade style these cars have three different abilities that can be modified; Power, Strength and Handling. There are no specific upgrades of parts like in Forza just generic abilities.

All the different cars available in the game have different stats so just because a car is unlocked later doesn't always mean it's the best car to use. You need to make sure you have the right car for the job. After you've chosen a car to use you can choose how you want the car to look. There are a bunch of different choices for each car. There are some almost famous cars in the game including a Ghostbusters Echo-1 and Blues Brothers car lookalike.



Dirt : Showdown is a pretty good looking game. The cars take damage and it is modeled very accurately. The sounds the cars make also sound great. The music on the other hand was not to my taste. The biggest problem I had with this game though was with the announcer. This is another game that has an obnoxious announcer that is so bad I really don't know what the makers were thinking. At least there is an option to turn the announcer down to 50%, while not as good as being completely silent his voice is hard to hear over the engine and music.


Before I got this game I read some reviews online and there were a lot of people that didn't like it. I am completely on the opposite side. These games are never going to complete with Gran Turismo or Forza on the racing simulation side. Going fully to the arcade racing I think was a very good idea. I had a lot more fun with this game than with Dirt 3. The only drawback in my opinion is that career mode is a lot shorter than in it's predecessor. I enjoyed all the race modes available except Smash Hunter in Hoonigan. I hated Smash Hunter! Other than Smash Hunter and the announcer I really liked this game. I give Dirt " Showdown an 8 out of 10.

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