Dirt 3 Review

Dirt 3 Review

Abhinav Lal   Nov 8, 2011


Codemasters took Dirt 2, a nigh perfect game, and made it better.

Dirt 3 detailed review


“Codemasters took Dirt 2, a nigh perfect game, and made it better.” Not much more needs to be said about Dirt 3, but for those of you who have not kept up with the minor and major changes, here is a detailed look at what makes Dirt 3 the best rally-based racing simulation since Dirt 2.

Beautiful yet realistic, hardcore yet playable, there isn’t an adjective that you can use for Dirt 3 that hasn’t already been used for Dirt 2, except for perhaps, ‘complete.’ Don’t get me wrong, Dirt 2, as a standalone title was not incomplete, however, some of the most demanding and greedy of us felt that snow and rain were environmental conditions that should not have been left out. Night driving was present earlier, but only in Rally Cross modes. Some wanted it in every discipline. Split-screen racing was another demand that players the world over with two controllers wanted. The even greedier bunch amongst us asked for that one extra discipline apart from Rally, Rally Cross, Raid, Landrush, Gatecrasher, Domination, and Last Man Standing; one more to round out the X-Games styled section of Dirt 2 – the Gymkhana stunt section.

Codemasters listened, and took nearly two years to deliver all these additions in the form of Dirt 3, as well as another other new challenge-based gameplay modes, such as capture the flag and tag, which take place in the Battersea compound. While the Gymkhana mode and the Battersea challenges inject some variety into the game, they may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Even veteran simulation players take a frustratingly long time to master doughnuts and drifts in Gymkhana, but once you do, it is quite satisfying.

Another major change in Dirt 3 is that one longer needs XP to unlock cars – XP is now meant only to let the player advance in the Dirt Tour campaign. Each race has its own set of cars to choose from, across classes and eras. Your garage consists of the cars you have unlocked in the campaign, and you can use these in the Single Player events. While some critics find this defeats the racing game collector’s instinct, and tends to leave many cars unused and untried, I differ. There was never a shortage of money in Dirt 2 to buy whichever cars and kits you wanted at any time, so it barely makes a difference here – except for the fact you can’t always drive your favourite multi-discipline/track car.

What’s also new is the ability to upload 30 second clips of your racing replay to YouTube. You still can’t save entire replays even locally however, so these short uploaded clips are the only way for you to recapture your glorious performance or sensational crash in an event. I am indifferent to it, however, those of you who’d been waiting for just such a functionality, might just be a little disappointed.

Graphically, Dirt 3 is even more detailed than ever before, and can give even reasonably high-end DX11 graphics cards a run for their money at high resolutions. Lighting is noticeably better across conditions and times of day, shadows and reflections are realistic, and the overall attention to detail given to the scenery and the track is incredible to behold. While some critics complain about the lack of ‘terrain deformation’ in the game, I was too busy looking ahead and enjoying the world rush by at high (hopefully) speed to care whether my tires made an impression in the snow behind me, or my last crash demolished the snow bank. Driving while it is raining or snowing is quite something to behold, with drops and flakes flying-by, twisting and turning with you on turns. Rain drops splattering on the windshield in the cockpit view however could have been a little more extravagant, for as it stands now, they are barely distracting – too easy.

As a simulation, Dirt 3 is not very forgiving in Advanced mode with all assists turned off, however, it comes with 5 flashbacks (at the cost of XP earned in the race), regardless of the difficulty setting – a training wheel for those of us who opted for no training wheels. New assists like dynamic racing line are also available now. The controls can be easily adjusted at any point in the race, with the right number of saturation and deadzone settings for analog input. As with Dirt 2, a quick tuning menu, called Service Area in Dirt 3, is available before every race, helping you fine tune your ride for every track and condition. As useful as always…

Verdict: Codemasters took Dirt 2, a nigh perfect game, and made it better.


Developer: Codemasters Racing Studio
Publisher: Codemasters, Zapak Games
Genre: Racing, Arcade
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
ESRB Rating: T
Price: Rs. 699 (PC), Rs. 2499 (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

Graphics: 4.5
Sound: 4
Gameplay: 4
Game Modes: 3.5
Value for Money: 4
Overall: 4 out of 5

Abhinav Lal

About Me: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118371002657670425415/posts Read More

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