Dirt 3
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Playing in the rain

Before I get started, I just want to mention the things that I want in a good racing game. I want lots of cars to choose from, that you buy with your winnings. I want cars with good handling. I want to be able to modify and upgrade my car. I also want a good story to go with it. Well when it comes to Dirt 2 and 3, those criteria fall away. Let's take a quick look back at Dirt 2. Dirt 2 was amazing and fun. The cars were cool, handling was great and the game was a really pretty. Although there was no story and no real upgrades, you had your goal and it was really fun to complete your goal.

In Dirt 3 you are faced with 4 seasons with a bunch of events in each of these. There is no cool touring bus with a cool world map inside and no cool outdoor scene with crowds and camera flashes like Dirt 2. That was really sad, because that was something special and unique and now in Dirt 3, there is nothing. This however does not kill the game at all. You have your four seasons, when you go into them, there are events. In each event there are a number of races. You don't win money, but rather points and that unlocks other events or races. You get bonus points for certain extra objectives in the races. You also increase your driver reputation which unlocks more cars for you to use in races. Straight forward and a bit unexciting, but who cares, because the races are really fun. You also unlock more cars as you go along that you can use in the races. A new thing in the game, which was quite cool in my opinion, is the youtube uploading function. The highlights of your races can be uploaded by the game onto your youtube account for your fans to watch. How awesome is that?

What I really love about Dirt 3; is the handling and difficulty. You can set it how you want it to be. You can make it really hard for yourself, just right or too easy. It's not like Shift 2 Unleashed where it still remains tricky on very easy settings. Certain cars and tracks are harder than other, and you can set it up before each race. If the race is too hard, just restart and set it easier and try again. If you crash or drive off a cliff, just use your flashback (like in Dirt 2). This rewinds time to a point before your big boo boo (Unrealistic feature, but this is a game, not real life). It is not like other games where the difficulty can't be set during the game and if you crash, you crash. This ensures that you will be able to have fun all the time and not get too frustrated. It is almost perfect (setting it on casual is just too easy that also takes the fun away). I really recommend that everyone should play around with these setting to find what suits you best. This will give you the maximum fun experience you desire.

There are many classes of cars, e.g. trucks, cars etc. In each class there are many different cars. I am a big Subaru fan, so I really must mention this car. The cars have really been improved a lot. It is not just the same cars over and over again, but rather spiced up a bit from the previous games. There are also many different kinds of races and tracks. Some are easy and some quite tricky, but all are exciting and fun. There are really nice destinations and tracks added in Dirt 3 and it looks beautiful.

The sound effects are also really good. The cars sound so cool and the effects e.g. when you crash or spin on gravel, are really good. The sound effects and quality is much better than the other big title released earlier namely Shift 2: Unleashed. I am really impressed by the overall sound of this game.

Now for the one thing that can destroy a game...graphics! Well done developers. This game is eye candy. On my pc Dirt 3 looks better than Dirt 2 but I can't say by how much though. There have been improvements and the game looks stunning and that is what is important. The cars are nice and shiny before getting dirty. The effects are so good looking. Snow or dirt being kicked up by the tyres of other racers and you struggle to see, it is so realistic and beautiful. When it rains, rain splatters agains the screen, the track gets wetter and wetter and also more slippery as it rains. This is amazing. The wet track has a beautiful shine to it. It is truely good looking. The bushes next to the track also look fantastic and realistic, but the trees look somewhat "fake in some areas." The crowd next to the track looks like they were cut out of cardboard and just pasted there. In some tracks and some areas of tracks the crowd looks better and others it looks worse. This is quite poor after seeing how good the track and cars look. Overall it really is a beautiful game.

Dirt 3 is a rally game. Two important words namely rally and game. Rally is more than just racing. You need to be in control of your car or you will crash and don't just drive, you slide, spin and power slide. It is really fun. I enjoy doing just that. Secondly, it is a game. A game is supposed to be fun and enjoyable. Shift 2: Unleashed is more of a simulator than game and that is why it is so realistic. I am not saying simulators are not fun, but I am saying that Dirt 3 is a game that is really fun and enjoyable. It does not make you so frustrated that you want to return the game of break you keyboard. Don't get me wrong, Dirt 3 is not unrealistic, but it is well balanced.

I really love this game. Not so much that I would play it non-stop over and over again but I would put a good few hours into this game before getting bored or tired of it. Another good thing is, if you get bored of this game, you will be in the mood for it soon. It's not like other games where you don't want to see it for another week after an overdose on the game. This game is quite addictive if you love rally games and it sounds good, looks good and is really good.

However, it is not Dirt 2. Dirt 2 is better than Dirt 3. Dirt 3 may have new cars, look better and have new destinations, but dirt 2 was more fun. You worked for you money in Dirt 2 and it felt like you were touring the world (hard to explain but it had a certain X factor that was so perfect). That is all lost in Dirt 3. So Dirt 2 is better, but that does not mean Dirt 3 is a bad game. Dirt 3 is not a replacement for Dirt 2 and you should not replace your Dirt 2 with Dirt 3. Dirt 3 should rather been seen as a new game. Keep Dirt 2 and get Dirt 3 as an extra game. I still recommend this game for rally fans and it is worth it to get your hands dirty with Dirt 3.

Pounding through the snow