DIRT 3

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Games -

PC, PS3, Xbox 360 Out: May 26 The fa­mous Colin McRae: Dirt se­ries of off-road rac­ing games has al­most sin­gle­hand­edly ruled the rally driv­ing roost this con­sole gen­er­a­tion with its beau­ti­ful graph­ics and real­is­ti­cally weighty han­dling.

How­ever, the pre­vi­ous game, Colin McRae: Dirt 2, strayed from the strict rally-driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that brought the se­ries such high ac­claim through­out the years, in favour of a US-cen­tric ex­treme sports fo­cus that up­set long-time fans.

The team at Code­mas­ters has heard these con­cerns, and is aim­ing to rem­edy them with the re­lease of Dirt 3.

Dirt 3 re­turns the se­ries to its roots, with more than 60 per cent of its ca­reer now fo­cused on Rally Sports. There are also more than 100 track routes: more than dou­ble the num­ber in the last game. The game will sport a wide ar­ray of ve­hi­cles, rang­ing from ’60s mod­els to cut­ting-edge cars of the present day.

Among the new in­clu­sions to the se­ries is a full range of im­pres­sive weather ef­fects (brought over from Code­mas­ters F1 2010) that will af­fect each car’s per­for­mance, as well as splitscreen mul­ti­player, im­proved dam­age mod­el­ling, party modes and — for the first time in the se­ries — of­fi­cial WRC li­censed con­tent.

Per­haps the most sig­nif­i­cant ad­di­tion in Dirt 3 is Gymkhana mode. Gymkhana is a form of trick and ob­sta­cle-based rac­ing pi­o­neered by rally sen­sa­tion Ken Block and made fa­mous on YouTube. With the game’s abil­ity to up­load mem­o­rable mo­ments di­rectly to YouTube, rac­ing fans will get their own chance to be­come in­ter­ne­trally le­gends when the game is re­leased in late May.

STEPHEN LAM­BRECHTS

Real feel: Dirt 3 gives play­ers a sat­is­fy­ing rally driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

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