Published on May 25th, 2012 | by Daniel


Review: DiRT Showdown

Review: DiRT Showdown Daniel

Summary: Daniel takes a look at DiRT Showdown, is it any good? read the review to find out!


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DiRT Showdown is, technically, the fourth game in the hugely successful DiRT series from Codemasters, and the first to release under the new Codemasters Racing name, after Codies decided to switch their focus to entirely racing games which is where they shine. Yet, it’s not DiRT 4. That’s coming at a later date. DiRT Showdown is, instead, a destruction-heavy spin-off that targets both the casual DiRT fan and also the crash-obsessed lunatic. From the moment you insert the Showdown disc, you instantly feel a party atmosphere, an atmosphere fuelled with adrenaline. This instantly sets the mood for the game to come. Showdown is always geared towards providing a fun time amidst the destruction, crashes and totalled wrecks on the track. The visuals are bright, colourful and fireworks pop off the screen at every opportunity. You know, to emphasise the fact that Showdown is a party. The soundtrack is filled with fast paced rock tracks from artists such as Rise Against and the odd splattering of dubstep.

When you actually begin to race, you get a feel for the polish and presentation that is present in every single Codemasters Racing game- the voiceovers are solid, the cars looks great (despite being un-licensed) and everything is just slick. There are a variety of races, all destruction centric, and even a Gymkhana style spin-off. Race types are all extremely fun, from the all-out destruction based events, to the ones focused on sheer speed, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. You won’t find any pure rally events here though, with DiRT Showdown being a spin-off, which is obviously a positive or negative depending on your enjoyment of these events in the past. Speaking of past DiRT games, Showdown has a simplistic charm to it that isn’t present in, say, DiRT 3. Tricks are easy to carry out, handling is light and floaty and the difficulty is relatively easy which allows even the most casual of racer to fluidly put together a Gymkhana run or smash his or her way into 1st in one of the destruction derby style events. Again, this can be seen a positive or a negative depending on your enjoyment of DiRT 1,2 & 3, but I found Showdown a little too easy and simple and found myself clamouring for the nearest point to point rally event in DiRT 3; if only to break up the nonsensical destruction.

Aside from the Showdown Tour, there is a Joyride mode and of course, multiplayer. Joyride is a Gymkhana like mode, where you’re free to roam areas doing whatever you please, or completing small missions and the latter is the key pillars of Showdown, against other people. What did you expect? Showdown’s multiplayer, much like the singleplayer, is extremely fun to play. Don’t get me wrong, wrecking no-name goons in singleplayer is fun but wrecking people online just increases the fun factor knowing that you’re probably sending them into a fit of rage with every slam, bash or bump.

So DiRT Showdown is fun. It was always going to be. What Showdown isn’t though is the perfect DiRT game. In fact it falls way short of the greatness of DiRT 3, but then again Codemasters weren’t aiming to make the next DiRT 3; that’ll come with DiRT 4. They were aiming to make a casual spin-off which is all about destruction and fun, and they have passed this test with flying colours. If, like me, you’re a big fan of all the seriousness of the other DiRT games, then you may struggle to see DiRT Showdown as more than a noisy distraction. However if you detest the rally events of DiRT 3 and prefer the more casual nature of the events, then DiRT Showdown will be perfect. I completely enjoyed DiRT Showdown and the different atmosphere it provided, but at the same time I can’t help but look forward to more of a challenge and more of a serious encounter in DiRT 4. In the meantime though, if you’re looking for fun, noise, crashes and fireworks, DiRT Showdown is your game.

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