Tuesday, September 15, 2009

DiRT 2 | Review

Synopsis: DiRT 2 is the sequel to its critically acclaimed predecessor that was released in 2007, adding new technology, race types, large scale events, locations, drivers, and vehicles. Players are taken on a World Tour, consisting of over 100 events across nine different locations, combining solo and multi car races. Up and coming rally racers Ken Block, Travis Pastrana, and Dave Mirra compete with and against you throughout your career, along with voicing their strongdisapproval when you’re trading paint or sending them out of control. Online gameplay allows for two to eight players, racing individually or on teams, to gain experience towards increasing their online level or just make their way up the leaderboards. To help provide that fast paced racing style that Codemasters is known for, DiRT 2 includes a garage, chocked full of the “best-in-class” licensed rally cars and off-road vehicles.

Praise: The graphics in dirt 2 are amazing and with everything going on at the same time the game play does not give the player a slowdown in frame rate. There are a large number of events across the globe to keep anyone busy for hours on end, while the variety of vehicles, keep racing along the same tracks fresh. The ability to choose the skill level before each race is a great feature, so you can begin your career on casual as the game starts while moving to a higher difficulty to make more cash as you get more familiar with how each car and race type plays. Flashbacks are a godsend with the white knuckle gameplay as it is easy to lose control or total your vehicle, and if that happens, there is the ability to rewind to a few seconds before you are out of commission to correct the mistake and complete the event. Online play is great, whether playing ranked or practice matches, there was virtually no lag, finding a match is quick, and I found myself saying “one more level and then I can turn it off” a few too many times.

Gripes: The ability to tune your vehicle is missing from DiRT 2, and while you are able to choose cars that vary in regards to speed, acceleration, and drivability, I was hoping for the ability to fine tune the performance and handling of vehicles. Some of the personalization abilities such as dashboard and mirror ornaments are not noticeable unless you choose to race in the first person view, however, the vehicle wraps, known as liveries, help you personalize the way each vehicle in your stable looks. My biggest gripe with online play, which has nothing to do with the development of this title, is that occasionally, you will race against the person who expects to win the race by barreling into or through you without any sort of penalty, and this concern would not exist if there was any sort of penalty for crashing.

Small gripes aside, DiRT 2 is a perfect rally racer with loads of replay value, after the world tour is completed. As long as you have your Xbox online, there is just as much time to be spent, if not more, racing against the online community. From the stunning visuals to the break neck speed of the white knuckle gameplay, any racing fan should pick this up as they will not be disappointed, as Codemasters has stayed true to the sport of racing once again.

Mashbuttons.com gives DiRT 2 a 10 out of 10 to a very well executed title for any rally racing fan to enjoy until DiRT 3.(Here is to hoping for a sequel)

DiRT 2 is available now for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, PSP, Wii, and DS.

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