Dirt 2 Review (PS3)
By Hector Cortez May 2, 2012, 21:34 GMT
Dirt 2 is an entertaining racing game that is easily accessible to all gamers, including those who wouldn’t normally play racing games.
Dirt 2 starts with a phone call from rally driver Travis Pastrana inviting you to go on a rally tour. Immediately after the conversation you’re given a Subaru Impreza STI and are on your way to earning a name for yourself in the world of rally racing.
Your career will take you all over the world to London, Tokyo, Morocco, Croatia, Baja California, and Malaysia, among others. Each location is home to different events and tracks that are appropriate for the corresponding city. For example, all Baja racing events naturally take place in Baja California, while rally drifting events occur in Tokyo, Japan. Level designs incorporate real world location attributes and make them a part of the game play, rather than simply serving as eye candy.
In order to unlock all the locations, you must first earn experience points (XP) by placing in high ranking positions in the varying events. You'll earn an event's maximum XP if you finish in first place. As you gain XP, your numerical level ranking will increase. Each location requires a minimum level ranking in order to unlock itself. Your first trip to Japan won't come until you reach level 7, while your first invitation to an X-Games event won't come until you reach level 8. You are also free to jump around from location to location, mixing thing up a bit. You can complete an event in London and then jet off for some fun in the sun in Baja California. This free-roaming XP system works well as it rewards your dedication with more tracks, events, and locations. You feel as if you're in control, working towards a reachable goal instead of simply completing events in a predetermined, linear fashion.
Visually, the game is pleasing to the eye. Environments are rendered with great detail, especially the mountainous locations, complete with lush trees, crumbling dirt, and awesome vistas. These levels are where the game’s visuals truly shine. Some of the night based, city locations could use some work. They're not as impressive as the open, daytime locations and feel a bit boring in comparison. The vehicles, however, are far from boring and are quite fun to drive because they take actual damage. Throughout the race, depending on how bad a driver you are, your car will visibly begin to fall apart--the bumpers will fall off, windows will break, and the body will become dented. Sometimes it's fun to crash on purpose if only to see just how much damage you can inflict on your vehicle.
Dirt 2 is an entertaining racing game that is easily accessible to all gamers, including those who wouldn't normally play racing games. It’s a game that doesn't take itself too seriously to garner comparisons to other hardcore racing games such as Gran Turismo, but it also doesn't stray into silly, arcade racing territory. Game play that is balanced just right, coupled with nice visuals and tons of content, makes Dirt 2 an easy recommendation for anyone looking for a new racing game.