The down-and-dirty rally racing series gets back on track
Quietly dropping the late Colin McRae's name from its title this time around, the Dirt franchise continues to drive forward without its erstwhile frontman to support it.
Thankfully, the latest entry in the popular rally series is easily strong enough to stand up on its own four wheels.
Anyone who thought rally games were just about solo races down muddy Alpine mountainsides will be in for a pleasant surprise. Dirt 3 serves up a surprisingly varied assortment of off-road gameplay styles, including multi-vehicle rallycross racing, one-on-one head-to-head competitions, 4x4 and gymkhana events, as well as point-to-point stages. There are also multiplayer options, historic events and a lengthy list of new and classic cars to explore.
The driving physics in Dirt 3 strikes a happy balance somewhere between the slavish realism of true racing simulations and the giddy thrills of an arcade racer. Dirt 3 is also an exceptionally beautiful game, with stunning scenery and highly convincing vehicle models, both of which are best appreciated during replays.
At low-quality settings the game can be played on a reasonably modest computer (but click here for full requirements and recommendations).
Presentation was strong throughout, though the ‘totally rad' voiceovers between stages can quickly become irksome.
If you enjoy racing games it's well worth a look too - Dirt 3 is easily among the best looking, most exhilarating rides around.
Pegi age rating: 12+
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Dirt 3 is among the best-looking, most exhilarating rides around
Surprisingly varied gameplay; stunning visuals
Voiceovers started to grate after a while
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