Dirt Showdown is the new racing game from Codemasters, creators of DIRT 3 etc, it carries on the tradition of the extreme style off-road racing that Codemasters has become popular for. Upon starting the game players are introduced to some amazingly detailed menu screens and you will be asked to enter an activation pass to be able to play online. Players will then be asked to sign up and log in to the codemasters new racenet service that is very similar to EA’s Autolog that is used for the Need for Speed games to help keep track of stat details, best lap, race times and race wins. Players can also connect to their you-tube account to upload videos of races, crashes etc.
Once players have browsed through the menus they will notice the various race modes that are available that range from race off events that are your standard racing events to demolition style events that are very similar to the destruction derby games of old. You will come across these as you play through the campaign. The joyride mode allows players to perform tricks and stunts while collecting hidden packages and is identical to Dirt 3 as it uses the same arenas which is a shame as there is nothing here that you haven’t seen before. If you have played Dirt 3 you’ll understand why.
The Race events however do add some change to the experience especially with the demolition derby were you need to gain as many points as possible from hitting other cars and survival races were players must try to keep their car intact for as long as possible from getting mashed by other racers. Gone are the actual rally stages from Dirt 3 and the new hoonigan events are almost exactly similar to the gymkhana events from the previous game only simpler. The handing physics have been changed from the previous game also and as a result the cars are much easier to drive, the game feels more like an arcade racer with these changes, you can do donuts in the hoonigan events without too much effort which wasn’t the case in the previous game. The game has an excellent soundtrack with a great mix of dance and rock tunes that really adds to the overall feel of the game.
There aren’t as many game options and race variations as where in Dirt 3, it can get a little repetitive at times however because after playing only for a short while you will come across nearly everything the game has to offer, but this is an overall good game. It isn’t as difficult to pick up and play as Dirt 3 but there is some fun to be had if you can ignore the constant message reminders to go online. It does feel a little short when compared to other racing games out there, but is definitely worth a try if you are looking for something different…
7 out of 10
Written by Peter Byrne