Not only the best rally game out there, but arguably one of the best racers full stop. If you want a classic that you’ll still be playing six months from now then McRae’s your man.
There are over a hundred events spread out across more than 40 tracks. You’ll be tearing up gravel, tarmac and dirt around the world in locations like Utah canyons, Japan, China, Malaysia, London, Croatia, Baja and LA. Every track is a looker but the tracks in the Far East are just incredible to behold. Sightseeing at 150 mph never felt so good.
There are lots of rally disciplines available. As well as the usual split-times and lapped racing we have Raid where some seriously chunky cars all compete for space on a track with multiple routes. Landrush has similar trucks and buggies on a circuit filled with jumps and bumps. Domination has drivers competing for fastest section times and Last Man standing is your standard elimination mode. Gatecrasher is a lot of fun, but criminally underused as you smash through giant yellow barriers to earn extra seconds to help you reach the finish line before the timer runs out.
Dirt 2’s garage is packed with the best rally cars past and present, and the way the events unlock you’ll never get bored as you always have a wide choice. This is something Codemasters have improved on since Race Driver Grid.
You can drive without fear again too thanks to the brilliant ‘Flasback’ rewind feature acting as extra lives for when you catch a hidden rock and barrel roll down the track after pinging off a few trees first for good measure.
In the main game you unlock dashboard items and rubbish like fluffy dice *puts head in hands*, but also different horns. Now, on your own, a novelty ice-cream chime for a horn is soulless. But in a two player online race it’s absolutely f**king brilliant. Driving right behind someone, trying to nudge them off the road or better yet while passing them and blasting that out is an absolute inner-bastard pleasing joy.
Online racing is up there with the best with super-smooth races and the game is constantly supported by community events. Although, if I get one more Facebook update with them wittering on about Ken Block…
There’s huge list of audio names recorded so the game will address you personally. The only problem is that you’ll want to throttle most of the other racers who are made up of American ‘big-name’ rally stars (ex BMX riders generally, Dave Mirra WTF!). They’re all so friggin’ happy it’ll make you sick. Even as you’re trying to shunt them off a cliff from behind they’re pathetically apologising.
The festival n’ stickers design to the whole thing turned my miserable stomach at times too. Nobody told them MySpace is dead apparently. There’s some great music outside of the racing though and the way it jumps to a good part and increases in volume suddenly works really well.
Dirt 3 hasn’t been announced yet, but fingers crossed it’ll be soon. If it is, we’d like to see some weather variations, proper night races and snow so Britain can practice and doesn’t spack out next time we get a bit of the white stuff.
Thanks to amibees (again!) for the find at HotUkDeals