Published on December 17th, 2009 | by prime0
DiRT 2 – Review
Summary: You’ll have the choice of standard rally cars or 4x4 demons to race on the different disciplines
Chances are you’ve never heard of Travis Pastrama and Ken Block. Thankfully that’s not an issue, as you’ll be hearing plenty from them in this sequel, which was vastly improves on the stale nature of the original.
DiRT 2 from a rickety old trailer you’re set up to take the extreme rally world by storm. Starting off in the amateur scene, you’ll soon progress through the Pro ranks and start competing at the world renowned X-Games.
Flashbacks return after being stolen by other high-profile racers (we’re looking at you, Forza), and they work in very much the same way. It’s nice to be able to reverse a mistake eight minutes into a race, but there’s still that slight feeling of guilt.
The game’s handling model has been vastly improved too, with drivers now able to kick out of the back of the car for a quick powerslide to negotiate hairspins. Differences in grip are immediately felt too, as soon you transition from tarmac to mud or dirt.
You’ll have the choice of standard rally cars or 4×4 demons to race on the different disciplines, which take place on standard rally stages and stadium circuits. Each event has a unique feel and will test all of your driving skills. You’ll hear fans cheer, stadium announcements and fellow racers chiming in over the radio, which makes the racing feel really alive and energized. We found that the X-Games are particularly enjoyable, as they’re bursting with a carnival atmosphere and stunning track layouts.
Progression is handled very well, and random facts constantly appear during load times. You’ll buy new cars, unlock liveries and earn new dashboard trinkets as you play. There are plenty of nods to the late, great Colin McRae, and the game handles his memory with the utmost respect.
If you get bored of racing from point A to point B, you can always try some stadium circuits or even the oddball modes of Domination, where you have to own various sectors of the track, or Gatecrasher where you crash through polystyrene gates to earn extra time.
There are six different modes of difficulty and everyone will be able to find the competitive sweet spot that suits them best as they develop.
Online play is streamlined, and even though it utilizes the Games for Windows model of player and ranked matches, we never had any problems. In fact, racing with other gamers from across the world was relatively warp-free, as all cars, race modes and race settings can be changed. Therefore, if you want a 20-lap race around, the world is your oyster.
If you can grit your teeth through all the hip extreme nonsense, you’ll have a brilliant time. When it comes to arcade racing, DiRT 2 is unbeatable and we’ll be playing it for a long time to come.