The Average Gamer
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Colin McRae: DiRT Review (360)

CM-DIRTBoxArt.jpg

Age rating: 12+ (PEGI)
What is it?

It’s a rally game. Think Forza Motorsport or Gran Turismo but with lots of mud (and car damage).

Is it fun?

Yes.

Is it worth the money? £39.99 from play.com

Yep.

Why?

Car damage and speed, the 2 essential elements in any decent rally game. Fortunately Colin McRae’s DiRT has tons and tons of speed and shed loads of car damage. When I was belting down the 3rd stage of the Rally of Wales in my Lancia Delta S4 at some hideous speed, it really felt like seat of the pants stuff. Then I screwed my entry to one of the corners and whoops-a-daisy, the car performs a perfect barrel role in mid air. Back on all 4 wheels, minus 1 door – which I wasn’t using anyway – I managed to finish the stage.

I love the way this game looks. All the tracks ooze fantastic levels of detail. Mud, snow and dust laden environments are all nicely rendered. Each area littered with so many pesky road side obstacles with which to destroy your car. You also get this real feeling of being on the just on the edge as you are hurtling down each stage, with the scenery crowding round your car. The Australian stages feel especially claustrophobic with lots of trees and bush lying in wait for you to meander slightly off line. Your car’s really buggered when you do, I can tell you. I’ve lots of experience buggering up my car, me.

However, there are some rubbish bits. Firstly, the menu music is crap. I turned off it off pretty darn quickly as the same track was repeated again and again. Eventually it just got to me as it will you. Secondly, what’s with the stupid American commentator and co-driver (no Nicky Grist, rubbish)? For the first few races you don’t mind and just try to ignore him (your co-drive unfortunately you have to listen to). But then you begin to realise that he has about 5 recorded banal statements to chirp at you after finishing a race. Annoying. And the truck/Big rig races. Why? They are slow and boring. Total waste of time and effort and they just don’t feel like they should part of this game.

One question I’d like answered is what happened to Colin McRae then? Why are his dulcet Scottish tones missing from this game? It’s named after him, but he’s nowhere to be seen unlike the previous 4 releases. Did Codemasters just shove a wodge of cash Colin’s way for the use of his name in his absence? The only reference to Colin I could find was in the endgame credits under the “special thanks to” section.

In summary:

The best rally game on any of the next-gen consoles, for the moment anyway.

Screenshots:

Vroom-tb.jpg Thats not a rally car-tb.jpg Oooh you dirty boy-tb.jpg Driving in my car-tb.jpg

Update 16th Sep 07:
Tragically Colin McRae was killed last night in a helicopter crash near his home in Scotland. His son and 2 family friends were also killed in the crash. Our thoughts are with the families affected by this great loss.

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6 Comments

  1. Mr Butterscotch

    7th Aug, 2007 at 9:40 pm

    It looks like it would make a rather good game if I had a steering wheel, which I still want!

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