DiRT Showdown

For A Second There, I Thought I'd Blown My Radiator

DiRT Showdown ditches reality for way more fun.
Author: Aram Lecis
Published: July 16, 2012
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Somewhere, Colin McRae is spinning in his roll cage. Codemasters used his name on the ancestors of DiRT Showdown back when they were know for tight physics and falling on the serious simulation side of the spectrum. If you want Gran Turismo 5's rally mode expanded on, look elsewhere. If you just wandered over from the Burnout Paradise aisle, then put your feet up and stay awhile.

If you were ever a fan of the old Psygnosis Destruction Derby games, you'll feel like you were transported back to the days of Wreckin' Racin' with the like of Barmy Army all over again since the focus of Showdown is firmly planted in smashing cars. When you first start, you'll be tossed into the midst of a race with a mandate to win by any means possible. Assuming you are skilled enough to place in the race, you'll unlock the Career Mode.

At this point, you can branch out and just do missions (something of a series staple, where you can cut loose in a pair of smallish arenas and compete in some challenges to do donuts and slides in designated areas while hunting for the ubiquitous hidden packages) or hop into multiplayer, which we'll get to in a bit. Most likely you'll continue along to the four-tiered campaign.

Each tier consists of 12 events followed by a finale. Events range from one to three "races" that fit into around ten different modes. Most of these modes can be broken down into either racing (with wrecking) or just some form of wrecking. None of the modes are anything you haven't seen someplace else, but throwing in Eliminators, Figure Eights and Push-Outs breaks up the monotony a bit. There are also around ten different tracks/environments to race around in to also keep things fresh.

As you beat races (and do tricks during them) you'll unlock more races and more cars to purchase. While the cars are all real-world rally-type cars for the races, the demo derby class cars are entirely fictional (probably to let them show more damage). Sadly, the differences between cars are VERY minimal, and all cars just have 3 stats, Power, Weight and Handling, and in the end it doesn't matter what you pick, as long as it is from the top tier of whats available to you. Each car has a half-dozen liveries that mix things up, at least from a cosmetic standpoint.
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