Jeremy McGrath's Offroad

I Feel Just The Tiniest Bit DiRTy

Jeremy McGrath's Offroad stays the course a bit too much.
Author: Aram Lecis
Published: July 22, 2012
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When first I heard tell of Jeremy McGrath's Offroad, I was really hoping that it was some sort of isometric perspective racer that was a spiritual successor to Ironman Ivan Stewart's Super Off-Road. Oooops. It's actually a light simulation in the vein of an earlier DiRT entry back before they embraced fun. Unfortunately, it doesn't go TOO deep and really embrace the reality, and instead just skirts it while taking out the controlled chaos that really letting go allows for.

If you are looking for a straight-up rally racer with no frills, plenty of rubbing (it IS racing, after all) and some generic vehicles sorted by class with a super-simple Super Sprint-esque upgrade system plus some generic online racing with an already on life support community, well, this IS the game for you! Career mode drops you into a 23-race season that keeps a running total of your race points to see if you can prevail against Jeremy McGrath and six other dudes (really just Jeremy though). Those races are broken into six classes of offroad racers ranging from souped up dune buggies all the way to trophy trucks. You'll do anywhere from 3-6 races in each class, generally starting with a time-trial event and then straight racing the rest of the way.

Each class of racers has about a half dozen vehicles to choose from, although I THINK the differences were purely in the liveries. Regardless of which one you choose, you'll want to stick with that one for the entire class of races. That's because you'll level up after each race based on finishing time and expert moves you pulled off. You can boost the handling, top speed, acceleration and brakes of your ride but it only affects that car so switching up is just plain silly.

Expert moves in this case refers mainly to passing people and powersliding, but you'll occasionally get some for a long jump, smashing fences, boosting or a few other things. Those more specialized ones net you much bigger experience rewards, but you can only get them once per race, whereas the others are unlimited. The value of the moves varies by the difficult you are racing on.

Speaking of difficulty, there isn't a whole lot here. I did each race of the season just once, and finished in first on 21 of the 23 tracks. Please note that I am by no means the Kobe Bean Bryant of video game racing. I'll be honest here… the only real challenge was seeing how late in the race I could come to a complete stop and fall back to last place and still go on to win. The answer was usually about two-thirds of the way through the final lap. I routinely finished 20 or more seconds ahead of my nearest competitor (usually Mr. McGrath himself) which tended to get a little boring. One bit of advice on a loading screen said to "learn to control the throttle" which is hilarious since the best way to race is keeping the throttle maxed at all times and just tapping the handbrake a bit when your spotter calls out an upcoming hairpin turn.
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