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A Graphical Warrior: Colin McRae: Dirt 2 Review

Filed under: Colin McRae: Dirt 2,PC Games,Playstation 3 Games,Xbox 360 Games — Tags: , , , , , — Kellen Beck @ 16:32 February 9, 2010


PC, Xbox 360, PS3, DS, PSP




Single Player, Online


Fantastic graphics (DirectX 11), Flashback ability.


Not much variety in courses, some aspects are not really clear

Colin Mac Rae - Screenshot 1Introduction

Codemasters released Colin McRae: Dirt 2 in September 2009 for consoles, and on Windows Live in December. There are no surprises with this game, it’s a racer, an excellent one at that…


Starting out, you put in your name and what you would like other drivers to call you. This is odd because your name could be Greg, but the drivers would call you John; it doesn’t make much sense. Once you start racing, you won’t want to stop. You start on easy difficulty races and work your way up to pro by completing the X Games tournaments. As you race, you earn experience and gain levels which grants you access to more regions to race in and new tournaments. After you beat the last X Games tournament you can still continue and gain levels and get achievements.

Winning races also gives you money, car accessories, and on the rare occasion, a car. You can’t upgrade your car parts, but you can choose what full-body advert (a liverie) is displayed on your car, and what bobble-head you want inside it. The only upgrades you can get are whole other cars, and you can just save your money and get the best of each type, instead of buying each one. By the end you should have a few million dollars, so you can go back and buy them all .

There are 5 main race types in Dirt 2: Rally, Rallycross, Trailblazer, Raid and Landrush. Rally, Rallycross and Raid are long non-circuit courses that are pretty challenging. The Rally races include a passenger who tells you what turns and jumps are coming, and you are not racing against others (staggered starts). Rallycrosses are the exact opposite; you race against 8 others and you have no passenger. Trailblazers are roughly the same as Rallies, except for the cars you can use. Raids only use the big cars (trucks and buggies) and are also non-circuit races, but, like a Rallycross, you race against 8 others. And lastly the Landrush, which is the same as the Raid, but takes place on a circuit. There are two special races, Gatecrasher, which requires you to break through stacks of blocks while being timed, and Domination, an elimination race.

Colin Mac Rae - Screenshot 2Compared to other racing games like Forza, the choice of vehicles isn’t very expansive, and the stats aren’t very detailed. The different cars are a mix of massive trucks, buggies, sleek compacts and off-road compacts. Each car is graded out of ten in three categories: Top Speed, Acceleration, and Drivability; don’t expect any more detail than that.

After playing for a while and getting bored of the same old grid, you should try the online. Finally a racing game has gotten it right; Dirt 2’s online racing is plain and simple, just get in and race. You are limited to the Rallycross, Raid and Landrush races, which makes sense. There are also random ranked races you can do, and it takes you time and places you on the leaderboard.

A unique feature incorporated into Dirt 2 is the Flashback. When your car is damaged beyond racing conditions, or you spun out and lost your place, really whenever you feel like it, you can use Flashback to rewind a few seconds. This helps a lot so you don’t have to keep restarting the race if you mess up. Sometimes the crash cut scene goes on for too long and the flashback does not help, and that can get annoying. When you hit things like other cars, walls or rocks, your car gets either wheel damage or engine damage. Wheel damage just annoys your steering, and the engine damage doesn’t really do anything. After the race, if your car is damaged, is just seems to repair itself as opposed to the original Dirt. This is another one of those odd things that Dirt 2 seemed to overlook.


Colin Mac Rae - Screenshot 3On the Xbox360 and PS3, Dirt 2 looks fantastic, but on the PC it looks more than fantastic. If you happen to have a new graphics card that supports DirectX 11 graphics, this game is like putting a juicy steak in front of a starving dog, and that starving dog is you. Every cloud of dust and splash of water is so real, it could bring tears to your eyes. It was a great idea to wait out the few months and update the graphics to DX11, because it’s the best animation I’ve ever seen.

The other racers in the game are voiced by the real racers, and voiced well. Pounding engines and screeching tires make up most of the sound in the game, and they are done very nicely. There is a slew of music in the game which can be easily muted or changed. It should be noted that Dirt 2 is the first PC game that uses Blue Ripple Sound’s Rapture 3D sound engine by default, and it completely immerses you in the thrill of the race.


Graphics – 10/10

Audio – 10/10

Gameplay – 8/10

Replayability – 8/10

Final Score – 9/10

Required Specs


Windows XP, Vista or 7


Intel Pentium D 2.6Ghz, AMD Athalon 64 X2


1GB XP, 2GB Vista and 7


ATI Radeon X1600, NVidia GeForce 6800

Hard Drive Space:


VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 10.0/10 (5 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)
A Graphical Warrior: Colin McRae: Dirt 2 Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 5 ratings

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