Let’s face it, Dirt 3 is the closest most of us will get to hurtling down the Norwegian countryside in a Ford Mustang GT. Although in real life, there’s no doubt this venture would be terrifying from one minute to the next, in Dirt 3 the entire ride feels like an absolute joy.
This experience transcends well into the other areas of the game’s driving mechanics. Everything feels tight and responsive, but leaving enough room for there to be considerable danger when travelling at speed. The driving mechanics differ depending on the type of terrain you’re racing on, and in some cases, the course you’re speeding around. This time around there’s the addition of rain and snow that make it harder to stay in control and go far past just cosmetic value, which is something other rally games are guilty of.
To take advantage of the astonishingly large spectrum ofcars, which cover everything from buggies to high-spec trailblazers, you’ll want to immerse yourself in Dirt’s season mode. There are four parts to the main season mode; with each having different events to take part in. The variety is good at the beginning, with races taking part all over the world and requiring you to use different vehicles, but soon becomes stale with certain races being repeated on occasion.
In this instalment of the series, there’s the addition of a new Gymkhana mode. Instead of racing, Gymkhana is all about completing tricks to accumulate points in a set amount of time. It takes some considerable skill to nail correctly and is arguably a bit bland compared to the game’s core racing elements, but a nice distraction at times.
Without doubt the crowning feature of the Dirt 3 experience, however, is the graphical prowess being shown throughout. If your Mac can handle it, then expect to see mud and snow flailing all over the place and every car shimmering in the sunlight. It’s a truly stunning game and we thankfully found no annoying texture popping as we played.
Racing games have some fierce competition, but Dirt 3 generally feels like a well-built and diverse product. Although improvements could be made to expand the variety of modes even more, there’s simply nothing that comes close to the rugged and rough rally experience that this beautiful game can offer.