back to article Dirt 3

The fact that rally is a niche market, even among petrolheads, perhaps goes someway to explaining why Codemaster’s Dirt franchise strives to rein in the time challenge aspects of the sport – instead favouring racing, albeit in a way which retains the drifting and suicidal cornering of the motorsport. Codemasters: good decision …


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  1. Danny Roberts 1


    Loved Dirt2, will definitely be picking this up for the PC.

    Logitech MOMO wheel/pedals and triple monitor Eyefinity makes Dirt2 a really immersive experience, hoping Dirt3 will be similar!

  2. Andy Kay
    Thumb Up

    Dirt vs GT5

    I'm glad you kept comparing Dirt to GT5. Having owned Dirt 2 for a few months, and only recently played on a friends GT5 I find the 2 like comparing COD MW2 to Doom. GT5 is awful. Dirt 2 allows you to get a 'feel' of the car around the dirt tracks, spinning wheels, oversteer etc. Trying a rally track on GT5 was like taking a Smart car laden with lead weights around Silverstone.

  3. ZX12R A1

    Good game BUT

    First off I am a huge Rally fan in the real wold as well as the electronic and have owned pretty much every rally game ever made.

    This is a good game much better than the last Dirt because of the better rally content, game play and physics are nice and balanced and overall it is a definate move forwards however and this is a really BIG however the "Drift Showcase and Gymkhana" are totally out of place in the main game. I can accept that there are people out there who want to do these kind of events but to include both in what is essentially a rally game is annoying to say the least. They both need to be optional to the main game rather than form part of it. Make it a optional / bonus content.

    Hopefully there will be yet another Dirt in which they will go back to the routes of the game and stop with all the "American" Yeah Ha and Chav rubbish and stick to the proper racing formats and any additonal content be exactly that additional content for those who actually want content like that.

  4. adnim

    PC version

    The core of the game is very good, exciting, entertaining and challenging.

    The use of Windows live and needing to install Windows live id as service and have it running, the long load times and patronising commentary almost destroys what in essence is a very good game.

    After playing for an hour with about 40% of that hour in loading screens, I am not particularly inspired to load the game again. I got some grief on my plate at the moment and I am not a happy bunny, I know this is affecting my patience. I will try the game again when my mood improves, perhaps my patience with the game will improve too. But at the moment the pleasure is not worth the pain.

    This is my opinion and such things are subjective, but the use of Windows live in any game immediately annoys me and takes at least 30% off any rating.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Just wait

      "The use of Windows live and needing to install Windows live id as service and have it running"

      "This is my opinion and such things are subjective, but the use of Windows live in any game immediately annoys me and takes at least 30% off any rating."

      Just wait until your net goes down and you can't load your save game because you can't sign into Windows Live, as just happened with me and F1 2010 (same game engine).

      No internet is the perfect opportunity for some time trials, but meh, I'm now boycotting any game that *requires* an Internet connection for single player to work.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "almost" sims

    like this and GT5 are fun at first, but end up p*ssing me off more than acknowledged arcade racers.

    (or perhaps it's just players who claim authenticity and personal prowess applicable to the real world - whilst using a joypad, automatic gears and a visible racing line)

    Roll on GTR3.

  6. Anonymous Coward
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    Certainly could be improved

    actually While the core of the gameplay experience is very good the actual amount of content is pretty woeful. Codemasters has done a great job of marketing the game to rally fans annoyed with a lack of rally courses in Dirt 2. Marketed so well in fact it has hardly had to add any rally content - there are very few rally courses in the game - just four countries and each re-sung the same bits of road for many sections and even having reverse courses renamed to hide the lack of content. The stages are ridiculously short too. And bafflingly although there are some longer point to point stages they can only be used in the Trailblazer mode and not rally.

    I'm not expecting a rally sim, that's not why I'm annoyed. I'm annoyed with the game because the core experience is good but Codemasters has lied about having much more rally content, the courses are just too few and too short. Which is a waste of such a good engine/gameplay model. Why couldn't - at the very least - we have the stages from Dirt 2 included here? Surely that wouldn't have been too much effort.

    As ever Codemasters puts more effort into marketing than creation. I won't be buying Dirt 4.

  7. Ian 49

    But indeed

    I actually don't mind the Drift and Gymkhana events - Dirt stopped being a rally title years ago (I still have a Rally Championship installed for proper rallying, which now works brilliantly with the Logitech G25) - but the fact that you *have* to do the Gymkhana to advance from tier one racing is a pretty poor show.

    I quite like the off-road racing aspect and am enjoying the game, but couldn't be bothered with the gymkhana stuff and while you can get enough points to avoid drift and gymkhana events in the seasons, you can't get out of that initial yawn-inducing school and event to get past first tier without doing the DiRTy "gymkhana" deed.

    TBH, I'd prefer Dirt2 with updated graphics to this latest offering. It's fun, but so far I preferred its predecessor. In spite of being a stuffy middle class Brit, I don't mind a bit of fun every now and then and that's what these games offer. Then I can go back to the Welsh forests and wreck some poor unsuspecting virtual 106 or Escort or something in Rally Championship.

  8. Brian 59

    Different Game?

    I've been playing this on my pc past couple of days and would like to give my experience. Firstly graphically stunning, I'm running it on a quad core 2.66Ghz, ATI 5770, 6 Gig of Ram and can run it at 1920/1080 with high settings and it's smooth as a babys arse, not tried putting up the detail higher yet. It really is a sight to behold. Also my loading times are negligable, few seconds so don't know what's up with previous commenters pc. The author of article says you can't fiddle with car setup, yes you can , before every race the option is there. Also it's been commented about 'having' to do Gymkana etc, no you don't, if you've accumulated enough points in the other sections you can skip the ones you don't fancy. As stated the feeling of going from one surface to another is very tangible, as is the weight of the different vehicles, eg going from driving a Escort Cosi to a truck. With all the assistance turned on it's almost driving itself but still fun, that easy though even a girl could win a race:>

  9. Yet Another Commentard

    It's all very nice

    But somehow it's still not Stunt Car Racer.

    Must go and see if my old A500 still works...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The Gymkhana, especially the forced six circles of hell you have to endure to pass the first year, is pants, beyond all belief. As I said to a friend, I came to rally, not to ballet.

    It'd also be nice if your eighteen pit crew/managers would learn to shut up once in a while.

    I think DiRT3 overall is fantastic, but not actually sure if it is better than DiRT2.

    The multiplayer interface is a load of bobbins incidentally.

  11. ScissorHands
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    Wither Colin and Richard...

    Is there a proper rally simulator at all anymore? Without Gymkhana and buggies?

  12. Ian 49

    Yes, Brian 59... are playing a different game. The gymkhana IS a requirement to move off the first tier. At least on PC, I can't comment on consoles. You cannot advance without completing each of the "skill" lessons and the "competition" at the end, which I got through has fast as possible and with as little effort as possible. After that, as I said above, you can dodge them in the seasons if you prefer.

    Regarding vehicle handling alterations and tuning, there are six massively over-simplistic sliders you can move, which you can use to make your car utterly uncontrollable if you like, but none of them allow anywhere near the amount of alteration you could manage even in the original Dirt, let alone a "proper driving sim". Doesn't bother me massively, although I'd much prefer a couple more, but it does put this firmly into "game" and out of "sim".

    As others have said, Dirt3 is dumbed down like mad for the console kid crowd, whether they be 14 or 41. I'd probably rate it closer to 70 than 90. Fun, pretty, but far from groundbreaking and not what they advertised (which I never expected it to be, personally).


    Available in bargain buckets all over the place for about two fifty and working fine on my Windows 7 64 Home Premium rig. I think I had to use a third-party installer to make it actually work, but may be wrong on that. I've had it installed for so long I can't remember!

    Boffin icon because I actually know what roll bars, brake balance, toe-in etc. do, even if Dirt3 won't let me loose on them with a virtual spanner.

  13. Clive Galway

    <Insert title here>

    As stated above, you don't *have* to do the Gymkhana sections, you can amass points in other areas.

    I am up to season 3, been playing on hardest levels and always using the car that gave the most rep points (ie hardest to pass bonuses).

    Have gotten 1st in everything, except maybe some of the Gymkhana levels where I would only get silver or bronze - some of them are very hard. The rest I found maybe a bit overly easy though.

    Personally, I think the Gym levels are OK. Yes, they are hard, but I find my skill level going up as a result of playing them. I feel that having to be so precise pays dividends when you move make to rally.

    The truck/buggy stages are better than dirt 2 also. Less of them and the vehicles behave more like rally cars (Especially if you lower and stiffen the suspension) so there's not really much difference.

    Currently playing with an XBOX controller. My old wheel broke and I am waiting until I can sort something with an analogue handbrake before I get a new one (WHY do they not make these?).

  14. Kingy


    I agree with posts above in that the drift & gymkhana events spoil this game beyond belief. I loved Dirt 2, especially the proper rally parts. As previously stated it would be fine to have all this drivel as an option but to make it compulsory to proceed through the game is a joke. Perhaps dirt 4 will introduce power ups and 'go faster' mushrooms!

    Mine is going straight on eBay, 99p start, happy bidding :)

  15. DF118

    Make me a purist version and I'll buy it

    The game and graphics engines are really good, so it's a real pity the Dirt games are crap.

    I wish they would do a purist version with just rally stages and none of the never-ending inane voiceover. Listening to that shit is so hellish it put me off Dirt 2 almost instantly. Even with the audio stream switched off you have to sit through interminable pre and post-race animations/slide shows which are almost meaningless without the voiceover anyway. I just couldn't play it and I won't be making the same mistake of wasting my money on Dirt 3. Is it too much to ask to want a decent up to date rally game that involves mostly rally driving and isn't a hardcore sim?

    God, what a moan!

    Really though dear Reg - ninety percent? Are you drunk?

  16. Slaytanic
    Thumb Down


    Arrrg.... the music in Dirt 3 puts me to sleep! When I played Dirt 2, having the rocking tunes come on when I finished the race made me want to see the replay. Now, I just want to click continue right away, can't be bothered to be put to sleep by what ever they put in there for music that goes with it. Seems like the production budget for Dirt 3 was slashed horribly this time around.

    Now I know some of you don't really care one way or the other for the music, but it adds to the gaming experience. As I don't have a DX11 capable video card, Dirt 2 and 3 look mostly the same and play the same too, so one has to look at what else is packaged with the game. And to put it bluntly, what else they packaged with Dirt 3 is crap compared to Dirt 2.

    As for the Gynkhana junk they threw in there, it's damn hard to do well in those levels when you use a keyboard to play. I know, if I like racing games I should get a steering wheel, but I have more important things to spend my money on.

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