Score: 7.5 out of 10
Dirt Showdown is all about online gameplay. If you didn’t intend playing this game online then the game itself is going to help you rethink your decision. Dirt Showdown wants to be online. It needs to be online. From the moment you start, you’ll be pestered about an internet connection and even asked for your Twitter details or your YouTube account.
The game presentation is amazing and is certainly what we’ve come to expect from Codemasters. I am reminded many times by the great user interface of Grid from all those years ago. The menu system is slick and beautifully presented. I love a menu that gets you into the game quickly and doesn’t require a manual. In fact, when the menu system of a game gets your blood pumping and amped for play then I think it gets an A in my book.
As a single-player game, Dirt Showdown is fairly limited and very much an arcade game set inside fantastic graphics. It’s also the easiest mode and will not challenge the racing enthusiast for long. There is a career progression, but it feels too underwhelming with no supporting narrative. The new car purchases are a good incentive to keep going, but honestly not enough.
The single-player experience also includes a joyride mode, which in my mind is even more fun than single-player racing. This mode allows you to drive through a huge open environment packed with missions that you can work to achieve. This will help develop your skills enormously and is essentially the same as taking you car down to your local track to practice some stuff. It’s a really great mode.
My favourite race events are the demolition events and so I was incredibly eager to try out these events in Dirt Showdown. I am happy to report that it’s more fun than barrel full of monkeys. The only drawback for me was the monumentally irritating announcer whose commentary during the race is enough to drive a person insane. That reminds me: I need to check and see if I can switch commentary off. Codemasters, if you are listening, change the commentary guy.
Some of the demolition tracks are wonderfully designed in double figure eights or raised platforms and it all just adds to the fun. Get ready for some teeth loosening crashes as you hurtle through one of the figure of eight intersections. Lovely stuff.
There are a number of different playing modes in Dirt Showdown and by far the multiplayer mode is the most awesome. Who can resist the thrill of racing against online friends somewhere out in the world? The satisfaction of smashing into other player’s cars while you smash and bash your way to the top is unparalleled. And I love the option to split the online players into teams and then fight for team domination.
In summary, in order to fully see the benefit of Dirt Showdown it must be enjoyed online. I recommend it as a great racing game to add to your collection and certainly worth the cash.
Available on: X360, PC, PS3