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99 of 105 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2009
I'm 69 years old and my gaming experience, until recently, has been pretty much limited to Pong, PacMan and the Microsoft Flight Simulator. Two years ago I bought a WII, my first console. My favorite game was Excite Truck. That led to a PS3 and GT5P and a Logitech Driving Force GT wheel.

Now my favorite game is "Dirt 2." What an amazing piece of work. The cars handle beautifully, the damage modeling is fantastic, and there is a nice arcade/simulator balance.

I am trying to get some of my friends to buy this game (console, game, wheel, broadband connection, etc.) so that we can race online.

When they pull our real licenses we'll still be racing. Dirt 5 perhaps.

Most of the women, including my wife, who have tried this game have been frustrated, mostly because of oversteering, and have quit after driving 15 minutes or so. After I added a second system and raced my wife on our LAN she started to like it. I think following a cooperative driver who stays in sight, helps a lot.

My 68 year old wife is now level 81 and drives about 1.5 nours every afternoon. I think many women who would give this game a chance would begin to really enjoy it.
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45 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2009
At first glance Dirt 2 is impressive. The overall presentation is original, the graphics are spectacular, the damage modeling is amazing and finally the driving experience is decently fun. My problem with this game lies in its general shallowness. I feel like the series have gone very far from its original roots as a realistic rally racer. With every new installment we get less and less realism and more flash, "action" and arcadish feel. For example, the fact that actual rally racing takes up a rather small percentage of the types of races available in Dirt 2 is very disappointing.

I know the developers tried to shoot for a flashy and user friendly interface, and while I give them credit for their ingenuity, I really feel like it is yet another step to dumb down the whole experience, as it makes the game feel very linear with limited choices of cars and races. While the driving is kind of fun, I keep feeling like I am not playing anything more than an arcade racer, where the goal is to mostly ignore physics and good driving techniques and just ram your way to the top spot, while avoiding the obstacles. The concept of opposing drivers saying very corny things via radio during passing and bumping just adds to the whole "childishness" of an already thin experience. Even after doing well in challenging races, I had no real feeling of satisfaction that I would normally experience while playing either the old Colin McRae titles or the Gran Turismo series.

I am guessing that to offset large expenses that come with good graphics and flashiness, the developers decided to build this game for the masses by broadening the scope of the races, doing away with the idea of driving technique and essentially stopping just short of eliminating the concept of "rallying" from it altogether. Personally, I am not OK with that because no amount of good graphics and flash can make up for that feel of a realistic rally experience that was lost somewhere in the evolution of this series.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
I'll start off by saying that I'm new to the 'Dirt' franchise though I've played other racing games by Codemasters. Prior to purchasing 'Dirt' I was getting my offroad driving kicks with MotorStorm: Pacific Rift. After hearing great things about the original 'Dirt' I began looking forward to playing 'Dirt 2' on my PS3.

So what's 'Dirt 2' all about? Simple - off-road driving at breakneck speeds. D2 features a variety of modes though the meat of the game is the 'Dirt World Tour'. In World Tour you'll create your own character, choose a nickname and set off on conquering the world of off-road racing. Events take place in 8 locations spread out on 4 different continents. You'll be driving through the desert wastes of Baja California to the jungle trails of Malaysia to the (dirt covered) streets of London and a few places in between. As you progess with your career you'll inevitably come head to head with various professional drivers such as Dave Mirra, Ken Block, Tanner Foust and others. Eventually you'll be able to race against these drivers and if you beat them you can even befriend them and race alongside them in various team events.

World Tour features 3 categories of races starting with the relatively mild "rookie" races to the intermediate "Pro" all the way up to "All-Star". Along the way you'll buy and earn cars as well as purchase generic upgrades for the vehicles. That is, you'll pay to upgrade your vehicles from the beginner rookie level to pro and so forth. All told there are 35 vehicles ranging from rally cars, trophy trucks, buggies, stock-Baja and a few other classes. The vehicles include familiar brands such as Subaru, Mitsubishi, Nissan and more. One very cool feature of Dirt 2 is the ability to unlock classic vehicles like the 1993 Dakar Rally Mitsubishi Pajero or the 1995 Subaru Impreza WRX driven by Colin McRae and others.

Before you race you're given the option to set the difficulty for each specific race ranging from 'easy' to 'savage'. I believe that there are 5 difficulty settings in all. Besides making the A.I. more challenging in the races themselves the difficulty settings also dictate how many 'flashbacks' you can use in a race. Flashbacks are like a rewind feature that allow you to correct a costly mistake whilst driving. On easier difficulty settings you can use up to 6 flashbacks per race. On the hardest setting you'll be given no flashbacks at all. You'll also have the option to turn realistic damage on or change the setting to cosmetic damage only. With realistic damage vehicle performance degrades as your vehicle takes damage from crashes. Also of note, besides bragging rights from increasing the difficulty, Dirt 2 rewards players with extra cash for driving at higher difficulty levels.

The types of races available include: Rally, Rally-Cross, Trailblazer, Landrush, Last Man Standing and Raid. Rally races are the typical staggered-start events with you and your co-driver racing against the clock. Rally-Cross events are set in arena-like stages with a mixture of off-road and paved surfaces. These events are very tight and technical courses. Trailblazer is in essence a rally race without the co-driver and some cosmetic changes to the vehicles. Landrush and Raid take use Stock-Baja, Trophy Trucks and Buggies and feature tracks with plenty of jumps. Last Man Standing is an elimination event where the clock ticks down from 20 seconds and the last place driver is eliminated from the race until only one driver is left.

Each vehicle in Dirt 2 is rendered well including a full rendering of the cockpit. All the dials and gauges actually work which is very cool. Additionally the in-cockpit view is usable unlike some racing games where the viewpoint is so limited that it's near impossible to drive whilst using it.

All told I am thoroughly enjoying Dirt 2 and absolutely love the tight controls and spot-on physics. The graphics are good and at moments spectacular and have never, ever shown a bit of framerate problems or slow-down. But there are issues that keep me from rating the game higher.

I guess the first thing that I would note is that although Dirt 2 is a good looking game it just doesn't stand up next to the likes of Gran Turismo 5 Prologue and some of the newer racers out there. I'm by no means implying that the graphics make the game less enjoyable, more or less throwing the information out there for those that may care to know.

My biggest disappointment with Dirt 2 would have to be the lack of genuine upgrades to the cars. Yes, you can purchase and upgrade to the vehicles from one class to another as I noted before. But there are absolutely ZERO parts to choose from and no real customization besides choosing liveries, horns and dash ornaments. Before each race you can modify basic settings like downforce and brake bias but the choices are few. If you're a fan of tuning your cars from parts you choose then be warned that Dirt 2 is probably not your game.

Another area where the game is weak is the environment effects. You'll spend most of your time in Dirt 2 racing in broad daylight and a few races at dusk where extra lights will be mounted to your vehicles. But no weather effects are present and no terrain deformation like in MotorStorm. Not a huge deal but still something to consider.

Also, Dirt 2 does feature damage models that range from bumps and scratches all the way to major damage - doors falling off, broken windshields to broken axels, etc. However, in about 100 races I've realized a few things. Either the damage to your vehicles is extreme or it's very minor. There's very little ground in between. I've had accidents where I rolled my car at 90 mph and driven off like nothing happened - this scenario is probably 98% of the damage you'll encounter. The only time I sustained damage severe enough to force me to retire from an event was when I intentionally rammed my car into a rock wall at 140 mph. I guess what I'm saying is that the damage model could be a bit more flushed out to allow for more realistic damage. I think that in the case of Dirt 2 the developers tried to make the game as accessible as possible and thus sort of rounded down the damage delt to vehicles.

My last gripe has to do with the menu. I find that entering certain events are confusing. Yes, 95% of the game is straightforward and not confusing at all. But to this day I still cannot find out how to download a time trail ghost and race against it. Also Dirt 2 features weekly community events where you can enter to race - only problem is I've yet to figure out how to do so. Before you judge that this is a problem with me and not the game consider that I've been playing video games for over 20 years and play a lot of racing games. If I cannot figure it out, it's a problem with the interface of the game.

My last comment would be that although I'm new to the 'Dirt' franchise I was really expecting more of a rally type game than Dirt 2 really is. While it's true that there are plenty of rally events, they're generally short and more of an emphasis (out of sheer number of events) is placed on events like Rally-Cross or Trailblazer or the other game modes. I didn't realize just how much of an emphasis the X-Games played on rally racing or in Dirt 2 for that matter. Because of it the game has a sort of extreme-sport, "dude" type of feel to it.

All in all I don't believe that any of the issues I outlined are enough to keep me from enjoying the game and recommending it here. There is certainly enough content and races to keep a racer busy for a long time. Coupled with a fully featured online multiplayer Dirt 2 will be in my PS3 for many months to come. In finishing, Dirt 2 is an good off-road racer that lands just shy of greatness.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2009
Dirt2 rocks! Am up to level 40 and still having fun. Graphics are great, the mud on the windshield drives me nuts, I can't see! There is a switchable damage mode to allow for crash damage to affect speed and handling. And damage to the car will happen. You have to be really agressive in the car-to-car races, so it's inevitable. The "celebrity" drivers taunt you and will even break your concentration with their comments to you and each other. Hard to drive when you're laughing... Drive clean and they will be your friends. Ram them too often and they retaliate. It's even kind of cool when they tell you they think you're a legend after you beat them enough. You can drive any car on any track in Time Trial mode, something Dirt wouldn't do. The Dallenbach Special is a handful on the Del Ray Stadium track.

Don't know what others are crying about, there's plenty of Rally available in Dirt2. Is it ALL rally? No, but if it was, plenty of gamers would cry about that too. I was a little disapointed the big Raid trucks(DAF, Kamaz) are gone, as are Pike's Peak hillclimbers. Trailblazer cars a similar. But do you really want a warmed-over rehash of a game you've already played? I'm so sick of waiting for GT5 to come out and find out it's the same old tracks, the same lame cars, and a million races in Yugo's to get to a Ferrari. You get to drive decent cars on new tracks from the start and they get better...

All in all, a great game. If you love off-road, there's none better in my opinion.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 2010
I bought this as a Christmas gift for my Hubby as it was on his list. After reading some of the reviews I thought I was going to send it back, but I gambled and it paid off. He and my Son love playing this game, I guess some people have really high standards for games. My guys have been playing these games for years and love this game every time they play, go figure!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 13, 2009
I have been playing this like crazy since it came out. Up till now I had not considered an off-road game to be something I would enjoy. Dirt 2 has thoroughly changed my mind. From its beautiful graphics, To the small details thrown in, like how you can see your stats and global stats on little bits around the game. Look at a magazine cover and you will find the number one track according to the global player base or check the upper right of your clip board and see how many feet youve been on 2 wheels. Silly little tidbits like that make the game very real and fun to keep going back to.

The downside; I have been playing it on full damage mode since the beginning. I pride myself for almost never having to use a flashback (like a dvr that you rewind to get out of a potentially race ending mistake). So I think I am fairly good. When I go and play multiplayer, its nuts. Not in a good way either. I can never catch up to the other players. Even if I have the fastest car they seem to run perfect 100% throttle all the time races. Which, gets just a tad bit frustrating.
Con #2, I have no clue how to join a tournament. Last week there was one that looked like a blast, (it was a demolition derby). I checked everywhere on the game and could find NO WHERE to join, either from the News area or the multiplayer area. Maybe its hidden but the game taunts you to join one, so not finding it is kind of annoying.

Other than that in solo mode this game is just a blast. I love crashing my way through the jungle and tearing up the trails with reckless abandon. I have tried to nuke the celebs several times and they keep falling in love with me, go figure.

If you want authentic looking, sounding fun off-road racing this is the game for you!

Thanks for reading my review, and if anyone has the tip on where to find these tourneys please leave it in the comments.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2009
Quick Note: If you want more realism... up the difficulty. Completing Rally stages on "Savage" and above difficulty will require you to master true rally moves.

Visuals: 10/10
It really does look incredible. I'm playing on a 46" 1080P LCD (although the game is only 720P) and the game is just amazing to behold. The in-cockpit view is awesome... although not very usable. I usually use the the view where you can see the hood of your vehicle and that's it (like a camera sitting just outside the windshield on the hood). Each car is lovingly crafted and the in-game environmental effects are awesome. Nothing is "overdone" though... like the subtle lens flare from the sun... nothing sticks out like "ooh look at what we did". The whole visual style flows very well.

Sound: 10/10
The driving sounds are great. Hooked up to my surround sound system I find myself using the sound to my advantage to hear opponents coming up from behind. Each vehicle makes a distinctly different sound and even the different drivers use their vehicles differently and if you pay attention you can know who is on your tail just by listening to the way their vehicle sounds!

The music is great to. I suppose it helps that I actually listen to most of the bands that provided the in-game music... but I think most people will be pleased. I really like how when you are outside of your trailer you can hear a band playing on some nearby stage... then you go into your trailer and the music gets somewhat muted sounding very realistic. Next - you choose a stage to play and the music comes to the forefront while the loading screen does its thing. Just one example of some of the attention to detail.

Interface: 9/10
The out-of-race interface is great... the whole concept of being behind the scenes at a race event comes across very well. The racing interface is good as well... just enough information so that you know what's going on without clogging up the screen. Why the 9/10 then? Because it can take a while for the different menus to load... which can be aggravating at times.

Controls: 10/10
I've only played with a PlayStation 3 Logitech Driving Force GT Racing Wheel so I can't comment on using a controller. Playing with the wheel is _awesome_. I've been playing racing sims and arcade racers for YEARS with wheels... so I have a lot to compare to (including the original Colin McRae rally games on my computer). What I can tell you is that Dirt 2 has some of the best force-feedback effects I've ever experienced in a racing game. Each car feels different... and so does each surface. Also, you get a different feel whether you are power-sliding or drifiting over smooth or rough terrain.

The different cars respond differently just as they should... and of course the different surfaces impact that as well. I've heard some people say that the cars "pivot too much from the center instead of from the rear".... these people have obviously never driven all-wheel-drive vehicles at speed down gravel roads. If they had... they would know that that Dirt2 faithfully recreates the feeling. I think these people are comparing the all-wheel-drive vehicles of Dirt2 with rear-wheel-drive vehicles in games like Forza / Gran Turismo. The one rear-wheel drive vehicle in the game is the buggy... and the backend certainly kicks out like a rear-wheel-drive vehicle should.

With my racing wheel the gas / break pedals function exceptionally well. Feathering the gas out of a corner couldn't be easier. Similarly, getting on the break at just the right moment to throw the weight of the car forward and dig the front wheels in and unstick the rears for the beginning of a "Scandinavian Flick" works just as well.

Gameplay: 9/10
Speaking of the "Scandinavian Flick"... some people have derided this game as not being an "Authentic Rally Game". This couldn't be further from the truth. Sure there are a lot of other types of racing going on in Dirt 2... but in both "Rally" events and "Trailblazer" events (which are basically rally events without a co-driver and the cars have amped up speed and handling) the physics engine really shows you just how brutally unforgiving it can be. If you up the difficulty of the game to "Savage" or above... you'll need to get intimately familiar with the "Scandinavian Flick" to make your way efficiently through the point-to-point events. Everything is there, from using an inside shoulder to get a little bit of extra drag on the front inside tire to the aforementioned weight transfer to the front tires using a bit of the break pedal. There isn't a single maneuver from the original two Colin McRae rally games that you can't pull off in Dirt 2.

That said... Dirt 2 is supposed to appeal to a wider audience... and it does excel at that. If you use a lesser difficulty mode you won't have any trouble "getting through" the rally events if you're not that interested in mastering perfect rally racing technique. Also... the damage model is quite a bit more forgiving than a true sim would be... which can cut down on the frustration factor for casual gamers.

One other huge plus that this game has going for it: size. There are a TON of events to complete. At certain points it is almost daunting to behold the huge map full of events... and they just keep coming. Further, you can do time-trials (complete with downloading ghosts of the world-records from the internet and uploading your results for all to see). Yes, some of the tracks do get a bit repetitive... but in general the different locations are well varied and provide a ton of gaming for your dollar.

So why the 9/10? Because sometimes the smash-em-up racing can get frustrating. If you are playing on "Savage" mode or higher the Raid and Land Rush game modes can be nearly impossible at the All-Star level (or maybe it's just me). It only takes one small collision to send you flying... but:

To combat this problem Dirt 2 has the "Flashback". This is where you literally rewind the replay tape to before the point where you messed up... and then start racing from that point again! This is a godsend for obsessive types like myself who simply must get first in every race. In other games I'll have to start the entire race over if I mess up one turn... in Dirt 2 I get a few opportunities to undo a dumb mistake. For me.... this really adds to the overall "fun" factor of the game... for instance it lets you take a few chances going at breakneck speeds down a windy road on a cliff that you might not otherwise take...

Multiplayer: ?
I don't know yet! I've been so engrossed in the single-player portion of the game I haven't even played multiplayer yet. Well... I have participated in one of their weekly tournaments: this week you have to see how fast you can get through one of the China rally events... it's pretty cool how it automatically uses runs you do in the single-player events toward the weekly online tournament (if they apply).

I really like how they included all of the real life personalities into the game. To be rubbing fenders with Travis Pastrana or fighting it out with Ken Block is awesome. Yes, the little radio chatter can get repetitive and annoying at times. If it really bothers you just turn it off in the options screen.

This game is really well put together. Every single corner of the game has been put under a microscope and has come out shining. When you are playing you can tell that a LOT of effort has been poured into making an unbelievably fun game.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2009
AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!! :) i'm 1/4 of the way through and i LOVE IT! if you were wondering the real game is better then the Demo. and i Love the X-GAMES so to be able 2 feel apart of it it so sweet!!! I mean with any game u can feel like "i wish there more of this, i wish it was more like that," but if you let go of all the SIM/rally comparisons in your head, and just Go for the ride you'll have a blast with DIRT 2!!!

i'd give it 10 but i think
theres some other games
coming that are worth 10
GT5 for all us SIM lovers!

great car sounds! but
for some reason theres no
in game music?

i love the way cars handle
+ theres a few performance tweaks
u can do 2 each car then save

Hrs of Fun especially with
some buddys, X-games just
have such a cool feeling!

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2013
Graphics 5/5
Most people judge graphics based on detail, resolution, and frame rate. In these regards, Dirt 2 (along with many other games) will not disappoint. If you’re like me however, you’re a bit more discerning because you look for accurate color reproduction. This is where Dirt 2 sets itself apart from the competition. Whereas games like Gran Turismo and Forza have laughably dark daytime shadows and a generally poor color palette, Dirt 2’s depiction of sunlight and color is nothing shy of masterful, and it stands alone in terms of art. Even Dirt 3 cannot top it because the developers decided to lay a peculiar and inexplicable green hue over every image in the game.

Sound 3/5
The engine tones in Dirt 2 are decent and the sound is overall fairly satisfying. That is unless you’re viewing a replay, where curiously the only vehicle that makes a sound is yours. Also, your ears will be assaulted by one of the worst soundtracks ever assembled, unless you have the good sense to completely silence the music.

Control 5/5
The control is perfect, and all of the historically bad things about previous CodeMasters rally games (such as the way the cars pivoted on a central axis rather than turning like a real car with front wheel steering) have been addressed. Granted the cars in Dirt 2 are ridiculously fast, but all the elements of a realistic simulation are here. The vehicles don’t feel “floaty,” but rather like you’re genuinely being challenged by a loose dirt surface. You also feel like there’s a tremendous amount of power at your fingertip because you are forced to be responsible and disciplined with the throttle. Yet despite these challenges, you are always in complete control of your race car. It’s a sweet symphony of power and traction, executed perfectly.

GamePlay 5/5
Unlike certain other popular titles, Dirt 2 will not bog you down with arduous money-earning tasks or painfully force you to exercise money-management skills. It’s relatively quick and easy to unlock everything in the game and once that’s done it’s all about enjoying the sweet science of dirt racing. And with several difficulty levels ranging from pathetically easy to criminally insane, the player can precisely dial in the exact level of competition desired.
What’s more, CodeMasters made the brilliant decision to celebrate many different off-road racing disciplines in addition to traditional rally. Rally purists were offended, but people such as me benefited tremendously. Finally I could take 800 horsepower trophy trucks on a point to point race down the Baja California peninsula, and in one of the finest racing games ever created to boot. Racing door-to-door with a dozen other thoroughbred RallyCross cars on a closed course is another thrilling experience that wouldn't be possible in a pure rally game. Sadly much of these features (including trophy trucks, class 1 buggies, and all of the great racing locations of Dirt 2) were removed from the series in the follow-up title, Dirt 3. In the end, Dirt 2 is a stunning achievement and a golden nugget in the annals of racing game history, not likely to be topped in the foreseeable future.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 2010
I've been playing this game for one month, and I just love it. Physics and graphics are ultra realistic, while gameplay is entertaining and very fun. If you like realism, but do also want to have fun, then buy this title!
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