11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Dirt 3: Making its claim as one of the best rally racers ever,
This review is from: Dirt 3 - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
NOTE: I will not be able to cover online multiplayer/functionality as the PSN Store is down as of today. Once that is up and running I'll post an update.
So as others have mentioned, I've played racing games from old school (Spy Hunter, Pole Position) all the way to the current generation like Blur, Split/Second and Gran Turismo 5.
I will echo what others have said: This is one of the best racers ever, and probably IS the best rally racer ever.
The graphics are simply incredible, some games just throw effects in there, in Dirt 3, you REALLY feel like you're in the rain or snow. Sound effects are great, and the actual soundtrack isn't bad. I wouldn't call it memorable or anything, however.
Handling is really up to you. Casual turns the game into a 2 button one (gas and steering, as it breaks for you). This allows accessibility for those that are not racers (like say, your wife or younger kids). Intermediate takes off some of the assists, but still is controllable. Only when you get to Advanced, with ALL assists off, does the game hit the "I want to put my fist through the TV screen" frustration level. In short, unlike the NFS:Shift games, this one you can actually control and handle, as well as have success with.
Replay value seems awful high (I'm about 8-10 hours in). Getting the Platinum badges is going to be insanely difficult, but if you're one of those people that can't leave until you get it, you will feel a VERY big sense of achievement when you do. For those that just want to keep moving on, the Bronze level is easily achieved in all cases.
It does seem a little odd that the game gives you cars as you earn reputation (ala Blur) but you don't actually earn any currency to buy your own. Some are locked into the VIP Pass, which I'm sure was thought up long before the PSN got hacked, there's no way Codemasters could have seen that coming, and it's hardwired into the game, so for those giving this game 1 star because you can't go online, there's nothing Codemasters can do about it.
One other minor gripe: Dude, you don't have to tell me after every race "Wow, what a race! Upload to YouTube for your friends to see!" (And I mean, we're talking after 9 out of 10 races). It only gives you 30 seconds, so it's not like they can see your entire run, though I will say it's a pretty cool idea.
Outside of the Rally, racing, etc. one thing Dirt 3 adds is Gymkhana. What is Gymkhana? A huge playground where you drift, jump and basically become a trick god behind the wheel. This is where I feel the vast majority of competition is going to take place, in terms of leaderboards and records.
Overall, this instantly becomes one of the best racers on the PS3 because of its accessibility and polish, and if you are Rally fan at all this is a must purchase.
Is it better than...
Blur? Sadly, even though I love this game, I've got to concede it is. Graphically speaking, it's far superior, and there's more variety.
Split/Second? Absolutely. After all, what racing game in this decade DOESN'T show you a map of the track you are on and the relative positions of the other racers? Oh, that's right...
Gran Turismo 5? This all depends on your style. If you're a hardcore sim who has to tweak all your gear ratios, etc. then stick with Gran Turismo 5 as all the altering on Dirt 3 happens via moving boxes in the screen before you race. Dirt 3 is more accessible and doesn't make you earn tons of $$$ to progress a fraction in the game.
Just do yourself a favor, if you're a racing fan or know one, get this game. You will not be sorry.