Sassafrass Reviews: Colin McRae: DiRT 2 (360)


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Thanks to Google for providing the images.
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Bad puns will fill this review, as readers of my other reviews will know by now. Hi, all ten of you! *Waves*


Colin McRae: DiRT 2 is a racing game, developed and produced by Codemasters, published by SCEE in Europe for the PS3 version and by Namco Bandai for the Aussie version, that was released on the 360, PS3 and PC on the 8th of September 2009, in Europe on the 10th of September and in the UK on the 11th of September. It is the first Colin McRae game since the rally legends death on the 15th of September 2007 in a helicopter accident. The game was made as a tribute to McRae and to high-light part of his illustrious rally career. Enough of the back-story and slight information on the game, onto the review.

This car, in real life, is worth more then £300,000. Think about that as you try to copy everything you see in this game in your own car.

Now, I normally begin my game reviews with the story. However, this is a racing game so it would be preposterous if it had a story, right? Right? Well, it sort of does but what that is, I have no definite idea, only a vague one. It's a sort of tribute to the late McRae and that is pitched by me because of this evidence. After you complete a certain event, you get a short video of his friends and people he worked with over his long and illustrious career talking about him which was quite a nice way to dedicate a game to a man who changed the face of rallying. But I'll stop with this part of the review now before I babble on and summarise McRaes whole career for you from Wikipedia and my small knowledge of him.

Now, onwards to game play at an average speed of 20 wpm. Or some where less then that, I don't know, I don't count it. Now, the game play of CM: DiRT 2 is very simple, you'd imagine. Jump in a car, drive it over a long dirt, gravel, mud or what have you track and be the fastest guy out of a group of drivers to finish the race in 1st place, win cash prizes, get women to fall for you and do things in bed that can't be mentioned without the use of a spoiler box.

Yeah, makes you feel dirty, reading that spoiler, doesn't it? However, this 'Drive point A to point B faster than that guy' game-play is broken up by many special variations of this which I shall list next and tell you all about them for a brief moment via use of a spoiler!

You read all that? Good.

Now these events do enough to keep the game interesting but you can't avoid the fact that while they do mix up the game-play and make it a bit more fun to play, you are still basically chucking a car/truck from Point A to Point B over loose surfaces. The handling though, while a bit more difficult then normal racing games as the car slides around a lot more then usual, is great and responsive. You can employ proper rallying skills, like the Scandanavian Flick, demonstrated here in a van, to get the fastest time in the game. It is extremely good, if a little unforgiving at times. Carry too much speed into a corner, if you make a slight adjustment while landing a jump, it will, without hesitation and without warning, pitch you into the nearest solid object and wreck your car, leaving you to either restart the event or use a Flash-Back, which allows you to rewind to a certain point and let you carry on from there. These are of limited uses and they can be turned off completely if you wish. So, to sum up all of what I said above in a simplistic manner, if you don't mind point a to point b in a selection of cars, and trust me here, there are a lot of cars to pick from, ranging from a Subaru WRX to a Pontiac GT Solstice, all of which handle differently and are secretly plotting to kill you in a shower of metal and glass, then DiRT 2's game-play will be right up your street or dirt track, depending on if you live by a road or dirt-track. Obviously. Duh.

The water splash effects are pant wettingly good. See what I did there? Pant wettingly good? Water? Pant wett- Ah, forget it.

The above picture and bad pun brings me smoothly onto the graphics and the effects that driving on theses tracks has on your car. Now, when running, this game is very smooth and very good to look at. When you're zooming past buildings and not crashing into them, they are more then suitable when you are zooming past them. The jungle based rally tracks are a high-light, as you really do think you are racing through a jungle and one wrong move will stick you up the nearest tree with a car that looks like it could now be used for no purpose, not even scrap. And one small mistake will do just that. However, when you look at the game when it isn't running at high speeds, it all looks a bit bland and disinteresting. Which, if you are the sort of person that likes shiny, shiny graphics, will disappoint you. But however what will not disappoint you is the amount of detailing on the cars and splatter effects they have put in the game. There is no easier way to say this so I'll tell it like it is; This is pure car porn. Seriously. It even has a showcase mode, just so you can pan around the vehicles and just gaze longingly into those head-lamps like they are the eyes of your girl-friend or boy-friend you love very dearly. Oh, God, I'm so lonely.

But before I get into my personal troubles, I shall move onto what happens when you do, and you will do, it is an inevitability with this game, crash into a tree/fence/small childsolid object and so on and so forth. Now, some times the game will throw in a few dents here, a shattered window there which have no effect on the cars performance. However, bigger accidents, like rolls and hitting stuff hard, will do minor or major damage to the car, not wrecking it totally but making it harder to get the best time. And then, when you really totally the car, and by this I mean you hit a solid object harder then ever, that is where you see the real damage at work. Body panels fly off, wheels bounce along the road and it all generally ends up looking like a computerized version of this. However, it is quite hard to totally write the car off and, with the use of Flash-backs, writing the car off is never really a rally ending problem. But it sure is fun to watch over and over again, though. And a special mention go out to the back-grounds as well. Sure, they may just be un-moving and far away but they are stunningly pretty, even more so in the jungle and desert based rallies.

To loosely quote Jeremy Clarkson here: "The driver said two words before this happened. They were "Watch this!"

Now, onto the sound and music. Now, the cars are suitably sounded by their real life counter-parts, with each car having been recorded going through the gears so they sound realistic for the fans of these types of things. They sound meaty, with their glorious roaring, purring and general sound that they make. As for the music, you don't get any in race. However, you do get songs in the replays. Songs include Helicopter by Bloc Party, which has been in nearly every racing game of this gen I have played and a Burnout game for last gen and many more that I am embarrassed to say I don't know the name of. But I can say they fit the action on screen very well, making you wish that they allowed you to listen to it mid-race. But you cannot do so, as in the Rally events, you have a co-driver to help you around the course. Now, this can be either a Scottish guy or a American woman who are both voiced reasonably well. Sure, they only really say numbers and a mixture of the words crest, hard, right, left, jump, don't and cut but you can understand them clearly enough and that is a small plus in my book. Another small plus is that, while you are busy chucking your car around RallyX tracks and racing the bigger trucks, the drivers will have small chats and generally poke fun at each other. Lending their voices to the game are professional drivers Ken Block, Travis Pastrana, Tanner Foust and a few more. Now, while small, their voice acting is quite good and the lines that they use can be quite funny. Plus, it adds character to the racers, letting you feel like you are actually in a race. Shame you can't respond to it with a head-set but ah, such is life.

If you see this in-game you are either watching a replay or about to get hit by the yellow car. In which case, you gonna need a coffin.

And now, onto my final thoughts.
Colin McRae: DiRT 2 is a very good racing game. However, it will not appeal to everyone. It is a very specific game to like and seeing as many of the people on this site seem to like tinkering with the car settings and what have you, this won't be their thing. It may appeal to the arcade crowd, the people who like a pick up and play game such as this and it will definitely appeal to rally fans.

And I thank you for reading this review. Any and all criticism is accepted, including extreme negative criticism as depicted by the following video.

Note: I do not condone the lobbing of type-writers.
Unless it is as funny as this is.

[1] You know who you are.

As always, Sass, great review and even though I hate racing games, this was actually a really good review.

Also, that banner made me laugh for 5 minutes.

A lot of grammatical errors, Sass!

I was gonna buy it, but I kept not coming in first in the demo. Like 3rd or 4th usually. And I played the demo for over an hour.

*does Scandinavian Flick*a

And I like racing games that offer a soundtrack while in-race.


I was never really into Racing games. The only one I liked was...
Actually I never liked one. Ever. So I probably wont be buying this anytime soon.

Anyway, great review, the image in the spoiler explaining the race modes is broken, but what the hey, it doesn't effect the review at all.

Aside from the ridiculous puns,this was another hit from Sassafrass!
I never really liked racing games without turtle shells but I might actually buy it now.Crashy cars go boom!:D
I give you the Toast Seal of Approval 2.0!


Screenie not showing up in the "Race Mode" spoiler...

Screenie not showing up in the "Race Mode" spoiler...

Yes, I've just checked the URL.
Between posting this and now, they have removed the pic. ¬_¬ And seeing as my internet doesn't like it when I post things of this length (it slowly kills itself), I can't edit it 'til a time when it likes it.


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