DiRT Showdown First Impressions


Last night I downloaded the demo for Dirt Showdown and (considering the franchise’s history) my expectations were high.

Dirt Showdown differs from previous entries in the series because it’s more of an arcade game than a simulator. To be honest the notion of changing the DiRT formula from simulation to arcade had me a bit worried. But I was pleasantly surprised.

When you first start up the game you will be taken to the main menu. Mind you, it’s no ordinary “main menu”. The menu options are in bold 3D text and fall down from the sky into an off-road stadium. I was expecting something like this because Codemasters’ games have always had intuitive menus.

Another thing I noticed right off the bat was how colorful the interface was. It did a great job of drawing me into the experience with its attractive visuals and rock/metal tunes.

After choosing the career mode option on the main menu I was given the choice of a tour. After choosing my tour I then pick an event. Once my event was chosen, it was time to pick a car.

The first cars I was given access to in the game were very different than the cars in previous DiRT games. Gone are the rally cars and trophy trucks and in their place are “demolition derby” style hot rods and muscle cars. I was a bit disappointed by this but I always try to review games based on what they are, not what they could have been.

With that being said, the new vehicles in DiRT Showdown are perfect for the “Pick up and Play” style that Codemasters is going for.

Once I chose my car, I was ready to begin the first race. Something that caught my eye was the cool visual style. The colors are very bright and bold, body pieces of cars fly off on contact and sparks fly when you brush against a wall.

To sum it up, DiRT Showdown is definitely breaks away from the classic formula of the series. However, it takes the series in a new, fun filled direction. I’m quite excited to see how DiRT Showdown does when it hits store shelves.

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