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DiRT Showdown Review: A Smashing Good Time

DiRT Showdown Review: A Smashing Good Time


DiRT Showdown Review: A Smashing Good Time

DiRT Showdown
PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Codemasters Racing

DiRT Showdown is a fun, intense and very damaging racing title. Damaging due to the amount of abuse you will take and inflict on your opponents. This game is more of a survival racing title with a lot of different types of gameplay modes. But these modes have little to do with racing and more to do with survival and inflicting damage. Motorized mayhem is what this game stands for and it certainly delivers on that!

DiRT Showdown takes you on a Showdown Tour that features 4 stages of championships to compete in, each with multiple events that lead you all the way to the finals of that championship stage. DiRT Showdown isn’t all about racing, in fact you will be spending more time in events that involve doing tricks, trying to destroy other vehicles, trying to knock vehicles off a platform, and trying to survive as long as possible against numerous cars that are out to get you. That just begins to describe the motor mayhem that DiRT Showdown unleashes. When you do have your regular races, it is sometimes just about racing while other times it’s about dominating each sector of each track. However, you will also be involved in 8 ball racing which is a track that is built for maximum wrecks that has areas with “crossover” sections. You are never safe in first place on an 8 ball race – Here is a video from one of my races where I am about to finish second until the track set-up worked to perfection for me:

Noooo…2nd place…OH! Thanks!

I must say that I have had a lot of fun playing DiRT Showdown. I always have a good time in a racing game that is built for intense action and that is exactly what this game delivers. I should quickly say that if you are into racing titles purely for racing only, then you might not enjoy this game so much. It has you going through a lot more of these obstacles or challenges rather than actual racing. There is still plenty of racing though and it’s still a lot of fun on each one of the tracks featured in this game. Plus, if you are a fan of online play you will be able to select just to race online instead of playing any of the other modes. Each mode can also be pretty challenging, especially the further along in the championships that you get. I struggled the most with a mode called Smash Hunter, this is a mode where you smash different colored blocks that are laid out on an open course. Now if you go slow, you can easily smash through all the blocks with no issue. It is when you go fast that it becomes challenging and a bit difficult. Plus, it’s the fastest time that wins. If you miss a colored block, you can’t smash into the other colored blocks to move on until you go back and smash the correct colored block first, otherwise you disqualify.

Speaking of online play – It is set up very nicely and easily for you to navigate your way through. It has both solo and team play. Whether you choose solo or team, you will then be given a choice of what type of events you would like to play online. So, as I said, you can simply pick just the racing game modes or you can choose demolition. They also have an everything option and a party option to choose from. I can see a lot of people enjoying the online features that this game brings. I loved each online event I participated in, especially the grab and capture team play. Any game type that you can play on with a team, especially if it is a team of friends – will be a lot of fun for you.

DiRT Showdown doesn’t end with the Showdown Tour and online play. There is also a joy ride mode where you are free to drive in an area that is full of hidden items to collect and maneuvers to perform. If you like to drive around a somewhat closed in area and collect numerous items that have been hidden throughout the area, then there is some fun that you can have here as well. Not only is it about finding those items, but they have missions available for you as well. However, these missions are just for going to a spot, performing a trick and then move on to the next mission. It’s still easy to get caught up in the joyride mode, but it’s only there to give you a little something extra to play.

Let me take you for a drive!

There are plenty of events to be won, cash to earn and vehicles to unlock in DiRT Showdown. Each game type has its own selection of vehicles that you can choose from to use. There are only 30 vehicles in total in this game, but each comes with multiple “skins” for you to select from. Some vehicles have a set ability while other vehicles allow you to spend your earnings and upgrade your vehicles. Each vehicle is built for power, strength and handling. Those are the three key attributes of every car and, depending on the game type; you will certainly want a lot of power and strength.

One more feature to make note of is Racenet. One of the things that Racenet allows you to do is view your progress online. It also keeps track of every time and score that you’ve achieved with each event. So if you go online to view your records, you will be able to see your score along with the community best score. Now, some people out there have some pretty magnificent scores, thankfully it shows your friends top scores as well so that you only have to worry about beating their times or scores instead of the entire population of Racenet. Another nice feature about racenet is that they do events for you to participate in by downloading them. After that you can give it your best shot and see where you stand in the community.

DiRT Showdown is a lot of fun for the person who enjoys a wild drive. There is even enough here for those who enjoy just the regular racing modes. However, you will still have to deal with all of the other modes and there might not be enough for you if the only thing you want to do is race. For those who are up for a smashing good time as well, then you will have it all available to you in this title. DiRT Showdown is a lot of fun and the gameplay handles very well. You can even upload your favorite replays to YouTube if you wish. You can also find your overall driver statistics in the extras for those of you who like to look at such numbers ¬¬- like I do.

Even the regular races can be a bit crazy!

It might not be the prettiest title out there, but it’s simple and fun. It also has a decent, fast paced and catchy soundtrack to listen to throughout. However, you will notice a bit of a load time during the game as you make your way from one event to the next. Another issue I take with it is that there is no easy access leaderboards to compare your time or score to. I want to know where I stand compared to everyone playing the game and not just to my friends or those who are first overall. There is nothing that sends this game over the top or that makes it a must own. It’s simply a solid all around game that can keep people happy for awhile. Plus, it allows for situations like this in the video below.

I think this video is basically telling you to join in on the fun…..should it peak your interest.

Score: 8/10

Andrew Stevens Andrew Stevens is a Guest Editor at FanBolt for Gaming and Technology. He has over 8 years of experience working within the gaming industry which includes time at Bethesda Softworks. His unique view of the industry and passion for gaming can be found within each one of his editorials. Andrew also loves PC gaming and enjoys tinkering with new hardware. He also can’t get enough speed when it comes to racing games and doesn’t mind navigating through swarms of bullets in any shmup. He considers Rez as the greatest game ever. Andrew's opinions are his own and do not reflect the opinions of his place of employment.


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