DiRT 3

DiRT 3 Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3PC

Players will start at the top as a professional driver, with a top-flight career in competitive off-road racing complimented by the opportunity to express themselves in Gymkhana-style showpiece driving events.

Review Verdict Read Review
9Out of 10
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Codemasters undoubtedly has one of the best racing game development studios in the industry. With DiRT 3, and the help of the ever-improving EGO engine, the team has delivered what is unquestionably the most fun, stylish and gorgeous rally racer I've ever played. Numerous racing disciplines, an exhilarating sense of speed, the brand-new Gymkhana mode and a handling model that's hard to master make DiRT 3 a game fans of a good powerslide will find hard to resist.

Racing games might be struggling in the marketplace at the moment, but DiRT 3 drips with trendiness and manages to feel like rally racing while also being clearly influenced by the arcade racers of yesteryear. The relentless breakneck speed of DiRT 3 requires ninja-like reflexes and the concentration of an air traffic controller; your ears, eyes and fingers working in tandem to process co-driver instructions or glimpses of a road map and then react on the dirt, snow and tarmac as your car struggles for grip.

As you attempt to take every corner perfectly, shaving seconds off your best time or edging closer to a rival who started the stage a few fractions of a second ahead, you're only ever a twitch of the analogue stick from smashing head-first into a tree or rolling as your car catches a bank at the side of the road. Thankfully the rewind feature that Codemasters introduced in the first DiRT returns here, so you can travel back in time as if that horrific collision with a wall never happened - it also looks mighty cool.

Your DiRT 3 career will span four seasons (thankfully presented in a more streamlined fashion than the pseudo "being a rally driver" caravan seen in DiRT 2), each packed with race events that are unlocked as you earn reputation points and increase your overall driver level. Reputation points are awarded for your position in events, achieving specific bonus objectives (such as a certain top speed) and for any unused rewinds. Do well (and the various difficulty levels mean you should be able to progress even if you're not a racing expert) and you'll cruise through the opening season and then embark on tougher events and longer races.

Most of the excellent event types from DiRT 2 return, mixing classic rallying with racing: point-to-point Traditional Rally courses have you competing for the fastest times against opposition over numerous stages; Rallycross pits you against other drivers on the same circuit over a series of laps; Trailblazer puts you in a super-fast car that hugs the road as you attempt to guide it around a point to point course; and Head 2 Head has you competing against a single opponent on a course that's been designed so the cars cross paths at certain points.

The above events are all superb, offering some brilliant courses and thrilling high-speed racing. Less brilliant is the Land Rush event type, which switches vehicles to more robust buggies and trucks, and makes you race on bumpier courses. While these events add variety to DiRT 3, I'm not a fan; for me they seem at odds with the rest of the game, feeling more like what you'd find in a game from the MX vs. ATV series. If Codies hadn't included Land Rush, I wouldn't have even noticed it was missing.

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User Comments

clangod's Avatar


Absolutely f'ing brilliant.

With the exception of the trucks and Landrush, this is simply the best rally package available. Catering to any taste, rally enthusiast or otherwise.

There's a relative simplicity in the gameplay that makes it challenging but not unbearably so. There was little control (wheel) tweaking, and car setup is definitely an option, not a forced requirement. It felt familiar and more precise. The cars respond brilliantly to both the player's input and the track surface.

Gymkhana is better than I hoped. There's really nothing quite like it. The multiplayer modes should be very entertaining.

Presentation is second to none and makes for an extremely satisfying experience. Classic Codemasters with a neat little twist.
Posted 17:11 on 26 May 2011
dazzadavie's Avatar


Morrisons has an ad in the paper for £29.99
Posted 09:03 on 23 May 2011
TomPearson's Avatar


I had a chance to play this over the weekend. Plugged in about 4-5 hours and there is still loads more content to finish. What attracts me most to this Dirt, is the online game modes (oh and the splitscreen!). They are ridiculously fun. Unfortunately it requires an online "VIP Pass", so best buy it new ^_^
Posted 08:44 on 23 May 2011
87Sarah's Avatar


I really really want this, but I want about a million other games too. I need to scrap my wish list of games from my mind and start a new one. Beginning with Dirt 3.
I still have Dirt 2 though and almost completed it and love it just as much as the first time I played it so this could keep me occupied in the Dirt category for a while.
Posted 12:52 on 21 May 2011
clangod's Avatar


Pretty sure this lands Tuesday next week.

It will be mine.

Hang on a minute, It'll be Thursday. D'oh. So much for having Tuesday off. Oh well. At least it will be waiting for me when I get home from work.
Posted 23:46 on 20 May 2011
Wido's Avatar


(Speaks as Dougal from Father Ted) Oh, come on now, Martin. Look what you started.
Posted 16:07 on 20 May 2011
87Sarah's Avatar


DiRT 3, DiRT 3, DiRT 3 Ohhhhh like
DiRT 3, DiRT 3, DiRT 3 Nooooooo like
DiRT 3, DiRT 3, DiRT 3 Ohhhhh
Thought you'd always be miiiine....
Posted 15:39 on 20 May 2011
Wido's Avatar


All Night Dirt3! (all Dirt)
All Night Dirt3! (all Dirt)
All Night Dirt3! (all Dirt)
All Night Dirt3! (all Dirt)

(Lionel Richie - "All Night Long")

Awesome read Tom! Definitely a game I am going to pick up later in the year.
Posted 15:14 on 20 May 2011
draytone's Avatar


Give me
Your DiRT3 love,
The way your mama,
Make the nasty poodle chew...

YouTube Video

Just incase you didn't believe me :p
Posted 15:12 on 20 May 2011
Jamin's Avatar


Do you really want to DiRT3?
Do you really want to make me slide!?
Do you really want to DiRT3?
Do you really want to make me slide!?

(Culture Club - "Do you really want to hurt me")
Posted 15:02 on 20 May 2011
FantasyMeister's Avatar


Dirt 3, as free as the wind blows
As free as the grass grows
Dirt 3 to follow your heart.

What discussion?
Posted 14:54 on 20 May 2011
squidman's Avatar


Guys, sorry - we're not just mucking about on a Friday afternoon, but we're actually testing the commenting functionality on the exciting new VideoGamer redesign. Hopefully it won't distract too much from the discussion.
Posted 14:48 on 20 May 2011
TomPearson's Avatar


And I swear this is true
And I owe it all to you!

Dirt 3 bit!
Dirt 3 bit!

(Sung to the tune of The Black Eyed Peas - Dirty Bit)
Posted 14:39 on 20 May 2011
squidman's Avatar


I'll keep you my DiRT 3 little secret
(DiRT 3 little secret)
Don't tell anyone or you'll be just another regret
(Just another regret, hope that you can keep it)
My DiRT 3 little secret

(Sung to the tune of All-American Rejects - Dirty Little Secret)
Posted 14:38 on 20 May 2011
squidman's Avatar


So take a DiRT 3 picture for me
Take a DiRT 3 picture
Just take a DiRT 3 picture for me
Take a DiRT 3 picture
Just send the DiRT 3 picture to me
Send the DiRT 3 picture
Just send the DiRT 3 picture to me
Send the DiRT 3 picture

(Sung to the tune of Taio Cruz Ft Ke$ha - Dirty Picture)
Posted 14:35 on 20 May 2011

Game Stats

Technical Specs
DiRT 3
Out of 10
DiRT 3
  • Cars feel great
  • Gorgeous presentation
  • Gymkhana is excellent
  • Nothing truly innovative
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 24/05/2011
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC
Developer: Codemasters
Publisher: Codemasters
Genre: Racing
Rating: PEGI 12+
Site Rank: 444 95
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