Colin McRae DiRT (2007) Xbox 360 Game Review

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3 years ago

Overview

The engine starts to warm up, the cinematics of the beginning made its effect of immersing us directly, and we are there, joystick in hand, in his armchair waiting for more than one thing: the moment to shift into first gear. There is no need to ask our co-drivers opinion. We accelerate, and we launch ourselves into this mode, which constitutes the main part of the game. Here are the three pillars: eleven levels to pass, forty-six cars to unlock and a title to conquer. All this is presented as a sort of pyramid. So you start at level 1 with eleven levels to pass. We evolve until the last level by reducing the number of races to finish with only one event. Each of them offers one or more races during which it is necessary to keep the same racing car. Therefore, it is necessary to take care of your vehicle to avoid having too many heavy repairs to do and not enough time to refurbish it. Even if this career doesn't have a world ranking, it requires a minimum strategy to approach each race in the best conditions. Unfortunately, the races follow one another very quickly, and we quickly reach the last level after only a few short hours of play.

Although it will be quick to reach champions' championship, it will take a little more time to unlock all the vehicles with all their paintwork. Once our career has ended brilliantly, we can head to the championship to try and win races in six different countries (United Kingdom, Japan, Italy, Germany, Australia and Spain). This allows us to extend our lifespan a bit and unlock a few more successes before enjoying the world rally which offers different disciplines: super specials, rally raid, rallycross and CORR (Championship Off-Road Racing). The single-player mode turns out to be well done and sufficiently demanding to spend a few hours in it. Th

Gameplay

Real fans of the series who appreciated the previous games' simulation side would be extremely disappointed where arcade fans will be overjoyed. Despite all the adjustments that can be made to the car and the different classes of vehicles, from rally cars to trucks, 4x4s and buggies, you'll find yourself driving the same way every time. Their power only distinguishes them because driving is always more or less the same thing: you steer, then counter-steer while trying to avoid ending up in the scenery. The whole thing is quickly taken in hand, and you have fun in a few seconds. As long as you start driving like a rally car driver by taking turns at the last second while trying to make your car slide, you quickly feel immersed or even become hooked. The sensation of speed is then very present, and one is no longer a player but a driver. This feeling is all the more reinforced as the artificial intelligence is aggressive and doesn't hesitate to pay with its bodywork to slow us down. Note that Sunday drivers playing at an amateur or lower level will progress while winning races quite easily, at the risk of losing the immersive side of the title.

The cars accelerate, run at high speed, the turn comes, you start to brake a little bit before and you turn the joystick of the controller or its steering wheel, letting your car do the rest while trying to reposition it in the right way at the exit of the turn. Of the six available views, two of the interior, one of the hood, one on the bumper and two in pursuit, everyone will find the one that best suits them to enjoy. The interior views are extremely immersive because of their success, and the pursuit views give an unpleasant feeling. The speed is a little less present, and it feels like the car is spinning on one axis. A strange feeling that disappears when the camera is changed. The game suffers some frame rate drops, especially during races that oppose several cars.

Very arcade, very fun and very entertaining, the title offers an immediate and instant gaming pleasure. But the execution is not perfect and is marred by a few minor flaws. In the end, you either like or dislike it, and there is no real middle ground.

Graphics & Sound

The first observation that can be made is simply that the game is beautiful. As soon as the introductory cinematics, you get a good look at it. During the gameplay phases, the realization remains good since the scenery and vehicles are very detailed; the lighting and reflections on the bodywork are sublime. If you want to quibble a little, you can always criticize the shadows and some of the blander environments. Whether it's the car or the scenery that distorts, everything is quite realistic and only reinforces the game's immersion. Our car even undergoes modifications in its handling depending on whether the engine, tires, turbo or suspensions have been affected more or less. Of course, the roads are varied, and you can find gravel, wet asphalt or dirt, but you'll never see snow-covered tracks, let alone snow falling. Once again, some players will be outraged where others will completely ignore it.

Sometimes the co-driver with a clear voice and distinct phrases warns us of turns and other bumps so that we can drive without looking at the radar, which in the end would bring us closer to reality. However, sometimes they forget some traps that could make a passage more tricky when expecting a walk in the park. Even if some will complain about it, this aspect only adds a difficulty that the most relentless will appreciate. The whole soundtrack has been worked on and remains convincing enough to make you think you are in a rally car or other 4x4 - a good point in the service of immersion which is in no way to be criticized.

Conclusion

Colin McRae DIRT is a great all-around rally game. The sensations are there in the highest levels of difficulty, the artificial intelligence is lively and responsive, and the game is immersive in every way. Moreover, the game is really beautiful, and the lighting and reflections will delight many.

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3 years ago

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