Posted: September 27, 2014
(Before you destroy me for recommending this game because "It's not DiRT", let me quote the steam store info Codemasters provided since this game's announcement in the end of 2011: IT'S A SPIN-OFF!)
Some of you may (others may not) know that I absolutely love racing games! My problem is I have a bit of OCD towards the genre. If it isn't exactly what or how I want it, I don't like it.
And Dirt Showdown got my interest, though not much because I played pretty much all racers since 2004's Burnout 3: Takedown, which is the masterpiece of racing games. That perfect title that never leaves your memories. It had stellar graphics, perfect controls with perfect responsiveness. Also has the best soundtrack of all time of any game or movie, ever! Car variety was huge! Campaign was huge as well! Replayability was huge! Menus were super slick and everything about it was just pixel perfect! One of the best games of all time and I still have the whole soundtrack on my phone :D
Anyways, and those racers since 2004 never gave me that spark again for the racing genre. My reaction were always "Ugh, wtf is this sh*t?" or "Meh..." and I proceeded with the uninstall process.
But I got in a trade with a friend Dirt Showdown because it was being given away alongside the pre-order of GRID Autosport and I couldn't really let this slip by my fingers.
I installed as soon as I got it and started playing.
You have no. Damn. Idea. Of the levels of joy I had when this brought me fond (VERY fond) memories of that 2004 classic game you should know by now. It's like a Burnout 3: Takedown 2! Everything I needed was there! The fantastic graphics, the absolutely AMAZING Soundtrack, the perfectly responsive controls, the car variety and level variety. It even has an announcer like 2004's B3 and this one is also really good! He keeps throwing little jokes, funny puns, etc. It's really cool! It really is!
And after 22 hours of 100%'ing the whole game. [Campaign: Everything gold. Joyrides (2 Open World maps for you to complete missions in and also find all the 100 hidden collectibles): all 150 missions done and all 100 Hidden Packages found (which reward you with something if you find'em all (not saying what, of course!)) and level 12 in Multiplayer Sessions] I can safely say this is the best racing game and the best racing game experience I've had in the last decade! (That's 10 years!!!!!).
Modes are also very unique, it's not just racing like most borefests of racers. You have regular racing, domination (get the best time in certain track portions), 8-balls (super fun variation of the regular racing mode), ram rage (destroy and wreck ♥♥♥♥ up! (Demolition Derby, pretty much) King of the Hill (knock all cars out of the podium), Head 2 Head (Gymkhana competition between oponents (whether it's 2 or more people or 2 teams). Smash and grab (get a bag full of loot and hold it (avoid getting hit) for as much as possible to get as much points as possible to win). Capture the Flag (FFA or Team based), etc.!
I don't think I have anything else to say do I? I already said it. Great graphics, great level variety (different weather conditions as well!), top notch of perfection soundtrack! (Also on my phone), great announcer, super slick and responsive controls. Loading screens are very short and this game is a PERFECT PC VERSION! Everything it needs, it's there! Controls are great (though, of course, controller's always better), benchmark tool! Wide range of options to tweak for weaker PC's to be able to run this game well! (Which I believe pretty much any PC can! I tried this on my regular PC, can play 60 FPS "almost" maxed out no problems. And I tried on my older PC (quite weak) with a 2.4 GHz Dual Core and an AMD Radeon HD 3650 (Mobile version (yes, a laptop)) and it ran really smooth at 50-60 FPS, though I had to tweak most stuff to low and others to medium, obviously.)
Oh yeah! Problems with the game: Campaign (called the "Showdown Tour") is REALLY short. I finished it in 10 hours with everything gold (1st place). I wanted at least 20 hours! But the multiplayer's there to make up for it. Sadly, the MP's pretty dead. I can (and so should you be able to) find occasionally some MP matches to play in and I can say it's one of the best and most fun MP experiences I've ever had the pleasure of trying! It's so varied and fun! Lots of modes to play (around 8, I think) and all are unique and fun to do!
Campaign's short but the JoyRides are also there to make up for it (1st place Gold in every campaign level and 100%'ing all missions and getting all hidden packages in both JoyRide maps took me between 17 and 18 hours of pure adrenaline running, head shaking, song-humming fun!
I can't recommend this enough! And at it's current price on steam of 19,99€, there's no reason for you to not get it! If you still don't know about it, it's easy! Try the free demo on steam! The game also goes on sale quite often, when other Codemasters games are on sale too. So, grab it and come wreck stuff in MP with me! :D
Oh you want a score? Ok fine. 22 hours of quality, no problems except the fact that it's too short the SP campaign (and even then, it's not much of an "issue") But even then, the game wasn't the classic rip-off 50€ full retail price. It was cutback to the more reasonable and accessible 39,99€. They knew this SPIN-OFF (it's a SPIN-OFF, not "This shouldn't have Dirt in the name") was a smaller and more digestive experience, so it's commendable for them to reduce the pricetag. So the smaller length's is proportional to the price. Think of Alan Wake and it's Spin-Off: American Nightmare. It's kinda like that!
10/10. One of the VERY few games I've played in my life that deserve a perfect score. Enough said. Have a great day!