hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts


Review: DiRT Showdown

5:00 PM on 07.11.2012 // Ian Bonds

The DiRT series is well-known for its Rally-style racing, accurate and realistic physics, and bare-knuckle driving action. Spawned from the Colin McCrae series of Rally games, DiRT took off on next-gen consoles for fans looking for something a little different than the regular slew of gearhead and arcade racing games available on the market.

This is not your father's DiRT game.

DiRT Showdown (Xbox 360 [reviewed], PlayStation 3, PC)
Developer: Codemasters
Publisher: Codemasters
Released: May 29, 2012
MSRP: $49.99

For fans out there looking for DiRT 4, this simply isn't it. In fact, this title bares absolutely no resemblance to the games in the series' past. Gone is the Rally career mode, dirt tracks, and racing career. Sadly, gone also are the realistic car physics as well. When you're able to do donuts by simply laying on the accelerator -- "Look, mom, no hands on the analog stick!" -- you know you're in for some floaty car behavior.

So what is left? Well, from jump, DiRT Showdown is actually more of a destruction derby title, with occasional Gymkhana events thrown in. There are traditional races too, but honestly they're peppered throughout with the focus on wrecking other cars in derby or figure-8 races being the main focus. This is further hampered by not only the car physics being so off kilter, but also by the cars themselves.

The majority of the vehicles are all non-licensed generic cars that, for the most part, handle and accelerate the same. There's no real "tuning" involved, but you can upgrade your cars' performance with money earned in events -- though, to be frank, even after doing so, I only noticed a small change in acceleration or handling.

At least everything looks nice. The floating sponges you'll be driving all appear sleek and sharp, with excellent particle effects as you hurtle over jumps, boosting with your constantly renewing nitrous meter. Damage effects are especially nice as you lose doors, fenders, and more smashing about each course.

The menus are also sleek, but the constant "Look how extreme we are!" feel of every menu option falling from the sky as a giant metal block gets old after three or four screens. The same can be said of the unavoidable announcer, who spouts off such gems as "T-bone-arama!" as cars slam into each other.

The Gymkhana events have a separate challenge mode, where players are tasked with increasingly difficult moves, such as drifting under scaffolding, clearing jumps, performing donuts, and the like. However, the word "challenge" is used loosely here, as once again the bizarre physics allow you to unintentionally complete these moves before you've realized what you've done.

There is an online mode, which the developers would have you think is the main meat-and-potatoes of the title, but sadly, this seems slightly broken as well. The RaceNet matchmaking servers don't allow for much customization or choice over who you compete against or how you want to race, and the load and wait times are excruciating. Even once you finally get into a match, you can't select what you want to play -- you just keep downvoting what appears until hopefully you land on an event you want to actually play.

It's like the developers only made this title to keep the license alive while they worked on the next "real" iteration of the series. DiRT Showdown is not a broken game; it's just very slap-dash, seemingly thrown together from pieces of ideas but never made fully whole. Courses repeat over and over and the difficulty never gets too high where events become a challenge, thus leaving the player almost bored with the task of completing each event. It looks nice, but it's clearly a shell of its former self, with no real connections to the series that everyone knows past the name itself.



DiRT SHOWDOWN - Reviewed by Ian Bonds
Likable - That's a seven, which is actually a different number than five. It's more than ok. We like this game. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Ian Bonds, Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure Tips
Ian is Dtoid's resident review monkey. If there is a game no one else wants to review, it usually goes to Ian. As a reviewer, Ian has been writing for close to ten years for various sites, starti... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
I hate when people say crap like "I admit that [thing] in games is problematic, but I still enjoy it" because it's an underhanded way of contradicting your own views while convincing yourself that you aren't a hypocrite.
ChillyBilly avatarChillyBilly
Well shit. I knew I was more than likely going to enjoy Star Wars Battlefront (cause you know, giant Star Wars nerd and all) but holy cow, the beta is fucking great! I need the full game like, now.
SpielerDad avatarSpielerDad
Anyone here going to NYC Comic Con? Always wanted to go and lived so close, but alas, it wasn't meant to be.
Mark Plechaty avatarMark Plechaty
Well I haven't seen any levels like this on mario maker so maybe it's unique the I'd is 55BD000000961CBA GIVE IT A GO and let me know what you think
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Hey Stranger ... wadda you buying ? Want some crack ? Here ya go... [youtube][/youtube]
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
My brother caught me this Pokémon in our room yesterday. How should I name it? [img][/img]
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Yay, I got off of work early and may have Friday off! I have a sinking feeling I'm going to work 10 hours on Saturday as a result, though :/ We ran out of stuff to make stuff with so they must ship us stuff so we can ship stuff.
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Yo yo I'm Marie and I got dat gangsta flow. High scores ain't no trip, cuz I whip that shit like Sonic quick. I-I mean no! I didn't say anything! Stupidrecordbreakingcombodolt. [img][/img]
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
I'm watching you.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
SkarKrow avatarSkarKrow
Work noooooooooooooooooo D:
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
I had such a awkward time playing Catherine because it shared the same name as my mother....
JayDGee avatarJayDGee
Broforce is coming out of early access on the 15th. I had no Idea it was an early access game.
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
I have now played all 3 Witcher games. My verdict: Witcher 1 - alright, aged badly, lots of sex. Witcher 2 - good, very short, not much sex at all. Witcher 3 - Excellent in every way.
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I really wish MGO had been implemented with free-roam gameplay PMC (clan) setup instead of the standard matchmaking. Imagine roaming bands of PMC's opposing each other on the battlefield. How sexy would that be?
SkarKrow avatarSkarKrow
Playing Shantae & The Pirates Curse, must say I'm loving it for the most part, barring the odd WHERE AM I D: moment
JayDGee avatarJayDGee
Added a humble code to my steam account when I already had the game. Purely because the soundtrack was attached. Now I see it on 2 friends wishlists. They must never know.
SkarKrow avatarSkarKrow
Okay so what 2, 3, 4 years later I bothered to finish. Now to write up that blog on why FFXIV lost my love by never challenging me and see if it's actually interesting...
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
What's up with taking your phone or a magazine to the toilet? Y'all need more fibre in your diet, why should a toilet visit take more than 2 minutes? What are you people doing with your asses.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Finished Momohime/Jinkuro's story in Muramasa last night. I always liked that ending. I didn't know there were more endings, though. On to Kisuke's story!
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -