Dirt 2 is a fantastic racer that has a little something for everyone. If you aren’t good at a particular racing discipline then you can simply play another one and practice until your skills are up to par. Your base of operations is a trailer which serves as a central hub for your career. From here you can choose which event you want to participate in within the Dirt tour, start a multiplayer session, get your updated statistics and much more. You can also go outside your trailer to see the festivities that are taking place around your base as well. This is where you purchase new vehicles, upgrade existing ones, customize them to meet your specifications and more. Once that is done and your event is picked this is also the spot where you will launch your next race. It’s a great area and works well as a central hub with everything you need being immediately accessible.
The main part of Dirt 2 is the career mode. You will begin this mode as a rookie and have to work your way up to establish your reputation and gain the respect of your fellow drivers. As your participate in races you will level up your driver which in turn will open up new opportunities. New events will become available along with all new locales and at times other drivers will issue you direct challenges. When your rank gets high enough you will also start being invited to various X Games competitions throughout the world where you can really show your stuff. There is a good deal of variety in the type of races that are available so no one should really get bored. You have the Rally races, Landrush, Last Man Standing, Raid and more. As you progress through these races you will earn awards to customize your vehicle. In the Xbox360 version of the game you will even get to hang your avatar from your rearview mirror while you are racing.
The handling for all of the different vehicles in Dirt 2 seems to be right on the money. Each vehicle has a little different handling. You might race a Mitsubishi Eclipse GT that might be an overall better car but might not rank as high in “drivability” as the Subaru Impreza STI Group N. The cars seem to have weight to them which can make you feel like you are either in control or if you don’t know what you are doing it can help you spin out. It is one of those instances where gamers who don’t normally play this type of racer will face somewhat of a learning curve and seasoned veterans should be able to pick this up with no problem although it will probably take you a while to master the driving.
One new feature that should help rookies and veterans alike is the new “Flashback” feature. If you completely wreck your car during a race you will be given the chance to “flashback” to a few seconds before you crashed so that you can try to avoid destroying your ride. This could have multiple uses from trying to shave off some precious seconds to maybe saving a whole race for you if you happen to wreck your vehicle while you are on the home stretch. You also have little missions that you can work on completing as you are racing through your career. These missions can range from anything like breaking through 250 environmental objects to overtaking 100 vehicles. Once you complete a mission then you will get the upgraded version to complete next. So if the mission you just completed was overtaking 100 vehicles, then the next one might be to overtake 250 vehicles. These missions also extend into the multiplayer arena, however, they are independent of the single player missions. If you complete an “environmentalist” mission in single player you will still have to complete that same one in multiplayer. It would have been nice if the missions carried over between the two so you didn’t have to do things twice. For people who like stats and leaderboards they have those in the game too so you can see how you stack up against people on your friends list as well as the entire Dirt 2 community.
Another great feature with Dirt 2 is that they fixed the multiplayer from the original title. Now every event can be played online with up to seven of your friends. In multiplayer every car is available despite what your progress is in your offline tour mode. There is some great damage modeling on the car and the replays after you complete a race add a cinematic feel to the game and can definitely show you some “cool” moments that happened throughout the race. Dirt 2 is a really fun racing title that everyone should be able to enjoy. If you are not a fan of one particular type of racing then you can simply play something else. If you want to complete the tour you will have to play every mode, however, it is broken up enough where everyone should be happy. Check out the demo on Xbox Live and see what you think. If you like what you see I highly recommend that you give the retail version a chance. Even if you are someone who tends to like their racers more “arcade-y” you owe it to yourself to give this title a chance. You might be surprised by how much you like it.
Originally posted on Totally Gaming Network