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DIRT: Colin McRae Off-Road Member Review for the Xbox360

GENRE Racing 
PUBLISHER Codemasters 
DEVELOPER Codemasters 

This game does have the correct name.  Because, boy, will the cars you drive get dirty.  As you drive your perfectly designed car along, dirt will slowly collect on the back and sides of your car, and by the end of the race, there will be a fine shade of brown (differing depending on what kind of surface you're on) layered onto the back of your vehicle.  And it looks realistic to the point while, in driver's seat camera, you actually feel like you're there.

Now, I like this game for the most part, but I have some nits to pick.  While the car controls work, they aren't perfect.  The vehicles seem to be turning on a central axis, when it should feel like all four wheels are connected to the ground.  Now this would be a problem, but my favorite camera angle (driver's seat) isn't connected to this issue.

Another problem: The tracks aren't very creative outside of the point to points.  Most of the tracks that aren't rally tracks are simple, short circle tracks that aren't a damn bit of fun to drive on.  However, most tracks are fun to drive on, so anyone playing Dirt should be able to handle this.  This, I think, is a bigger issue simply because the rally courses are so good.

The career structure is tier based, and while not very creative, it works fine.  I don't really mind it, though it has been complained about.

The loading of the game isn't ideal, as it takes a very long time to get into the race.  The game keeps you occupied during the wait with your driving statistics though, some of which are entertaining to see.

I guess my review probably seems more negative than I intend it to, but this game is actually damn fun once you get over the little things.  I think some of the problems with this game are just amplified because of the perfection surrounding the rest of the package.  Don't hesitate to pick up this racing gem.  It's a great re-start for the Colin McRae series, and while not flawless, it certainly is entertaining.  Plus, it makes you want to see how Codemasters is going to improve on their more accessible formula with Dirt 2.

More information about DIRT: Colin McRae Off-Road
B+ Revolution report card
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