But now for the bad news: all of these tip-top effects come at a cost. You need a monster of a machine to run the game how it's supposed to be played. Devoid of DirectX10 features, you'll at least be spared from having to endure Vista in order to play, but recommended specs include an Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB RAM and a 768MB graphics card. That's a pretty hefty set-up. Even on our über games machine, we experienced the odd bit of slow down, and lesser systems will be hard-pressed to keep up the pace.
Another disappointment is on the multiplayer side. Although there was talk of 100 players competing simultaneously, that's a bit of a fib. With the only options being the point-to-point races of the Hill Climb or Rallying stages, each player is given their own instance of the track, with the times simply being compared once everyone's finished. This is a shame, as featuring the circuit races online would have really given the game a great web presence. Plus, I'd love to try out my 'PIT' manoeuvre on some unwitting players.
Annoying as these downsides are, they're still only minor detractions from what I reckon is McRae's finest outing to date (minus, of course, Colin himself). The new types of racing offer far more variety of gameplay, the sound effects are impressive and there are eye-searingly gorgeous graphics and an excellent career mode to boot. It appears that DiRT's rejuvenated the tired old McRae formula and put it back onto the pole position of rallying titles. As Travis Pastrana would say: "That's awesome."
Ooooh Colin, you're such a dirty boy
- Gorgeous graphics
- Enough variety to keep you hooked
- Great career mode
- Excellent damage model
- Disappointing multiplayer
- Requires an uber system to run properly