Here's what we said in our Dirt Showdown review: "Showdown doesn't quite have the bite to back up its bark, but it comes close. Look past some of the randomness and you'll find hours of racing entertainment."
Having narrowed its focus to just racing games Codemaster's DiRT Showdown is the publisher's first crack at diversifying the series.
From the looks of all the critical response it's done a good job. The consensus seems to be that while it might be perfect, it's a good attempt at providing something different for fans of the series. We've rounded up all the reviews and stuck them below, have a read for yourselves.
Eurogamer: 8/10 - You'll love pretty much every minute, and then you'll move on, and the 'downloadable game' suspicion will suddenly make sense: Dirt Showdown's wonderful, but it's probably also a flash in the pan. As long as you know that going in, then you shouldn't be disappointed.
VideoGamer: 7/10 - There's a scrappy little multiplayer brawler to be had with this game, but the fact DiRT Showdown feels a lot like DiRT 3 with a new lick of paint is both the game's greatest strength and its ultimate downfall.
IGN: 6/10 - Showdown may look heavy on options from its bombastic menus but ultimately it just feels like a narrow slice of Dirt 3 with some destruction derbies tacked on. There's a good game in here, but there just isn't enough of it. It's perhaps eerily fitting Codies shipped this Dirt 3 follow-up with the subtitle Showdown; it may have swagger but this town really ain't big enough for the two of them.
Edge: 8 - . Knowing that Codemasters' next-gen tech is already advanced, it clears the way for just the kind of 'pure' rally game that some fans have been hankering for. Still, Dirt has done more than just reach the finish line where so many others have failed; with Showdown, it's now into the victory lap.
NowGamer: 8.1 - Those left heartbroken by Burnout's extended absence will find solace in its determination on reckless idiocy.
IncGamers: 8/10 - A largely successful spin-off for the series, and one that thrives in multiplayer.
OPM UK: 7 - What does Showdown offer the starved racing game fan, then? Niggles aside, a lot. It's got multiplayer appeal that deserves a busy community, pick-up-and-play appeal for the casual speedster, and a clear sense of character that gives even experienced players a genuine challenge (and a unique play style). So while it stands out for lack of serious competition rather than ingenuity, new Dirt is nonetheless a show worth buying a ticket for.
OXM UK: 7 - If you long for the carefree carnage of Destruction Derby and you're happy to ply the bulk of your trade online this is well worth a look. Otherwise you'll probably want to write this one off.
ShopTo: Good - DiRT Showdown is a mixed bag really. I do enjoy the racing, but am not really a fan of the Hoonigan modes. Saying that though, I love the Demolition modes so much that I wish the whole game was made up of just these. My only worry is that the game will eventually wear thin, since the single player campaign can become quite repetitive after a while. DiRT fans will no doubt love this game and it's hard to argue that it's a pretty full on package and certainly a sign of thing to come in terms of Codemasters RaceNet.
The Sixth Axis: 7/10 - DiRT Showdown is very much a game of two halves. The single-player is enjoyable and frustrating in equal measure, but it's the online mode that swoops in and saves the day with the combination of RaceNet, Showdown Challenges and lag-free mayhem.
GameSpot: 8.0 - Dirt Showdown is a satisfying mix of driving tricks and destruction wrapped up in the slickest of presentations.