DiRT 2 Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC | Wii | PSP
DiRT 2 box art
System: X360, PS3, Wii, PC, PSP, DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Codemasters Studios 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Codemasters 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Sep. 8, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 (8 Online) 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Additionally, the game's physics, crash animations, and car damage are of the highest quality. Also, the cockpit view, while a lot more challenging than the standard withdrawn perspective, is a visual marvel. Bucking the trend somewhat are the lackluster track deformation and puddle effects (outside of the cockpit view) - they're unpolished and fuzzy. However, this is a very minor gripe. The game looks great!

DiRT 2 screenshot

Cars also look pretty. And that's a good thing, because there are a lot of them. From buggies and mudders to hummers, pick-ups, and rally-cars, this game is loaded with cool rides that drive and look great. Unlocking and collecting cars with your winnings along with applying liveries to chassis and goodies to dashboards are all rewarding pursuits. What's also worthwhile are the experience points you'll acquire while racing. During the career mode you'll be able to rise in level by placing in events and completing side challenges (metagame mini-objectives). As you increase in level, you'll increase your reputation among other racers and open up new locations around the world. While the Relationship mechanic was created to make you feel like you're actually one of the pros, it feels farfetched and underwhelming. On the other hand, the car/item collection, character progression, and event invitations are smart game design inclusions that keep players engaged.

Even though the Relationship side of the career fell flat, including pro racers in the game was very smart. The inclusion of these professionals seems to lend credence to the title. Though post-event commentary and in-race chatter is often cheesy, using voice work from the likes of Dave Mirra, Katie Justice, Travis Pastrana, and Ken Block keeps the game feeling like the ultimate, licensed rally racer. The music selection is also sound. The contemporary rock anthems and upbeat party tunes suit the game well, and the muffled way they are presented during menu screens keeps the player squarely focused on the fun, carnival atmosphere rather than being disconcerted by a strident, out of balance soundtrack.

DiRT 2 is a worthy successor to the original, getting practically everything right. While I would have liked to have seen a greater emphasis on more technical rally racing, I had a blast with every aspect of the title. From the solid visuals to the sweet tracks, DiRT 2's got a lot to love.

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Editor / News Director

This is a good looking game through and through. The environments, cars, damage, and action is all expertly rendered.
Whether tracking the perfect line or putting the competition into walls, the game's controls really shine.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The music selection is fitting and well presented. The commentary is often cheesy, but the pro racing talent does keep the game grounded in the sport.
Play Value
The lengthy career mode and quality online multiplayer component keep the good times rolling. I look forward to DLC to round the package out.
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • A new breed of brilliant off-road racing: Taking the very best of real-world off-road racing as its inspiration, DiRT 2 melds a modern live sports event vibe with sublime handling. Fuelled by the 3rd generation of Codemasters' world-renowned EGO Engine technology, DiRT 2 will deliver an unforgettable driving experience for gamers this year.
  • Take it on Tour: DiRT 2 will take players on a World Tour to compete in over 100 aggressive multi-car and intense solo race events in the most diverse and challenging real-world environments. Career paths will span nine locations around the globe as players unlock tours in stunning locations spread across the face of the planet. USA, Japan, Malaysia, Baja, Croatia and others await as players climb to the pinnacle of modern competitive off-roading. An exciting line-up of the best new rally drivers, including Ken Block, Travis Pastrana, Dave Mirra and Tanner Faust, who help players build their racing career.
  • It's all about the event: DiRT2 is adrenaline-fuelled extreme sports with eye-popping visuals and presentation in stunning real-world locations, complete with up to 100,000 spectators in attendance. Events include exhilarating rally cross in the massive Los Angeles sports stadium's "Stadium King Shootout", edge-of-control canyon racing of Utah's "Creek Trailblazer" event, the "Rawang Rally Run" along treacherous Malaysian rainforest tracks and the "Battersea Battle", where night races are staged at the iconic London power station.
  • The complete off-road online package: DiRT 2 invites players to become part of an extreme sports community, with full online multiplayer race events and community integration across multiple disciplines. With leader boards, news feeds and 'scribbles' to keep you up-to-date on your friends' racing achievements, DiRT 2 will be a social hub for off-roading fans.
  • A highly personalized racing experience: DiRT 2 immerses the player in the life of an off-road star like no game has ever done, personalizing the experience through several unique features.

  • Screenshots / Images
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