The Patient Gamer

Completed: DiRT 3


The amount I enjoy a game usually corresponds to how good the game actually is. Every so often that’s not the case, and DiRT 3 is a perfect example. So let’s get this out of the way: DiRT 3 is a decent off-road arcade racer with pretty graphics and fun crash physics, and I enjoyed playing it. Now, let’s enumerate the reasons I hate it.

  1. Ken Block and the rest of the Hoonigans. The narrator calls me “amigo.” And tells me my racing was “sick.” And if that ridiculous tooth isn't enough to convince you that hiring Ken Block to narrate your rally game is like getting Jurassic Park's InGen to run your zoo, just do a YouTube search for "Ken Block crash". Or consider this video of him driving in Portugal before the rally even began. Here, I'll make it easy for you.
  2. Every car feels the same. At one point, in an effort to get a different driving experience, I chose a RWD BMW Z4 over an AWD off-road racer. Even with all of the assists turned off, I couldn’t get the backend to slide like it should have. Outside of a few small differences, all of the cars felt (and sounded) pretty much the same.
  3. The physics are way too arcady. Throttle, throttle, throttle, tap the brake to kick the back end out, around a corner. No matter how sharp it is. Braking points are mostly optional.
  4. It’s missing the best parts of rally racing. I love the strategic aspect of rally racing: tire choice, weather changes, timed services... These are all things that add to the complexity and strategy of the sport. I’m guessing that the reason these things aren’t in DiRT 3 (even though they were in the preceding Colin McRae games), is that it’s no longer a rally game - it’s an arcade off-road race game. Even so, I was looking for a rally game, and DiRT 3 is definitely a step back from its predecessors in terms of rally gameplay.
  5. The game keeps telling me to post my replays to YouTube. Social integration in games is horrible and needs to die. You know what YouTube doesn’t need? More stupid replays of rally games. 
  6. Games for Windows Live. At one point I was watching Netflix on my Xbox and started up DiRT 3 and you know what happened? Netflix stopped. 
  7. The game doesn't appear complete without DLC. I have a weird completionist streak in me. When you complete a series of races and win first prize on all of them, it turns the series triangle gold. Except, if there's DLC available, it doesn't count the series as complete because the DLC race hasn't been run. That means that all my triangles are not gold. I don't like it when all my triangles are not gold.

In summary, I’m glad it’s over and I won’t be back, even though I had some fun playing it. Rant complete.

Roosky’s Rating: 1.5 / 5

At the time of writing, DiRT 3 is availble for $24.99 on Steam. Amazon carries the Playstation and Xbox versions.

Currently unrated