When DiRT Showdown came out, my enthusiasm evaporated. For once, Codemasters went out of their way to turn their arcade-ish rally simulator into something even more arcade-ish, and not even in a good way. Even so, don't let that discourage you from getting a copy of it. It's still kinda fun to play.
DiRT Showdown, unlike its previous predecessors, now operates like a crossover between Flatout and the Destruction Derby racing division of GRID, minus the head-on-collisions-that-cause-drivers-to-fly-out-from-their-windshield factor. There are many key features that differentiate DiRT Showdown from other games. One of those key features is the introduction to health bars and nitrous, as the previous DiRT games never had any health bars or nitrous (provided in an actual rally game, your car only dies when you severe the parts hard enough for it to malfunction and it's not rocket science to find out that using nitrous is illegal in official rally races). In DiRT Showdown, there are no rules. None. It's you against 7 other drivers and your objective is to win first place by hook or by crook. Do whatever it is necessary to secure the podium finish. Either slam, shunt, spin or even T-Bone your way to victory.
The selection of cars is less compared to the previous DiRT series and although the derby cars may look fake, they actually do exist in real life (at least, the Jupiter San Marino does). And although they removed the rally cars altogether, they managed to preserve the cars used in DiRT 3's gymkhana, such as the Ford Fiesta, the Subaru Impreza WRX GD and many others that I'm too lazy to mention in this review.
Oh, and I forgot to mention the game modes that are available in DiRT Showdown. Some game modes have been preserved in DiRT Showdown, such as Domination, Gymkhana and Head 2 Head, while they added new game modes that show what DiRT Showdown is all about, such as 8-Ball (an 8-player race to the finish line), Survival (where it's you against gladiator cars and your objective is to survive for as long as you can) and Sumo (where you wrestle other cars out from the ring). It may be brutal and it certainly is unforgiving, but it sure is a lot of fun.
The only downsides to this game are the price for the game (seriously, 30 bucks?) and the fact that the game looked like it got ripped off by Bugbear Entertainment (a.k.a the developers of Flatout). DiRT Showdown may not shine as the authentic DiRT experience, but the game certainly is a must-play to those who like serious games that, at the same time, isn't so serious.
Try to get this game in a sale or during a bundle sale, unless you have 30 dollars to spend.
Posted: February 23rd, 2014