|Colin McRae: Dirt 2|
Firebrand Games (DS)
Sumo Digital (PSP)
Feral Interactive (OS X)
|Series||Colin McRae Rally|
|Platform(s)||Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Wii, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, OS X|
|Release||Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Wii & Xbox 360 |
Colin McRae: Dirt 2 (or simply Dirt 2, stylised as DiRT2 or COLIN McRAE DiRT2) is a racing video game developed and published by Codemasters in 2009, first for the Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Wii and Xbox 360, and then later for PC platforms (Windows, OS X). It is the seventh game in the Colin McRae Rally series and was the first game in the McRae series since McRae's death in 2007.
It features Ken Block, Travis Pastrana, Tanner Foust, Dave Mirra and Mohammed ben Sulayem. The game includes many new race-events, including stadium events. Along with the player, an RV travels from one event to another, and serves as "headquarters" for the player. It features a roster of contemporary off-road events, taking players to diverse and challenging real-world environments. The game takes place across Asia, Europe, Africa and North America. The game includes five different event types, plus three more "special" game modes. The World Tour mode sees players competing in multi-car and solo races at new locations, and also includes a new multiplayer mode. The sequel Dirt 3 was released in 2011.
Colin McRae: Dirt 2 features five racing disciplines, all of which are playable offline (against AI bots when applicable) and online. In addition, three "special modes" are included. Colin McRae: Dirt 2 runs on an updated version of the EGO engine, which powered Codemasters' Race Driver: Grid as well. The engine features, most notably, an updated physics engine, which models realistic weight transfer during turning maneuvers, allowing the player to incorporate advanced driving techniques, such as the Scandinavian flick.
- Rally racing occurs on non-circuit roads which usually involve public (closed) routes and technically challenging courses. Usually involving staggered starts, each driver competes against the clock. In addition, during rally events, a co-driver is present, constantly reading pacenotes to guide the driver along narrow and meandering tracks of up to 6 km in length.
- Rallycross races involve cars identical to those used in rally events; the races themselves, however, are very different. Each rally-cross race involves up to eight racers competing in multiple lap events on circuit tracks of mixed surface type. The tracks, half tarmac and half dirt, exist in closed settings, such as in or around stadiums, and are approximately 1 to 1.5 km in length.
- The most similar real-world equivalent of Trailblazer events are hill climbs. Unlike hill climb events, however, trailblazer races do not require a positive change in elevation. Similar to rallying, trailblazing features staggered starts. Trailblazer (and hill climb) cars, unlike rally cars, usually feature massive aerodynamic aids, such as spoilers, diffusers, and splitters to help keep traction at higher speeds, regardless of track surface or conditions.
- Raid races are multi-car events involving heavyweight vehicles, such as buggies and trophy trucks. Each race begins with a simultaneous start of up to eight competitors, with tracks averaging 5 km in length.
- Landrush events are similar to raid races, but take place on a circuit. Each event features eight racers on a dirt track of about 1 km, and involve multiple laps.
In addition to the five straight game types, there are three special variants, each applicable to multiple modes.
- Gatecrasher, which uses Rally courses and cars, involves smashing yellow barriers; competitors race against the clock. When smashed, the "gates", strategically placed along the best racing line, add time to the clock; whichever racer finishes the event with the most time on the clock wins. The format of the race is more similar to a multi-competitor time trial than to a traditional rally race.
- Domination, playable Rallycross and Land Rush stages, involves multiple drivers competing to set the lowest time in any given track sector. Points are awarded based on the final number of controlled sectors, as well as the final race position.
- Last Man Standing is an elimination-style race based on rallycross, during which the driver in last place is eliminated at 20-second intervals, the winner being the final driver left after all others are eliminated.
Colin McRae: Dirt 2 features a set of multiplayer modes which the user can partake in over, the PlayStation Network, Games For Windows - Live and Xbox Live, as well as local multiplayer. Up to eight players can compete in ranked (Pro Tour) or unranked matches (Jam Session). Within the "Jam Session" category, any class of cars may be used on any track; the game lets hosts know when a combination is not necessarily advisable, such as Trailblazer cars on a Rallycross circuit. Ranked matches are, by comparison, much more restrained; only the prescribed cars may be used on a track.
The DiRT Tour
The DiRT TOUR, which is how the main single-player game mode is called, takes the player along all the nine locations on the world map, which serves as an event selection screen. Individual events appear on the map, as the player levels up, eventually unlocking all the locations. The money won by participating in the events can be used for buying and upgrading more cars. There are three tiers of difficulty, marked by stars - Rookie (1 star), Pro (2 stars) and All-Star (3 stars). For each tier, one X Games event exists. Accessed via posters hanging above the world map, X Games Europe are unlocked at XP level 8, X Games Asia on level 16 and X Games America on level 24. Each X Games event features three races, Rally, Rallycross and Trailblazer, one in each country of given region.
After reaching the All-star tier, "World Tour" events are unlocked. There are five World Tour events, one for each of the main race types. These events are accessed via "event tags" on the right side of the world map. To be able to participate, you have to get at least 3rd on one of the three qualifying events. Each world tour offers five races across three locations, where the certain race type is available. After successful participation in all world tours, sixth event tag appears on the bottom of the world map, providing access to special event dedicated to Colin McRae. In this event, you race against unique opponents, and winning it rewards the player with a special car, set of liveries and unlocks the "Colin McRae tribute" video.
One of the aspects of the DiRT tour is also becoming famous and known to the celebrity racers. There are seven of them, Ken Block, Travis Pastrana, Tanner Foust, Dave Mirra, Mohammed ben Sulayem, Jayde Taylor and Katie Justice (the two female drivers are not real). Initially, all of the celebrities "Have heard of you". By competing, they reach the states "Is your buddy", "Respects you" and "Thinks you are legend". By reaching the final state of the celebrity's, the player is rewarded by his/hers custom set of liveries. To improve the reputation state, the player has to win in the events where the celebrities compete, or by participating in challenges. Each celebrity can challenge the player for "one-on-one race", which is a one-time only event and doesn't win any money, just experience points and celebrity reputation. After challenging, a celebrity head-icon appears on the map, offering the challenge to be played.
Becoming friends with the celebrity racers is important for "Team events". RallyCross, Raid, LandRush can be marked as team events, and that esseantially means that racers are competing in couples, so the total score of each player is the sum of both of the racers' individual score gained from the race. Before starting this type of event, you have to choose a partner, and to be able to choose certain driver, he has to have certain reputation state tier, depending on the event tier. Winning in these events can significantly improve the partners' opinion.
Development and release
Shortly before the release of the first game in the Dirt series, Colin McRae: Dirt, Colin McRae: Dirt 2 was described by Matthew Horsman, chief game designer for the game, as a game more improved and refined than its predecessor. The game was later announced officially on 19 November 2008. The engine, EGO, initially featured in Race Driver: Grid, was updated to better take advantage of the PlayStation 3 specifications, as well as improving multi-core processor utilization on the Xbox 360 and PC. The Flashback ability, allowing players to rewind time mid-race, a new feature in Grid, was kept and improved due to its popularity. In addition, the features and expanse of the multiplayer component, which was often criticized in Colin McRae: Dirt as being fairly anaemic, was completely new to the series.
Colin McRae: Dirt 2 used the audio technology Ambisonics. It was the first PC video game to use Blue Ripple Sound's Rapture3D sound engine by default. It was also one of the first video games to implement the then newly released DirectX 11 graphical standard on ATI 5000 and NVIDIA Geforce 400 series chipsets.
A demo of the game was released on the PlayStation Store and Xbox Live Marketplace on 20 August 2009. The demo appeared for the PC on 29 November 2009; it features the same content as the console demo with the addition of higher graphic settings and a benchmark tool. The Mac OS X version of the game was released by Feral Interactive.
In February 2009, Codemasters revealed plans to release "a number of small DLC packs soon after launch which players can use to personalise and augment the boxed game". At the time of release, however, only two DLC options were available: "Trust Fund", which unlocks all vehicles, liveries and upgrades, and "Access All Areas", which unlocks all events and tracks. There have been no further DLC releases.
Colin McRae: Dirt 2 was reviewed positively by IGN, receiving a score of 8.4/10 from the U.S. site, and a slightly more favourable 9/10 from the UK site. Eurogamer gave Colin McRae: Dirt 2 a score of 8/10 with their main criticisms being reserved for the lack of weather and track deterioration, and the fact that damage now has very little influence on the game, with drivers receiving a brand new car for each race. In Japan, Famitsu gave the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions a score of one nine, one eight, and two nines, for a total of 35 out of 40.
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