When speed meets beauty
Beautiful alpine forests, dusky desert landscapes and rain slicked industrial estates... the captivating surroundings of DiRT 3 dazzle the senses before you even put the pedal to the metal. Making great use of the power afforded by PlayStation 3, the racing game's impressive environments speed you off the starting grid with a superb range of convincing visuals for a high-speed festival of fun.
The breakneck pace of its glossy graphics capture the speed and intensity of rally driving without sacrificing the attention to detail that fans of the motor sport love. Rally cars, buggies and trucks are expertly recreated on-screen as mud, rain and snow coat their metallic surfaces during races. Collisions leave a visual impact as well, as windscreens crack, bumpers fly off and bonnets crumple from crashes.
Sound is just as important to your DiRT 3 experience. Your trusty co-driver yells out his pace notes to prepare you for the various course conditions ahead (as well as humorously letting you know he's still alive after a bad bump), while you quickly learn to use the sound of the car engine to swiftly judge your speed.
Even if you're not familiar with rallying, DiRT 3 makes you feel at home with a wide range of options to suit your preferences. The controls, visual display and even the sound of your car's horn can be changed. And your favourite replay videos can be saved and uploaded to YouTube for when you want to share those moments of racing pride.
Let's get dirty
Whether you're a petrolhead or a new racer, DiRT 3 on PlayStation 3 offers the joys of rally racing from the comfort of your own home. Well designed introductions are used to get you up to speed on the different cars and race types, such as the multicar thrill of Rallycross or the freestyle showpiece challenges of Gymkhana. You're also given the chance to use various driving aids to help fine-tune your skills once you're strapped into a car.
Mastering your powerful vehicle through the 100 routes that await is all part of the fun as you learn to wrestle with the different racing surfaces. Getting to grips with gravel, tarmac, snow, ice and other elements means every race is a different challenge, requiring good judgement and control.
Your rivals aren't flawless either - they'll crash and make mistakes just like a real driver, so you need to be careful that they don't take you down with them. However, don't worry if you fall foul of some careless driving. You have a limited number of Flashbacks you can use to rewind time before the critical crash, letting you try again without the need to restart the whole course from the starting grid.
A steady and well-judged learning curve complements a selection of options where you can build a racing career or just drive in one-off races and time trials. DiRT 3 is nicely packed with features to keep you coming back to the circuit for more.
Rally your friends
There are plenty of opportunities to drive your friends crazy with your dazzling rally skills in DiRT 3. To warm up without the pressure of a live opponent, jump into the driver's seat and download ghost cars for free from PlayStation Network to see how your skills compare to others online. There are also leaderboards to keep track of your progression against the best in the world.
When you're ready to step up a gear, the split screen and online modes take the pace up a notch. With split screen, up to two players can battle it out on the track using one PlayStation 3 system. You can race in seven disciplines including Head 2 Head and basic rally racing, while some events also allow up to six computer-controlled drivers to join you if you want to mix things up.
If you prefer the heat and hustle of online play, up to eight of you can burn up the track in all the above disciplines as well as a variety of party modes such as the team chase of Cat & Mouse and capture the flag style game, Transporter. Comprehensive and diverse, DiRT 3 is the perfect car carnival for friends of all driving abilities.