Colin McRae: DiRT 2
E3 2009: Dirt 2 Hands On Preview - Tour Starts This September
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Way back in 2007 Codemasters started their driving revolution with a little known title called Dirt, looking to bring the lively world of rally back to our consoles. A game with little to no hype dropped on to our consoles with a bang with its impressive visuals and immersive gameplay. Here we are though, just under 2 years later and Codemasters are looking to take the franchise to the next level. Dirt 2 was easily one of the best racers at the show this year and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

The career mode will of course make a return and play a big part of the experience in Dirt 2, but don’t expect the pyramid from the original to return. Instead what you can expect is a career mode that makes you build your contacts and driving status from the ground up. It starts off with a simple phone call from Travis Pastrana and a gift from Ken Block in the shape of Colin McRae’s Subaru Impreza from X-Games 2007, and a few event invites later and you’re well on your way to stardom. Expect to travel across the world in your RV taking part in an extreme sports rally driving experience. The game takes you to 9 countries, has 50 tracks and over 100 events for you to get stuck into. The final game is set to feature 5 race types including the traditional point to points and the rally cross events that we saw in Dirt 1. The announcement press release boasted new race-types but they weren’t on show at this year’s E3.

The career mode also looks to throw a huge customisation aspect into the formula with players now allowed to take their car from the first to the last race. It’s also about making it a personal experience as well, as you can style your car with a number of stickers on the dashboard and a number of other things to give your car character. Maybe now you’ll be less inclined to roll it down the cliff, you know, just to see what happens. That whole personalised experience is taken one step further with the final build said to include responsive opponents, so if you drive into the back of someone, expect them to shout back at you. The cars themselves have twice as many polygons as Dirt 1 and the damage deformation is a lot more detailed.

The build we went hands on with at E3 had 5 tracks including Shibuya, Japan and Baja California, Mexico. The Shibuya race was a circuit race and took place in a built up urban environment, whereas Baja was out in the sticks. After spending a few minutes with the title it was clear to see the handling had been changed a fair bit. The cars definitely seemed lighter now and it was a lot easier to throw the back-end round the corners, sometimes so much so that you lose the back end. Not sure whether the lighter cars aspect is a good thing but it definitely seemed a little more difficult to get to grips with than Dirt 1 did. Maybe Codemasters are shooting for more of a simulation feel this time around rather than arcade feel we're used to. Codemasters have also thrown water on to some of the tracks this time around in true rally fashion, which can catch you a little off guard if your tires are wet as you take the next corner. I found that out the painful way many a time - wet tires and dirt do just not mix.

Codemasters’ Dirt 2 is shaping up well and looks beautiful. The learning curve may be a little bit steeper than the pick up and play nature of the original, but we’re ready for the challenge. The career mode sounds like it is shaping up to be a more personal and interactive experience which stands a good chance of giving the title an injection of life. Speaking to Codemasters after, they stated that the multiplayer is getting a much needed revamp after the original’s poor effort, with 8 player set up promised ... which we can only presume is track racing rally-cross and not the point-to-points, which suits us fine. We have a feeling that when September comes around, Dirt and racing fans alike will be happy bunnies.

The next gen version of Dirt 2 is set for a September release on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.


User Comments

Forum Posts: 529
Comment #2 by Seddo
Tuesday, June 16, 2009 @ 06:30:11 PM
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Dirt 1 was amazing and this one looks even better, can't wait :)

Forum Posts: 160
Comment #3 by Smurfquake
Tuesday, June 16, 2009 @ 06:30:20 PM
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Maybe I can jump into racing with this title.

Forum Posts: 237
Comment #4 by blitz7287
Tuesday, June 16, 2009 @ 06:32:15 PM
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Codemasters OWN. my favourite developer by far...

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #5 by neiltc13
Tuesday, June 16, 2009 @ 06:38:24 PM
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What we really need is a real rally game based on the World Rally Championship. This stupid X-Games nonsense sounds awful.

Forum Posts: 509
Comment #6 by spilner100
Tuesday, June 16, 2009 @ 06:45:52 PM
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codemasters ARE the racing guys, this looks brilliant

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #7 by Fyzban
Tuesday, June 16, 2009 @ 06:51:33 PM
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agree with 5, this game look awesome, I did tne entire campaign of dirt 1, but I hope its really more rally simulation than x-game rally gayness. And where is my winter track? I would love to drive on snow

Forum Posts: 115
Comment #8 by Misfit Kracker
Tuesday, June 16, 2009 @ 07:05:39 PM
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Dirt 1 was only better than Grid. cars handle like sh!t

Forum Posts: 237
Comment #9 by blitz7287
Tuesday, June 16, 2009 @ 07:11:51 PM
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@ #7

Even better an ice track. :)

Forum Posts: 262
Comment #10 by II M1CK3H II
Tuesday, June 16, 2009 @ 08:09:58 PM
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I don't get what the hype is about.

Both Dirt and Grid are absolute shite, the cars are made of paper, especially dirt. They are both poor racing games, yet people take one look at the graphics and think "OMG awesome its the best game ever!".

>>>>>> GTA IV had better driving physics

Forum Posts: 14797
Comment #11 by Webb [STAFF]
Tuesday, June 16, 2009 @ 08:12:23 PM
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@#10- Cars made out of paper? Never heard that one before.

Forum Posts: 13
Comment #12 by jungli5t
Tuesday, June 16, 2009 @ 08:27:03 PM
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If think GTA has better car physics then codemasters games then you are actually clueless.

Forum Posts: 24
Comment #13 by DrZMvP554
Tuesday, June 16, 2009 @ 08:56:45 PM
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looks cool

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #14 by ShadowLFC
Tuesday, June 16, 2009 @ 09:24:34 PM
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@10 Where did you get that 'true fact' from?
Gta better driving physics?? Are you serious?

Forum Posts: 924
Comment #15 by DeafSunchaser
Tuesday, June 16, 2009 @ 09:29:25 PM
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@10 he is a n00b and is prob 5 years old! jeeze!

anyways looking forward to this game dirt 1 was great even tho i hated rally games but dirt 1 got me back to liking it! so dirt 2 is a defo buy!

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #16 by nrask7
Tuesday, June 16, 2009 @ 09:44:15 PM
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might get this. what's with none of our gamercards showing up?

Forum Posts: 79
Comment #17 by XxM4RKSM4NxX
Tuesday, June 16, 2009 @ 10:13:37 PM
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Holy shit I can't tell if the cars in the second picture are real or not. They look amazing.

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #18 by MiNdOfADaRkSoUl28
Tuesday, June 16, 2009 @ 10:26:38 PM
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game will be great, getting day 1

Forum Posts: 14797
Comment #19 by Webb [STAFF]
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 @ 12:14:42 AM
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@#16 - is down ;)

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #20 by jameswalt1
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 @ 12:29:29 AM
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Uhh.. The original Dirt came out in late 2007 - NOT 2006.

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #21 by twisted metal94
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 @ 12:42:54 AM
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@#10 where do u even compare dirt to GTAIV there 2 completly different games dumbass.
dirt 2 is totally gonna kick ass i still play the first dirt (dont judje me if i play dirt 1)

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #22 by jameswalt1
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 @ 01:12:40 AM
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The box-art is fantastic!

Forum Posts: 28
Comment #23 by neees
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 @ 01:49:23 AM
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r.i.p. colin

Forum Posts: 755
Comment #24 by l.maciver
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 @ 03:06:35 AM
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#10, i think u mean you just rubbish at drivin, dirt and grid are top marks for everything racing on the 360, gta4's drivin isnt the best but it wasnt the worse, you just need to learn to control them.

Forum Posts: 1898
Comment #25 by Teh BeZ
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 @ 03:07:35 AM
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i lended out my dirt to mates after i completed it , and ive been moaning like a little bitch for the last month to get it back ,becasue i wanna be the guy still playing dirt 1 :( still got 70G to get :)


@10 your a stupid twat

Forum Posts: 237
Comment #26 by blitz7287
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 @ 03:16:34 AM
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@ 10

your an idiot and have no taste in games. DiRT and GRiD are pure works of art. and quit bullshitting that GTA IV had better physics.

Forum Posts: 770
Comment #27 by Cla55y
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 @ 03:23:01 AM
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@15 if he is 5 why is he playing GTAIV :P lol

Forum Posts: 615
Comment #28 by oneandonlytommo
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 @ 03:23:34 AM
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to all of the people saying dirt and grid are shit you are only saying that because YOU ARE SHIT AT RACING GAMES NOW FUCK OFF.

and that box art looks cool if its going to be that.

Forum Posts: 175
Comment #29 by i Eat Kittenzx
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 @ 04:02:29 AM
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@#28 That's not entirely true Im not the best at car games and Im not the worst but because i simply don't like one does not by any means mean Im "shit" at them lol its just i don't like that particular game personally car games seem to repetitive for my tastes but everyone has there opinion.

Forum Posts: 51
Comment #30 by Agent Mantis
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 @ 04:28:57 AM
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I'm liking the sound of AI that remembers dirty tactics, It was too easy in dirt to shunt someone going into a corner and steal the lead without any chance of being caught.

Forum Posts: 8
Comment #31 by Thabomb045
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 @ 04:30:07 AM
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@#12 agree with you

Forum Posts: 269
Comment #32 by JRFNelson
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 @ 05:09:47 AM
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I Cant wait for this the first was great and the second looks stunning and if it plays better than the first it will be a stunning game

Forum Posts: 679
Comment #33 by GreaseMonkeyGB
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 @ 06:29:50 AM
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This is gonna be game of the year for me

Forum Posts: 14797
Comment #34 by Webb [STAFF]
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 @ 07:33:40 AM
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@#20 - You are indeed correct sir. My mistake. Edited accordingly =)

Forum Posts: 3254
Comment #35 by Bearded Bugs
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 @ 10:39:32 AM
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Playing through the first one at the moment and it's a very good game indeed.

I'd prefer more of the traditional point-to-point stages in career, and some snow/ice stages, but in general it's fantastic.

There's nothing like racing completely by yourself against the clock on an epic rally stage.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #36 by Necrophagist
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 @ 10:58:14 AM
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Dirt 2 looks sick, I've been waiting for this game since I got 1000 gs on the 1st game! @ 10,u must not like racing games or just suck at them so throw a sock in it with yur lil 18k gs!

Forum Posts: 57
Comment #37 by Zoc
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 @ 11:44:23 AM
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i REALLY want this game, it looks so real, and i loved the first one, i hope we can save replay this time around, i had some really good crashes i wanted to keep :P

Forum Posts: 115
Comment #38 by Misfit Kracker
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 @ 04:59:54 PM
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again code masters needs to not make racing game, leave it to the pros (turn 10) the cars handle like shit in dirt and grid!!!!!!

Forum Posts: 209
Comment #39 by -ToXiN-
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 03:56:28 PM
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@38 Are you kidding me? I liekd Grid and Dirt WAAY better than Forza! Theyre just more... fun. Theyre mre arcadey, yes, but thats why i love them - theyre that fine mix of both sim and arcade styles.

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #40 by Prole 33
Monday, June 22, 2009 @ 08:07:59 AM
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to all those who say its a shit game u can kiss my ass, everyone i know who has played it thinks dirt 1 was a sick game, if your soooooo anal about the physics then sell your 360 and buy a ps3 then buy gran prototype then u can suck donkey d*** with the rest of the arse's who think good physics make a racing game, as most can see it does not its about being fun example the burnout series (which i don't like since the 3rd but it is an example nether the less of a hugely well known and famous over the top non-real racer).

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Game Info


US September 08, 2009
Europe September 11, 2009

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