Dirt Showdown has taken the driving game to another level with its superb presentation and easy handling driving. One of the first pleasing aspects about this game was how well the car handled, letting you enjoy the perpetual visuals complimenting you as you hurtle around the arena. Unlike most driving games, Dirt Showdown lets you chuck the car around corners at full throttle without flying off into a wall, which is very satisfying. The element of skill lies in perfecting the boost and handbrake to perform perfect drifts and doughnuts. Dirt Showdown is more about showing off rather than the usual ‘stage’ sections of a race/rally.
To add to the thrill, pyrotechnic displays explode, complimenting your moves in front of an eager riotous crowd. There are many events that test and reward different driving skills. The Hoonigan event is all about fine precision in licensed cars. Taking on tight turns and drifts rewards you, avoiding the destructible blocks arranged around the arena. There’s a timer to keep the pressure on and to score high points. The Trick Rush events are more of a challenge, a chaotic mix of drifts, jumps and doughnuts needed to be performed to rack up points before the clock runs out. Then there’s the head to head Gymkhana, where you are faced with rally legend Ken Block. This course is a real challenge because it requires more skill, as all the turns are tighter, the jumps longer, and the pyrotechnic displays more explosive.
Showdown Tour features 15 international events, all consisting of 4 stages. Places such as California, Tokyo and Colorado are beautifully presented with sharp graphics. Like most driving games, cars and upgrades can be purchased to enhance power and handling from the money you earn. This event is best played online with two players, the split screen progress bringing the game alive.
One event I really enjoyed was the Demolition, where the previous licensed cars are dumped and replaced with fantasy cars. These are then rapidly turned into trundling wrecks as you have it out with your opponents in an arena of ramming, T-boning, and driving to destroy and diminish their health bars.
There are the usual events such as Lap Attack and Eliminator that take place on a figure of eight circuit littered with ramps, but these are dull in comparison to Demolition and Hoonigan. If you are looking for a rally simulator, this isn’t really the right game for you, but if you want to drift around a destruction-paved arena filled with explosions, this is just the ticket.
James is a Designer/Writer based in London.