Colin McRae: Dirt (5 stars)

Colin McRae: Dirt


Surely the most attractive thing about rally sport is its white knuckle, mud-spraying, knife-edge excitement? Which is where most rally titles seem to go astray, preferring to follow the F1 or Touring Car route of exactitude, anal technical precision and painstaking realism. Colin McRae: DiRT redresses this imbalance. It carves straight down the middle, mixing just enough reality with ridiculous over-exuberant arcade fluidity to create a very special title indeed. While the graphics will get a lot of the plaudits (and they are indeed lush, every conceivable environment reproduced with panache), and the variety of cars and challenges will please those looking for value for money, it is the handling that is DiRT’s secret weapon. Just loose enough to encourage silliness but precise enough to reward skill, it reproduces the feeling of rally rather than the actuality. And that is what you really want from a game, a thrilling representation of the ideal. And the best thing is, it isn’t perfect. The online modes could be vastly improved for example. So, not only are you blessed with a great game, you can look forward to it getting better still. (Iain Davidson)

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