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DiRT 3 Review

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A rally good time

★★★★

Codemasters' DiRT series is probably one of the best examples out there of a gaming franchise that has learned to evolve over time (and multiple consoles) with panache, transforming from the once titled Colin McRae Rally to a maniacal extreme sports monster while consistently staying true to its roots.

Case in point: Long Beach looper, Ken Block, DiRT 3’s newly crowned superstar and the father of Gymkhana. Gymk-a-what? This is Block’s trademarked motorsport and the latest deftly-woven addition to the series that sees you pump pedal around furiously addictive obstacle-laden courses with a simple goal – to drift, jump and smash for points, points and more points.

Any purists reading this can ease off on the palpitations because, despite the bombastic new feature, DiRT 3 was, and remains a rally game at heart. It features a whopping career mode that’s diced into multiple sections, including a World Tour for when you’ve smashed through the racing barrier and spit up enough grit on the game’s gargantuan collection of courses that encompass everything from the searing heat of the Kenyan desert to the frozen tundra of Norway.

Throw in an embarrassment of riches in terms of multiplayer modes, coupled with a stack of slick social networking goodies - there's even a function that enables you to upload your best moments to YouTube - and you’ve got yourself the unrivalled racer of 2011 so far.