Colin McRae: Dirt 2
Feral Interactive, www.feralinteractive.com
Quality graphics; variety of cars; realistic driving experience; unique menu screen
Limited weather conditions; small rally mode
The Mac game Colin McRae: Dirt 2 is a tribute to the late Scottish rally driver Colin McRae, who passed away in 2007.
Spanning the globe and featuring rally-racing elites Ken Block, Travis Pastrana, Tanner Foust and Dave Mirra, Dirt 2 has a huge amount of different race types for you to master, including Rally, Rally Cross, Raid, Trail Blazer and Landrush. In addition to the traditional game modes, there are three special modes: Gatecrasher, Domination and Last Man Standing.
Dirt 2 is no longer a rally game – only a fifth of the game is pure rally racing, but this is also a positive for racing fans who want to play a variety of game modes.
The career mode starts with you – an up-and-coming racer – being handed the legend McRae’s Subaru Impreza. Competing in races increases your experience (XP) – the higher you finish, the more you gain – and allows you to explore the globe race by race. Invitations to new events are based on experience levels, so be ready to race multiple times in the same location.
Races build both experience and financial income, with prize money allowing users to buy a number of the 35 cars in the game and customise them to their taste.
Moving from the Rookie Division events, gamers are thrown into the increasingly difficult Pro Division and the hardest All-Star Division, which will challenge even the avid rally fan.
Going up the rankings has its perks; the further you travel through the game the greater the variety of customisations which become available. They fall into three categories: liveries (paint jobs); toys (for the dashboard and the rear-view mirror); and horns (we think you can guess).
While your opponents will drive in a manner akin to the professionals they imitate, they are not perfect and will often collide with you and even crash on their own accord, enhancing the reality of the game.
Drivers will also radio comments to you during races. The higher you progress the more respect other drivers will show you, but this is based purely on your experience; the manner in which you drive does not affect the respect they show.
This is a bit strange as it means opponents can think highly of you even if you run them off the road.
Multiplayer has been improved from the first Dirt game, with the ability to race up to seven online opponents in
a number of different tracks with all the cars available, even if you haven’t bought them in the career campaign. Players are able to choose from a LAN connection or play against people from around the world on GameRanger, a free online gaming site that hosts a large variety of games.
A neat feature is the flashback option, which allows you to pause and rewind 10 to 15 seconds of the game, helpful if you crash at an important section of a race. The number of rewinds you are given depends on which of the six levels of difficulty you are playing at.
The Mac version is available from the Feral Interactive website or through the Apple App Store.
Macworld Australia’s buying advice. Dirt 2 provides a beautiful racing experience, and a variety of achievements to unlock that will keep you entertained for a long period of time. As Feral states: “It’s your dirty little playground and you just picked up a ticket to ride.” At the price of $41.99 it is well worth a try.