Dirt 2 First Look

Codemasters teases some new features for the upcoming sequel to its hit rally racer.

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The original Dirt--a rally racing game carrying on the legacy of the Colin McRae series--won over fans and critics with its combination of gorgeous visuals, varied events, and an impressive damage modeling system. In other words, it was a hit across the board, which naturally means that Codemasters is hard at work on a sequel. Known quite simply as Dirt 2, this follow-up was unveiled by the English publisher at a press event last night in San Francisco.

During the presentation, the big theme that Codemasters was hammering on for this sequel was the idea of off-road racing with an extreme sports attitude. What does that mean, exactly? The first game featured voice-over work by motocross legend Travis Pastrana, but this time around Codemasters is looking to go full tilt with the game's presentation. A teaser video revealed a scene from the player's RV, the hub where you control all your career mode exploits, and it was a raucous collection of grime, half-naked women, and general insanity. That should serve as a good hint of what the overall attitude will be.

If the phrase "increased particle physics" gets you excited, you're going to enjoy Dirt 2.

But of course, this is still a racing game, and gussying up the user interface will take you only so far. Thankfully, Codemasters revealed some intriguing information about the type of racing you'll be doing this time around. The biggest chunk of information they let out is the inclusion of stadium rally events. They showed a gameplay video of a fictional stadium built around London's Battersea Power Station, with all manner of twisty dirt roads, puddles, and smoke stacks making up a very gritty and industrial-looking setting. Another similarly fictional stadium they mentioned is one set in Los Angeles for an event they're calling the Stadium King Shootout. Apparently, they've done work to the engine to make these stadium events feel quite massive, with crowd sizes going from 40,000 in Grid (a Codemasters racing game using the same engine released last year) to 120,000 in Dirt 2.

However, it's not just the number of fans watching you peel out and smash your front end that has been tweaked. A tech video shown during the presentation revealed some other enhancements to the game's engine. The biggie is probably advanced water physics: the game will be going beyond the rain-slick roads in the first game to include puddles that appear to be at least a foot deep. This new type of hazard ought to severely impact your driving ability and add a new dimension to the way you'll be racing around the course, because no longer will the optimal line around a corner always be the best one to take if it happens to bring you through a miniature lake.

In terms of locations, you can expect to see races held in London and Los Angeles, as previously mentioned, but also in some less expected spots, including Croatia, China, and Malaysia. Those Asian locales should come as quite a departure from the European-heavy settings in the first game. Another welcome departure is in multiplayer mode: you will now be able to take part in online matches against other drivers in real time. If that doesn't get you excited, you're probably not familiar with the first game's solitary, time-trial multiplayer, which felt like little more than a mean prank in the context of the great game built around it.

We hope you're not sensitive to advertising.

We'd love to have seen more on Dirt 2 than the few brief videos shown during this presentation, because what we did see looks promising. You can expect more coverage leading up to the game's release, which is currently slotted for late September.

Discussion

133 comments
Crono21
Crono21

I hope they fix the frame rate issues in Dirt 2. Also it better have weather (Rain, Snow, etc) and real night racing.

spearhead21lg
spearhead21lg

so many cool racing games from codemasters! can't wait!!!

Gigler
Gigler

Im all in for DIRT2! The multi-player was the only thing missing from the original Dirt game. The others in this GENRE could learn from your development team. I am Pumped to drive this game on my TV. Please make sure the force feedback is good to go.

orcsblade
orcsblade

nice looking rally racer game

mutley89
mutley89

not the place to discuss it but would like to see a new WRC game, that would blow any other rally game out of the water.

Chaos_1990
Chaos_1990

looks real nice i want to get my hands on it!

sub-raid
sub-raid

Not bad... i may get this game.

buzzwah
buzzwah

Dirt is still the Best driving game I have played on the Xbox with a Wheel.

Crystall3d
Crystall3d

i would prefer a richard burns game with this visual presentation

salmanzk
salmanzk

Waiting for this great racing simulation game!!!!!!!!!

junor69
junor69

I will take one please first one was good so this one will be batter :)

bojiang908
bojiang908

sad fact is that games never look as good as the pictures that they choose to show us. they look good in game but just not quite what we will expect out of these pictures.

badger6724
badger6724

Whats with the attitude? And stadiums? Rally racing is all about little cars going way too fast on bush roads. I loved Dirt and Colin McRae rally. I don't really need a stadium with 40000 fans and a juvenile attitude to enjoy a rally racing game.

rodman1
rodman1

FYI, the first Dirt, though very good has Starforce. Keep that in mind if you have problems after installing.

src248
src248

LOL. that isnt advertising, Thats realistic. (Ken Block is EPHING AMAZING!)

ZedX-14Pilot
ZedX-14Pilot

Just know this game is gonna be the S**T!

kkkudin
kkkudin

to codemaster can u make DEAD RACE game......

Mokintash
Mokintash

Whoa O.O This looks like a realy great game!Hope it looks like the pics cause that'l be amazing!

teeskoowared
teeskoowared

I just got the first one this weekend for 8 bucks and it has given me about 10 hours of entertainment so far....can't wait for the next one!

killik_123
killik_123

whoa!! the pics look so good compared to the first game

-eddy-
-eddy-

Cool. I never got the original, I could pick this up if it turns out good.

ShadowXStorm
ShadowXStorm

First one was really fun although felt like the cars kinda floated hopefully they can tune that better.

interpolation7
interpolation7

Never got my hand on the first installation. I look forward to getting my hands on this.

disasterpiece45
disasterpiece45

Richard Burns Rally could be nice and realistic, but its very complicated. Dirt are very nice, realistic and not so complicated.

ahpuck
ahpuck

the first dirt was fun, still play it every now and then. Grid. . bought it, got frustrated with the controls, trade it. . i hope this game is more like dirt than grid.

djeepi
djeepi

Richard Burns Rally is still the best rally game (most real) ever made and CMR games are far from it.

Shreddi
Shreddi

Is there a lot of online races available when playing the game? Havnt played a racing sim in years and just wondering how poplular they are today. Thanks.

curplunk52
curplunk52

I really miss the old style Colin Mcrae racing. Where's the real WRC? I want to see Seb / Miko / Danny / Petter / Jarri-Matti / Marcus! Please Codemasters... bring them to the game! You already have GRiD... stop competing with NFS with CMR!

AMDAtiFanboy
AMDAtiFanboy

Another tribute to legendary colin mc rae... i hope theres minor changes,such wheather variety like thenephariouson said.but afterall...this game are equal to another great racing game...grid for instance :D

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

It had better have FULL wheather variety (Rain, Snow, etc), and dont try comparing this to GT5 as they are completely different types of games, whereby GT and the like are simply nice & fluffy track racing games, DiRT is much more technical, and much more difficult.

luciotss
luciotss

um megapower PC - e video card the excelent performance

gegoran
gegoran

@ fps_d0minat0r: any colin rally game got snow in it ... I remeber it from 1 colin and from the last

cellskee
cellskee

This looks sweet. I love dirt. when is sumbody gonna make a World of Outlaws sprint car game !?!

Gsig
Gsig

Fps Dominator you made me laugh with your post. To compare gt5 to a rally game is idiotic if you want to compare it to anything compare it to Forza 3 coming soon.

simonsworld
simonsworld

well hanky panky my hairy sacks,dirt is back and the stadium questions am sure it has a carrer mode or season mode whatever, without it it wouldnt be complete,it become more arcade ish which scares me a tad.

fps_d0minat0r
fps_d0minat0r

rally games are fun but i think gran turismo 5 will kill this on content, physics, AI, graphics......but online colin mcrae might win.

fps_d0minat0r
fps_d0minat0r

"I would like to see some snow and ice. No game ever tries this." colin mcrae rally 2.0 is like 10 years old and that had snow in it.

Titanicles
Titanicles

@TheRealUku He probably meant on the consoles, as opposed to 30fps, rather than on the PC.

EnhancedVGA
EnhancedVGA

eXtreme sports attitude? I loved Dirt, but all hope for this game is now lost. Colin McRea is probably turning in his grave. Codemasters, you better not @#$% this up.

TheRealUku
TheRealUku

people conserned about the graphics , the game will be scaleable as is any other game . complaining it wont run smoothly invariably is down to setting the spec to high for the machine its running on , this will clearly need a serious bit of hardware to run high settngs on , im running dual core E8400 o/c with 8gb ddr2 and 4870x2 and i doubt ill get full settings looking at the screenshots!. so dont be upset when your average spec setup only just meets minimum requirements , games are created based on the current top spec. hence pc's are a very expensive hobby :) the comment i hope it runs at 60fps , is like how long is a piece of string!! , ofc it will run at 60 frames per second , if you have the hardware to do so!

tig1979
tig1979

The_InJimid8tor- I agree there, it's ok jumping from different types of races/cars to another, but would be nice to include a solid championship for just rally cars or something as well, bit like grid awesome game, but a WTCC championship would have been good too

The_InJimid8tor
The_InJimid8tor

Looks ok ,Graphics are always nice, But I miss the regular WRC style rallies of there older Colin McRae Rally games. Not this Stadium crap unless it's for Super Specials.

Blk_Hwk
Blk_Hwk

Looks Nice need a demo