Dirt 3 Multiplayer Preview - Robots, Zombies, and Capture the Flag

Sometimes you want a reason to smash your car into things. Over and over again.

Dirt 3 is like the cool uncle of racing games. It knows how to behave itself in polite company, offering a full suite of standard racing modes for rally purists who prefer to race against the clock on winding dirt roads. But when it cuts loose, it really cuts loose, as showcased by the ridiculous and thoroughly entertaining collection of party mode multiplayer offerings. From robots and zombies to a capture-the-flag type of match, Dirt 3 knows how to get a little goofy once in a while.

We got a chance to play three new multiplayer party modes, all of which can be experienced either using local two-player split-screen or with up to eight players online. Our personal favorite was Outbreak, the zombie mode. Eight cars start out in a small cluster, with a five-second timer ticking down before one of them gets infected. This turns the car in question into a bright shade of green, which immediately alerts everyone else to stay the hell away from it. If the infected car runs into another, then there are suddenly two infected cars on the course and then more and more until the last car is infected or the timer runs out.

Besides just the absurd image of a zombified rally car, Outbreak is fun because of the sense of mounting chaos as more cars become infected while you frantically try to outmaneuver them. The party mode matches are played in various lots around London's Battersea Power Station, meaning there's a lot of open room to drift around and various industrial objects to hide in/on/behind. Conversely, when you're the infected one and finally smash into a car that makes one small mistake, it's immensely gratifying. And not just for the shower of debris that falls off the chosen vehicle when you collide into it with a devastating thud. (The damage in these modes is merely cosmetic, of course.)

Another similar mode is Transporter, the aforementioned capture-the-flag type of match. We played this one with four teams of two. In this mode, a "flag" will spawn randomly and when you drive through it, your car turns into your team color to show that you've got the flag in your possession. Then, you need to zip around to the nearest drop-off point on the track to score a point. What's fun about this mode is that--just as in Outbreak--the simple joy of smashing into other cars plays a key strategic role. Said smashing allows you to steal the flag from the other team, though generally there's such a swarm of cars around the flag holder that it takes a metric ton of luck or skill to make it to the flag drop unscathed.

Finally, there was also Invasion. While Outbreak and Transporter offered a surprising level of strategy to go with the car-crunching wrecks, Invasion was decidedly lighter fare. Cardboard cutouts of robots and skyscrapers randomly pop up throughout the course, and you get one point for smashing robots but lose one for smashing a skyscraper. This mode felt a little too aimless for our taste, and we don't imagine it'll develop quite as much of a following as the other modes.

As a complement to the more standard multiplayer game modes included in Dirt 3, these party modes struck us as fun, irreverent, and a completely ridiculous way to cruise around in a rally car when you want to take a break from the usual tracks. Like we said, Dirt 3 is a game that knows how to take itself seriously, but it also knows how to have some fun--and what better way to have fun than to pretend that a Subaru WRX has turned into a zombie?

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38 comments
An-Archist
An-Archist

This is the first racing game that's interested me in quite some time.

truth2012
truth2012

looks great. thanks for the PC version.

mutley89
mutley89

Finally racing has a sense of humour again! anyone remember the jelly car and ufo from the original colin mcrae rally? and the tank battles in toca race driver? this is EXACTLY what needed to be brought back, thankyou codies!!!

Jackc8
Jackc8

In any racing game, the online is going to be full of immature children who only want to turn every "race" into a demolition derby, which ruins the enjoyment for everyone who would actually like to play the game online. So the developers thought it would be a good idea to offer even more encouragement to these people to make everything into a smash 'em crash 'em load of unplayable nonsense? Good grief. When will they ever get a clue.

threedown
threedown

loved dirt 2, i dont care about the goofy modes but they may prove to be fun for me, i just want more dirt racing action though

Zerot
Zerot

im more a racing sim fan dirt is fun and accessable but not true driving experiance.

YummyMango
YummyMango

Sweet and multiplayer looks even better :)

LogiCrack
LogiCrack

Reminds me Crashday. Looks pretty good and wonderful that there is more rally. :)) Dirt 2 had too much fun and for hardcore rally there where almost nothing. 2 was fun, no question about that. Hope 3 is the best :)

Mr_Fujiv1
Mr_Fujiv1

Dirt 2 was absolutely awesome but the online for me got a little boring way too quickly. I love the idea of having a some what lobby where you can just burn some rubber and hook up with your buddies. Defo be picking this up very nice preview gamespot.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

@Majd_Abdulqadir nahhh pass the bomb goes from one car to the next.. this zombie mode means whoever gets touched joins in being 'on' as such. So it eventually just becomes the one winner. Think of the similar mode on Timesplitters.. Although obviously that was an FPS and not a racer :p

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

Looks like well good fun! Deffo be picking this up.. I was anyway, but now I am for sure :D p.s. why do all the Gamespot reporters look about 12? :/

azurik15
azurik15

Best looking race game.Cars models very detailed.

DFBHDTS
DFBHDTS

I can't wait for this game. I loved the second one so much. Mainly the rally, rally cross and the Landrush modes. I still play it now and I'm still wowed at the graphics. This one seems to be great value for money, just like the second with its ridiculous amount of collectibles, races, and fun multiplayer!

Pete5506
Pete5506

One of the many games I'll be looking forward this year

chapnapprogamer
chapnapprogamer

Holy @#$% , 24 may ? :O , i thought it was going to be released in november

vcorp
vcorp

This is a good reason to not buy this game :(

packers91
packers91

@ serginho_scp your english was better than most english speakers I know

serginho_scp
serginho_scp

physics appear to be very very lame :O looks almost worst than virtua rally..is this a children's game ?? hope physics get a lot better in final release version. dirt 2 was fairly balanced between realism and accessibility ..I was hoping this one would improve realism since it allegedly brings back the rally championship ( so they say at least ) ..I also hope the game will have a lot more tracks than did dirt 2 .. dirt 2 was a rip-off in that matter.. I think we all agree that reverse tracks don't really count to this number. ..also ..try not to forget that motogp 10/11 runs smoothly at 60 fps .. and also does mx vs atv reflex, and they both look great .. i'm getting sick of this pro 30fps-more-bling-and-less-game attitude crap market theories. shift 2 was just one more example of a game that brought almost nothing new to the market else than a better damage model.. players like me won't buy anymore crappy 30 fps arcade games.. it's always realism and playability that makes the cult and solid market antecipation on any game. .. I hope "richard burns rally" will have a second chance, the market is there to be explored.. it's still a better rally game than any other one on the market. ( sorry for my poor english)

daub11
daub11

i think this game will awsome and it will be the best one ever played not just because of the graphics but because of the whole intire gameplay and i also think that people would enjoy playing it.

gamer_x_99
gamer_x_99

Looks realy fun, and it looks like the graphics will be great. Also by looking at the video you can tell that the cars have realistic physics. When they crash they really crash.

mitsmirage
mitsmirage

can't wait sounds better than DiRT 2

Tha_DRP
Tha_DRP

DiRT3 = FUN FUN FUN! my wheel is going to be smoking when this gets released!

besugokiller
besugokiller

At 1:29 to 1:33 minutes , the guy was about to say "have some fu** , instead of have some fun" x'D

Majd_Abdulqadir
Majd_Abdulqadir

Isn't "zombie mode" just like pass the bomb type of game found in many arcade racing games?

BiThBhE0
BiThBhE0

They said Grid is up next year. I find it strange that they have this awesome damage model but it doesn't affect your driving? Hopefully there is an option to turn it on.

razielmn
razielmn

One of the best.... Still pulsing

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Simply Fantastic!! Im so glad they overhauled the MP, this is gonna be great fun, not to mention very challenging.

BiggEdd32
BiggEdd32

why haven't they made a sequel to GRID yet? seems like the most obvious thing to do..... =/

overhang
overhang

Looks like Dirt + Flatout. Looks like a lot of fun

DO646260
DO646260

This could help break the tedium of playing some levels over 50 times!

DoomRider13
DoomRider13

Nice! I really enjoy a good racing game and this one may fit the bill! The zombie mode seems to be fun but no screen shot! Well, hope It's as fun as Dirt 2 or even more...

siarhei
siarhei

Finally, split screen in Dirt game! yay

flexin007
flexin007

A good year for racing fans.

SadPSPAddict
SadPSPAddict

A serious game crossed with some insane mini-games - sounds like Virtua Tennis :lol: On my must buy list though :D:D