All I have to say is WOW!
The career takes place in the x games festival where you have several real world racers as your guide through the game. You have several event types including rally, buggy/trophy truck, trailblazer, and more. Handling is loose which may frustrate you initially, but you will get the hang of it and the driving mechanics become really satisfying. Hint- race from the amazing cockpit view! The overall experience and sense of speed is intense and makes for a very visceral experience. In the career and multiplayer, you level up through ranks by winning races and completing special objectives which makes the game pretty addictive both online and off. It's a blast to race in the single player and becomes better once you hop online.
Just like single player, there is a ranking system in place, but the mission objectives are seperate from single player. You have several modes of play like domination, rally races, last man standing and more. You can also race solo or as part as a team. Online is just a lot of fun and there is zero lag to put up with in my experiences. Overall, Dirt 2 has extremely healthy replay value with lengthy single player and an awesome online component.
When it comes to production values, Dirt 2 shines. Graphics are absolutely stunning. Whether you are in the sands of utah, streets of japan, or jungles of coatia, the game will wow you at every corner. Lighting through the trees, shadows, and the damage modeling are the highlights. You will also notice small details. My favorite is the wipers of your car when you drive through a puddle of water and mud. It looks stunning! The damage is incredible as well and it has an impact on your vehicles perfromance. The frame rate is always at a smooth 30fps and never drops. Audio is also strong with a cool soundtrack and awesome engine and tire sounds as you race. Voice acting is solid and overall a pleasure to listen to. The only thing that may bug you is the extreme theme of the game, but I didn't have much of an issue with it.
Overall, Dirt 2 is an excellent racer with lots to offer to the casual and hardcore racer. Let's just hope Codemasters is working on Grid 2!
Pro- Stunning visuals
Loaded with content
Excellent Single player
Tons of Variety
Cons- Questionable ads and the extreme attitude
Handling takes a while to get a hang of.
That's about it really