When Dirt 2 was released in 2009 it boasted a lengthy and varied career mode, numerous multiplayer options, and uniformly excellent presentation. Its sequel loses none of those things and also makes some great additions to the formula. Split-screen multiplayer is now an option, there are more vehicle classes to choose from, gymkhana events and snowy conditions pose fresh challenges, and new multiplayer modes put interesting automotive spins on some first-person shooter favorites. Dirt 3 brings a lot of superb content to the table, and because it offers a plethora of customizable difficulty settings and assists, newcomers and veterans alike can enjoy its excellent off-road action.
Regardless of which difficulty level you play at and whether or not you take advantage of stability and braking assists, Dirt 3 handles like a dream. There are dozens of great-looking modern and vintage vehicles in the garage, and you race them on all manner of surfaces and in changing weather conditions, but getting behind the wheel of one that you haven’t driven before is never a problem. The controls are responsive, and while it’s certainly possible to mess up so spectacularly that your ride loses panels and becomes deformed to the point that it’s unrecognizable, there are gameplay mechanics in place that ensure you don’t feel the need to hold anything back. Even as you hurtle along narrow dirt trails and around icy hairpins, Dirt 3’s cars, trucks, and buggies encourage you to push them harder by using excellent audio and rumble feedback to let you know that you’re not quite on the edge yet.