Watch your back.
When Codemasters announced that they would be releasing Dirt Showdown, an arcade-style spin-off in their Dirt series, it was met with mixed reactions. Some fans, including myself, were excited for a new racing game built mostly around Demolition Derby and Stunt type events, but others were not so thrilled to see the series stray from the traditional rally events that the series has been known for. After playing the demo for Dirt Showdown, I came away still excited, and I think after playing it, you will too.
The demo, released on both Xbox Live and the Playstation Network, features both single player and multiplayer events. When you first load up the demo you’ll be prompted to sign-up for Racenet, the online social network for the game. Racenet will track your game and challenge progress, provide you with exclusive liveries for your vehicles, and feature new events and challenges to participate in. Currently there is a community challenge to burn an Oil Tanker’s worth of gas, but nowhere does it say what the reward is, if there even is any. This only went live earlier today so it’s possible they are still working on getting everything up, but if the Racenet events and challenges don’t have any rewards, then it seems fairly useless if you ask me.
After you get past the Racenet sign-up, you’ll be able to play the single player race event on the 8-Ball track. This is a fairly standard race, except for the fact that the 8-Ball shaped track features two crash-up spots that you have to watch out for. As you go around the turn, the cars behind you are going to cross your lane, so just when you think you’re in the lead, Boom, you are side swiped and your lead is gone. I experienced this first hand (which you can see in the video below), as I was in the lead but didn’t check before crossing the intersection and got nailed. Since your car only has so much health, every bump and crash is one step closer to being eliminated from race.
Check out the video below to see the single player race event in action.
After you complete the 8-Ball track, you will unlock the Rampage multiplayer event, which is my favorite part of the demo. In Rampage, all eight players start on different sides of the track, which is basically one big open area, and the goal is to smash and bash the other cars, earning points with each successful hit. If you take too many hits, you will have to wait a few seconds before respawning back on the track. Different crashes earn different point values, with the last part of the round worth double points. So just when you think you are going to lose, you can get a few nice hits in at the end and steal the win. I really liked this Demolition style event and can’t wait to see more of them with the full game.
The multiplayer system features solo and team based playlists, and lets you easily invite your friends to a lobby and jump online together or play split screen if you are local. The three multiplayer modes are Demolition, Hoonigan and Racing, with 10 different event types between them. Hoonigan events are freestyle, stunt-based events that take place on a stunt park, and sound really cool on paper, but sadly these weren’t featured in the demo.
Also featured in the full game, is a mode called Joyride, which is said to let you explore to complete challenges and missions. I’m interested see to see how this works, and thankfully the release date of May 29th is just around the corner. The demo for Dirt Showdown is live for everyone to play, so go check it out!