Metascore
86

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Jul 10, 2011
    70
    Excellent offroad simulation almost entirely ruined by terrible, mass-market presentation. Add two points if you can live with the triangles. [Aug 2011, p.62]
  2. Jul 26, 2011
    67
    Looks like Codemasters really struggled with DiRT 3, piece by piece cutting everything that could have saved this game from going off the cliff.
User Score
6.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 375 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 48 out of 92
  2. Negative: 27 out of 92
  1. Jun 2, 2011
    5
    I got into Dirt 2 and 3 beacuse I really liked the rally in Dirt 1 and was hoping these would improve on that. What turned me off from Dirt 2I got into Dirt 2 and 3 beacuse I really liked the rally in Dirt 1 and was hoping these would improve on that. What turned me off from Dirt 2 was the testosterone-fuled X-games garbage which had swallowed the game and rally-racing was given a backseat. I heard Dirt 3 was more rally oriented and had less X-game involvement. For the most part, these predictions were correct. There is more rally stages now and the X-games stuff has been toned down. Unfortunately, these pros come with some cons. For starters, the majority of the rally stages barely last longer than a minute and a half and the tracks themselves are very wide and the only challenge comes from annoyingly placed obstacles such as logs or tractors. Secondly, the X-games malarkey has been replaced by by Ken Block's Gymkhana stunt-driving rubbish. To be perfectly honest, this is actually worse than the X-games. Not only does it have nothing to do with rally or off-road racing, it's absolutely tedious and frustrating. I also wish they would bring back the car-tuning options of Dirt 1 as the options in Dirt 3 have little affect on how the car handles and drives. For a joke, I set all the tuning options to the silliest settings I could think of and the car was still perfectly drivable. Overall, the impression I get from this game is that they made it more rally oriented while cutting back on rally content, which makes it fall on its face a little bit. Most of the rally stages are just variations of the same stage and the tracks can get very easy in places. They also need to start focusing on real racing instead of smearing Ken Block and testosterone everywhere. Rally is a European dominated race, it's sad seeing it so Americanized. Full Review »
  2. Jun 4, 2011
    8
    This really is a great game but I just can't say I enjoy it as much as Dirt 2. The poorly kept RV that traveled around the world with you inThis really is a great game but I just can't say I enjoy it as much as Dirt 2. The poorly kept RV that traveled around the world with you in Dirt 2 was such a charming idea for what was essentially the menu screen, which was always set in the middle of a huge crowd with music blaring and the scenery of the location you decided to race in looming in the background. Dirt 3 ditched that for a much more simple menu that, while streamlined and stylish, is just kinda boring, unless rotating golden pyramids are your thing. The gameplay is fantastic of course, the cars handle wonderfully and the sense of speed is spot on. However, I didn't get the same sense of excitement, the rush I got when I played D2. Watching a replay of my speedy little Ford Cosworth zipping through the Finnish wilderness in its beautifully rendered glory was cool and all but the techno-pop track that played in the background simply didn't fit. At all. It didn't hold a candle to watching the replay of my Mitsubishi Evo X tearing ass through canyons in Utah while My Delirium blasted from my speakers in D2. The music list in general adds to D3's somewhat sterile presentation. I've heard mostly techno oriented tracks so far and it's just so quiet, so subdued and when you mix that with the games (overly) simplified, calm presentation, it kinda comes off as just another race sim. Compare this to D2 which was constantly noisy and flamboyant with its presentation, which was good because it's rally racing. It's supposed to be noisy and dirty and fast paced, not quiet and clean with a bunch of friggin triangles. Graphically the game is better than its predecessor but not by leaps and bounds. This isn't a bad thing though, far from it in fact. The Dirt series is known for being beautiful and Dirt 3 doesn't disappoint. There's too much to mention in a little review like this, you really just have to play it, but the one thing I want to stress is the performance. I run these games on a 2007 iMac.... ya. Despite the fact that it's very underpowered by todays gaming standards, I run Dirt 3 perfectly fine on high settings. The Ego engine is just so well made, you get marvelous detail and performance even on lower end tech. One area they skimped on a bit was the driver detail. They sit as rigid as crash test dummies, hardly ever moving and the overall detail put into the models is lacking compared to D2. In D2 replays the game never shied away from showing your driver struggling with the vehicle, all the animations reasonably smooth and realistic. Hell even your co-driver would turn their head to look at you once or twice, a small insignificant detail but that's what made me surprised and happy to see it. There was a person next to you not a dummy. The only other downside other than the presentation is one.... single... race type.... Gymkhana. Some people may like it and that's fine. I don't hate it, it's fun to watch, but God almighty it can be a pain in the ass. Despite the games wonderful controls Gymkhana is just flat out hard and, at times, confusing. I zoom out into the arena and my first thought is "What the f*ck do I do?" I decide "Ok, I'll spin around this pole and maybe smash those blocks. Perhaps then I'll drift under that thing and make a futile effort to connect it to the donut I'll do over there." Unless you're pretty good and I wouldn't be surprised if there were those who are, it just ends up being kind of a mess and a bit frustrating. I've never once felt like I was doing one of those events for any reason other than getting it out of the way. It doesn't help that I'm a bit of a purist I guess, I absolutely love the rally events and trailblazing and thank God Codemasters really emphasized them this time around. There's also your little "HR Rep" I guess you would call him, he is annoying as all hell. He's always calling you ridiculously cheesy nicknames like "amigo" and "muchacho", it's flat out painful to hear him talk. I even found myself unconsciously hitting the mute button on my keyboard when he started to speak, it's that bad. Speaking of voice work. What happened to driver chatter? Where are the big name racers? Why aren't Katie Justice or Ken Block congratulating me on a good race? Where is Foust to be a douche when I come in second and he's first? It kills the immersion! Overall, I strongly recommend this game to racing fans. It's a strong racer. Just be prepared to be put off by the achingly sterile presentation if you were a big fan of Dirt 2 like I am, it damn near ruined the game for me. That sense of occasion, of pure excitement, is simply lost. I know I keep referring to it but it really does make a huge impact on the game. Full Review »
  3. May 25, 2011
    10
    I caught myself laughing joyfully while racing an old Toyota down a sandy road into a kenyan sunset. Not many games can do that. This oneI caught myself laughing joyfully while racing an old Toyota down a sandy road into a kenyan sunset. Not many games can do that. This one let's me know again why I play games. Yes, it is a bit sad they abandoned the festival style menus and neutralized the atmosphere from Dirt 2 , but it's not all bad because the menus are now much quicker to navigate through. All the trolls are crying about it... and the graphics... and the controls but honestly, it's still the same engine as in grit and dirt 2! it handles exactly as you're used to from codemasters race games, which is formidable. if you can't handle it, try another car or turn on some of the various help functions. And it looks brilliant: the raceway with tessellation textures, the spectacular lighting, the water looks better and the new weather effects fit in perfectly. This is the Crysis of Race Games: untouchable. On the downside are the usual too easy and monotonous career mode and the high rate of course recycling (night/day, weather, backwards).
    But all in all: the best race game since Dirt 2. If you're a NfS Driver or GT5 and annoyed, stick to the engine you know and don't come here flaming. It's in the end always a matter of taste and preference. But Codemasters made my summer for sure :)
    Full Review »