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. May 31, 2011
    90
    Dirt 3 is a superb off-road racer that adds some great new features and improves upon its predecessor at just about every opportunity.
  2. May 24, 2011
    90
    With a variety of things to do and loads of replayability, the events list will keep even the most enthusiastic players busy for quite a while.
  3. Jun 6, 2011
    91
    Dirt 3 is the reliable weekday car that you aren't afraid to take into the mud every once in a while. While it doesn't have the precision or style of some of its high-end peers, Dirt 3 has more than enough personality and moments of exhilaration to make up the difference.
  4. Jun 2, 2011
    90
    Dirt 3 is a great game, a superb racing experience with stunning visuals and a long and varied career.
  5. May 30, 2011
    87
    It's not a simulation, it's not an arcade. It's a Codemasters driving game, and one you shouldn't miss if you appreciate some dirty driving and a great graphic engine.
  6. Jun 13, 2011
    90
    Finally, DiRT has turned out to be a cool rally experience.
  7. May 23, 2011
    90
    There's issues and niggles here and there in the amount of Career Mode repetition of event types and environments, as with many racers, and the game is almost devoid of innovation in all modes other than the brilliant Gymkhana – but perhaps an evolution rather than a revolution was all that was needed for DiRT 3.
  8. May 31, 2011
    88
    Leaks fun like a cracked sump leaks Castrol. Thoughtful additions ensure it's as irresistible as its predecessor.
  9. Jun 1, 2011
    90
    DiRT 3 is not a perfect game and a couple of patches will likely fix my biggest issues with the PC port, but none of the problems will really matter too much for rally fans that have been disappointed in the last few years' worth of rally game releases.
  10. May 25, 2011
    90
    Once again Codemasters delivers a great racing game, a worthy sequel and a sensible expansion of the game. Just the rain and snow races alone are reason enough to buy the game.
  11. Jun 13, 2011
    91
    A fantastic achievement for Codemasters that will do fans proud.
  12. May 20, 2011
    88
    With Dirt 3 Codemasters finally re-focuses on what the Colin-Mc-Rae-series once stood for: real rally races, that make up about 60 percent of the game. The rest is a well-balanced mixture of evenly enjoyable race-types, inkluding the tricky Gymkhana events. The awesome car selection features a lot of classics from the 60's all the way to modern WRC cars - driving them is a ton of fun. Just don't expect a true simulation here.
  13. Jun 24, 2011
    90
    Even if you kept ignoring DiRT games for quite some time, you should give this one a try. [July 2011, p.116]
User Score
6.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 343 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 88
  2. Negative: 23 out of 88
  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 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 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 27, 2011
    6
    Verdict: Beautiful but shallow. I really struggled with rating this game. If I had never played another codemasters racer it would have easily rated a 7 or 8. Unfortunately, I've seen what a spectacular job they did with Dirt2 and this game just doesn't measure up. It's not so much a single massive problem as it is lots of little things that add up to spoil what would otherwise be a great game. For starters, The interface has been completely overhauled. Rather than placing the various menus in a track side 'Trailer', Dirt3 uses a plain old text menu laced with strange triangle motiffs.More staright-forward certainly, nut it completely kills the sense of immersion the previous UI generated.
    Which brings me to perhaps my next major gripe, removal of the in race voices for the AIs. It sounds like such a minor thing, but having the AI drivers actually talking back and forth and reacting to what was happening in the race gave Dirt2 a completely different feel in single player. It felt more like racing with a bunch of friends rather than just grinding against some oblivious robot. It even had an affect on how I drove. In Dirt3 I can run another driver off a cliff with absolutely no consequences. In Dirt2, cut off an opponent or pull some other dangerous maneuver and the other drivers would tell you about it in no uncertain terms. Nothing like having Tanner Foust or Ken Block call you an a--hole (sort of) to make you think twice about being hyper-aggressive.

    Another major issue for me is the heavy emphasis on Rally. Don't get me wrong I love rally, be it a traditional point-to-point or scraping paint in Rally-X. There is however such a thing as to much of a good thing. Dirt2 did a great job of balancing out the formality of rally with plenty of truck/buggy based events that allowed you to let loose a little bit without having to worry about hitting a perfect apex to shave 0.002 seconds off your time. The trucks are still there, but they've been relegated to a single event type (landrush) with just a single available vehicle ( the 'landrush event truck'). You can choose your livery (sort off) by choosing a team but other than that no real choice. It's as if they grudgingly let you race them, but there's a nagging feeling that the game is telling you "Trucks? yeah we have those but wouldn't you much rather be over here perfecting your rally skills? See, look shiny classic rally cars from the 70's. That's right, forget about those dirty, smelly buggies and come over this way....".

    The final gripe I have is the way you progress through the single player career. You still get experience, but rather than the leveling system that gradually opens up more and more opportunities as you progress, this is pretty much a straight point-A to point-B. Also rather than earning cash as a reward for completeing a race has been removed. Instead, you simply get handed cars and liveries at certain set points. There's no real feeling of having accomplished anything; the car isn't really yours, some random corporate just lets you use it and expects to get it back in one piece when you're done. Even worse though is the way rep (the equivanent to exp in this game) is tied to the car you drive. You get more rep from completing the 'bonus' missions in a car that just unlocked than in your vehicle you've been racing from the beginning. Sometimes it can be a gap of several hundred points. In essence they are constantly trying to force you to drive a different vehicle rather that spending the time to master a single car you really like.

    To sum up. If you are a rally nut and the mountian dew fueled, Americanized X-sport theme of Dirt 2 set your teeth on edge, then Dirt 3 is probably a must buy. If you are like me however, and enjoyed Dirt2s blend crazy antics and challenging events then Dirt3 is going to feel somewhat unfullfilling.
    Full Review »