Colin McRae: DiRT 2


Digital FoundryOnLive: DiRT2 performance analysis

How does DiRT 2 perform via the Cloud?

Xbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 22

Tekken 6, DiRT 2, NFS SHIFT, Brutal Legend, Il-2 Sturmovik, Operation Flashpoint.

Key events

Digital FoundryDiRT 2: EGO Evolution

Digital Foundry talks McRae tech with Codemasters CTO Bryan Marshall.

Despite intense competition in the genre in recent years, Codemasters has managed to more than hold its own with its impressive roster of racer titles. Its most recent releases, Race Driver: GRiD and Colin McRae: DiRT 2, have both been very well-received, and have been state of the art not just in terms of gameplay but in their core technology too.

Xbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 22

Xbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 22

Tekken 6, DiRT 2, NFS SHIFT, Brutal Legend, Il-2 Sturmovik, Operation Flashpoint.

Wow, so many games, so much to write about and so little time to cover absolutely everything. It's fair to say that the office is almost literally dripping with code, and there's simply not enough manpower to dissect it all while maintaining regular Digital Foundry duties. So, with this month's mammoth 22nd Face-Off, we're covering six of the best and the most interesting of the recent releases, with the aim being to take a look at the rest over a series of smaller-scale DF blog updates as and when time permits.

As usual, the words are backed up with a battery of comparison shots, and pristine quality h264 videos too - all derived losslessly from the HDMI ports of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. In a slight departure from the presentations of past, the cropped 632x500 vids are now history. They did the job admirably before Eurogamer TV transitioned to HD, but with full 720p at our disposal, the old-school videos seemed somewhat superfluous to requirements.

The full 720p presentations are now embedded into the article itself in a similar manner to the DF Bayonetta demo showdown: simply press the full-screen button in the player to get the full effect, or click through using the EGTV link to get a larger window.

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UK charts: Guitar Hero 5 beats Beatles

Plus: McRae sees off Batman.

Guitar Hero 5 has become the first in the leading music series to debut at the top of the UK all-formats chart, outselling colossal rival The Beatles: Rock Band to do so.

Colin McRae: DiRT 2

Colin McRae: DiRT 2

Grime reaper.

Taking the beloved Colin McRae franchise into the murky mainstream was always going to bloody a few noses, but few would dispute that Codemasters has done so with a certain amount of panache. By turning the serious business of rally driving into an exciting, glitzy, multi-discipline showcase, it opened up the brand to a wider (read: American) audience while retaining the core challenge and refined design that made the series such a success in the first place.

Having built on that success with the benchmark-setting Race Driver GRID, expectation leading up to the release of DiRT 2 has been justifiably high - if tempered by the frowning hardcore, who still loudly bemoan the series' wholesale surrender to the lure of the Yankee dollar.

Certainly, the influence of the consistently excellent Race Driver is everywhere in DiRT 2 - most notably in the adoption of its 'flashback' mechanic, where pausing and rewinding a short section of the race allows players the freedom to instantly rectify mistakes. For some, this will represent the final straw; one concession too many to neutering the challenge for an attention-deficit audience that has no truck with such old-fashioned notions as practice, skill and persistence. On the other hand, removing unwanted repetition reduces game rage no end. Just think about the trauma you'll be sparing your loved ones. And pets. And pads.

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"Rallying as a global sport has changed," says Matt Horsman, chief game designer on DiRT 2. Standing as we are in blazing sunshine by the rooftop pool of a hotel in downtown LA, cocktails in hand, it's hard to disagree. It's a world away from the nipple-hardening winds, soggy sandwiches and desolate dawns of a Euro rally.

Colin McRae: DiRT 2 dated

Mid-September for ambitious Codies racer.

Codemasters has announced that Colin McRae: DiRT 2 will be released on 11th September in the UK, three days after its American bow.

DiRT 2 PC delayed for DirectX 11

Now scheduled for December.

Codemasters has announced that the PC version of its off-road racer, Colin McRae: DiRT 2, is being delayed until December to incorporate the features of DirectX 11.

Colin McRae DiRT 2

Mud sticks.

Two of the UK's leading exponents of the racing genre appear to have skidded to a similar conclusion at the same time. Both Bizarre Creations and Codemasters' Racing Studio believe driving games have for too many years evolved narrowly along a largely linear route towards ever-greater realism, ever-shinier bodywork. More polys, more power. And the returns on what both developers see as a stagnating genre must diminish over time.