Dirt 2, a new off-road racing game from Codemasters, features not just great racing, but loads of courses, cars, events, race modes, and actual pro rally racers including Dave Mirra, Travis Pastrana, and Ken Block. All these things however are not just all thrown into the game in willy-nilly fashion, there seems to be ad deliberate choice behind how the game was structured so that neophytes can easily be brought up to speed while off-road enthusiasts won't feel as though they're experience is overly dumbed-down (it's only slightly dumbed-down).
Available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and DS, PSP, and PC (i.e., every system under the sun), Dirt 2 begins simply enough, with users creating a character and being introduced to their home base, a trailer that magically goes around the world with them – something even the makers of the game acknowledge in-game as being a little silly. Players are instantly given cars that, while not as serious as ones that can be purchased down the line, are certainly powerful enough to win races and cause massive amounts of damage.
The game features five regular types of races (rally, trailblazer, raid, landrush, and rallycross) and three specials types (gatecrasher, domination, and last man standing). Before its played for the first time, an introductory video on each type of race is played so that users will have a rough idea of what to expect. Then, prior to each race, users select their car either from ones currently unlocked, or they can unlock new ones with cash earned from previous races. After modifying horns, ornaments, and liveries (just for kicks), players are transported to the race and get to tweak gear ratios, downforces, suspension, ride height, differential, and brake bias.
It is actually here in this last moment where the game does feel slightly tweaked to favor neophytes. Each of these customizations has five different settings, and while they do alter the way a car handles, they do not do so in an overly drastic fashion – one can't possibly make their car too weak or too unmaneuverable by altering any of the settings. Additionally, one isn't given any concrete numbers as to how they're changing the setting, it's just a range from one not-so-extreme end to the other not-so-extreme end denoted by boxes.