Last year, Top Gear declared DiRT 3 the finest rally game of all time. Showdown is this year’s follow-up: not a spin-off, but more of a rock’n’roll alter ego, with the same great physics in a more playful, smash-stuff-up package.
The game centres on three main modes: racing (including figure-of-eight tracks for maximum crash potential), demolition (for fans of whiplash) and ‘hoonigan’ (a sub-brand of Ken Block’s Gymkhana series). We’ve just had an early play at the developer’s studio ahead of the May release, and can report that it is… brilliant.
It’s no intense rally sim, so if realistic racing is your bag we’d suggest looking elsewhere. But the action is intense, the constant damage is unhealthily satisfying, and it can all be enjoyed in slow-mo with the post-match ‘crashback’ replays, all set to a dubstep-meets-metal soundtrack. It’s dumb fun par excellence.
In the past, for all their on-screen chaos and carnage, games like Destruction Derby could leave you feeling a bit numb. But with the accurate, involving dynamics we loved so much in DiRT 3, plus world-class scenes and graphics – and huge multiplayer/online potential – Showdown really sucks you in. The ultimate hangover cure.
Not convinced? Have a look at the trailer below to see what’s in store… The game will be released in May on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC