Dirt Showdown is Codemasters latest arcade racing game. It will appeal more to burnout fans than GT5 racers. Indeed the game hasn’t gone down too well with DIRT fans, many of whom thought this would be a DIRT 4. It isn’t, Showdown is a step by Codemasters in a different direction. They have now split the Dirt franchise into two. There will be a DIRT 4 at some point, which will be predominantly rally based. Showdown is aimed at the casual racer who just wants to have fun, and lots of fun you will have with this slick arcade racer as long as you play Multiplayer. If you aren’t prepared to go online, then give this title a miss. It really does come into its own in a room full of friends, especially in the destruction and race events. As well as single and multiplayer you can also play split screen and all major racing wheels are supported. I use a logitec wheel and it works as well as it does in GT5. You will either love or hate the audio tracks; I’m not a fan of the music and wish they had implemented the use of custom music from your XMB. Some will find Dirt’s regular commentator Christian Stevenson irritating, I think he’s a good choice. Showdown has three types of race events, with three groups of vehicles that can be unlocked for each game type. Demolition, Hoonigan and Racing. Hoonigan events are pretty much like an easier version of the Gymkhana events from Dirt 3. You use “Proper” cars in Hoonigan such as impreza’s, Ford Mustangs and Fiesta STs and old Mini coopers. Events include transporter, and smash and grab which are capture the flag kind of games. Speed skirmish, trick rush and head to head all require you to perform donuts, drifts and jumps to gain points. The Racing events have been slimmed down from DIRT 3. Now all you get are Race off and Domination races around a handful of fairly short tracks using variants of muscle cars. The Locations are a little disappointing. Miami is featureless; Colorado, Baja, Tokyo and Michigan have been seen and done better on previous DIRT games. I am surprised that codies haven’t taken some of the tracks from GRID and put them into this game. Now that the GRID servers have been switched off, it would have been nice to have included some of the classic street racing tracks like San Francisco, Washington, Milan and London in the racing events. Perhaps DLC will fix this and I for one would pay for a bit more content location wise. The Demolition events are the reason that the game is so enjoyable and the reason you should consider buying this. Demolition events give you a range of vehicles such as pickup trucks, Vans and old hearses to use. The mode is split into Rampage, Knockout and 8 ball events. Rampage sees you in arenas with a few obstacles here and there, the object is simple. Destroy your opponent’s vehicles without taking too much damage yourself. Knockout puts you on a raised platform and you have to try to push the other vehicles off the platform to score points, sumo style. Eight ball events are an extension of the destruction Derby first featured in GRID but with a variety of tracks. There are now two Joyride compound areas featured in the game. Battersea returns and now Yokahama docks has also been included. Here you can practice your stunts, collect hidden packages or just mess around with your friends. During your single player events you can send out challenges for your online friends to try to beat. It does keep you interested in single player a bit longer and gives you a reason to keep repeating events. You can also upload any amazing stunts, epic wins, or colossal fails to YouTube after each race a feature that other games should try to emulate. All in all Showdown is a bit lightweight but is absolutely great fun to play online with a group of friends. With the price of showdown falling, I would recommend this game to any burnout fan that sees this at a low price. Remember though, as with almost all games nowadays, an online pass is required which will make buying a used game not really an option. Overall 7/10, Great Online, with more tracks included it could have been a classic fun racer.