Electronic Theatre: In-depth Review: DiRT 3: Monte Carlo

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            The practice of creating downloadable content (DLC) has come under fire recently. Only a few years back it was a shining hope, a promise that emerging technology held as a proposition to enhance, perhaps even improve out interactive entertainment, or at least the way we consumed it. Videogame publisher however, saw things in a very different light: it’s a revenue stream, a chance to pull back a few pounds from its rivals by fish-hooking to its already installed audience. Some have been open about such practices, while others still insist on delivering original content to their most ardent fans. With Dirt 3, Codemasters is falling somewhere in the middle.

            While some consumers will always expect something extra for free, Electronic Theatre has always been of the belief that adding new playable content is always worthy of a price, and would be willing to spend an increasing Electronic Theatre Imageamount for on a sliding scale with quality and duration. New costumes and, in the case of Dirt 3, liveries are all-well-and-good, but do little to enhance your enjoyment of a game. New vehicles and tracks: that’s Dirt 3’s money shot. This latest DLC pack for Dirt 3, Monte Carlo, offers eight new courses designed specifically for the Rally discipline.

            Set as a single course divided into eight different routes, your progress through the terrain can be plotted by the changing scenery with each subsequent track. Bois Noir is a short race, winding around a mountain with only a narrow, single-lane pathway from start to finish. Players will be glad that Bois Noir is raced as a traditional rally, as overtaking would be near-impossible. Route Des Anges is best played at night, with the slight incline and white coated mountain walls creating quite an atmosphere when illuminated by your headlights.

Col St. Roch is possibly the most exciting track, with long straights allowing the player to pick-up speed before suddenly cutting in with twist left-and-right. The tracks opens out even more towards the end, white pearly Electronic Theatre Imagewhite snow banks offering too much temptation as a clean path to undercut opponents on corners. Baroque is the starting point for life along Monte Carlo’s tour, with the single-lane strip giving way to dual lane roads as you rush pass small villages and large ornate buildings for the first time.

Gorges de Piaon and Lacet de Blanc outline a course for populated areas, with cliff edges and trees becoming less frequent while buildings and onlookers increase significantly in number. This change in scenery is necessary to add some distinction to the courses, as while they may vary in their layout and challenge, the snowy peaks and shine-tipped pathway is a returning theme.

            The Monte Carlo DLC will be a welcome addition for gamers having already rinsed the on-disc content of Dirt 3, especially given the openness of the online and split-screen multiplayer game modes. It’s a shame that for Electronic Theatre Imagethe single-player the Monte Carlo DLC is limited to just time trail and single race modes; it would most certainly have been nice to see a new championship arrangement added to the DiRT Tour mode.

Priced at 800 Microsoft Points, the Monte Carlo DLC for DiRT 3 weighs in at less than a pound per track. For some games this might well be the limit of value before players begin to feel gouged, but with DiRT 3, one of the finest racing games on the current generation of consoles, any new content that actually builds on the experience is most certainly welcome, and when the design is so far from anything already included on the disc, the Monte Carlo DLC will be almost essentially for DiRT 3’s biggest fans.


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