Luckily, the driving action itself is worth the wait. In addition to point-to-point rallies and circuit races, Dirt 3 tries something new with its "Gymkhana" trick mode. Some tracks task you with performing a line of jumps/donut/drift combos under the duress of a timer, while others let you roam freely and complete tasks at your leisure, a la later entries in the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series. They’re cool diversions and don’t feel tacked on at all, working especially well when you’re tired of grinding for points to unlock the next set of races in the lengthy career mode
If you’re the social type, don’t fret, as there’s plenty to here to keep you occupied. Yeah, there are traditional races, but what really caught my interest were "Capture the Flag" and a mode dubbed “Invasion.” The former plays out exactly like you’d expect, but when you’re rushing to return a flag with a slippery rally car, it makes the traditional multiplayer mode feel almost brand new. The latter has you screeching around knocking down cardboard robots while avoiding score-dropping cardboard buildings in a high-score race against the clock and friends. It sounds simple, but damn if it isn’t intense when the score's tied, the clock is low, and you've just been bumped into a building, jeopardizing — or killing — your chance at a win.
Usually I’m not much of a sim-racing guy, so I was caught off guard by how Dirt 3 sunk its hooks into me. It isn’t often I keep playing a game once I’ve finished my review, but I can see myself coming back to this often — and I haven’t said that in a while.
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