So the online distributor known as Humble Bundle – a company in which a portion of the sales of Steam keys are donated to various charities – decided to give away the Complete Edition of DiRT 3 for absolutely no cost last night. The results? Nothing short of staggering. Almost 40,000 people are currently messing around in the 2011 Codemasters offering, establishing DiRT 3 as the most popular racing game ever to be released on Steam.
It honestly couldn’t happen to a better title. While hardcore sim racers may turn their collective noses up at the increased presence of energy drink brands, the relatively new motorsport discipline of gymkhana, and a single player campaign mode aimed at mass market audiences, DiRT 3 is still a seriously good off-road racing game with virtually no tangible faults. Though the deal to pick up the game at no cost is now officially over as of ten minutes ago, the massive surge in online activity means buying a copy for the standard Steam asking price guarantees you’ll be getting a ridiculous amount of playtime out of the title.
For those who are just discovering DiRT 3 for the first time, or need an extra competitive edge against the abundance of people flocking to the game’s online servers, this is the setup I’ve been using since the game’s release in 2011, and it works across every single car on the vehicle roster.
Now given DiRT 3 is obviously a Codemasters game from an era where they were hoping to cater to a mass-market audience, what’s going to happen for some of you who boot up the game after either trying it on consoles back in the day or coming into it with a wheel you didn’t own in 2011, is you’ll discover the default force feedback settings are absolutely atrocious. I personally have turned most of the sliders down to their bare minimum values, and the result is a game that drives quite nice – albeit a bit simplified.
If for some reason you have passed over DiRT 3 completely thanks to your own arrogance towards decidedly simcade offerings, there is no better time to jump into DiRT 3. No other racing came currently on the market can boast a bigger userbase, and the Complete Edition bundles an excessive amount of content – all post-release DLC packs as well as exclusive pre-order bundles that never been previously made available – into a rally game eerily reminiscent of Microsoft’s own Rallisport Challenge 2. You will unfortunately have to deal with an art style revolving around a strange obsession with triangles, and a bit too much of Ken Block for anybody’s liking, but the sheer amount of stuff to do in DiRT 3 for your $30 is more than enough to offset any perceived negative aspects.