Colin McRae: Dirt 2 (known as Dirt 2 outside Europe and stylised, DiRT)[5] is a racing game released in September 2009, and is the sequel to Colin McRae: Dirt. This is the first game in the McRae series since McRae's death in 2007. It was announced on 19 November 2008 and features Ken Block, Travis Pastrana, Tanner Foust, and Dave Mirra. The game includes many new race-events, including stadium events. Along with the player, an RV travels from one event to another, and serves as 'headquarters' for the player. It features a roster of contemporary off-road events, taking players to diverse and challenging real-world environments. The game takes place across four continents: Asia, Europe, Africa and North America. The game includes five different event types: Rally, Rallycross, 'Trailblazer,' 'Land Rush' and 'Raid.' The World Tour mode sees players competing in multi-car and solo races at new locations, and also includes a new multiplayer mode.

Colin McRae: Dirt is the first PC video game to use Blue Ripple Sound's Rapture3D sound engine by default.[6]

A demo of the game was released on the PlayStation Store and Xbox Live Marketplace on 20 August 2009.[7] The demo appeared for the PC on 29 November 2009; it features the same content as the console demo with the addition of higher graphic settings and a benchmark tool.[8]

Colin McRae: Dirt 2 is an official sponsor of Ken Block, Travis Pastrana, Tanner Foust and Dave Mirra of the Subaru Rally USA.[9]


Shortly before the release of the first game in the Dirt series, Colin McRae: Dirt, Colin McRae: Dirt 2 was described by Matthew Horsman, chief game designer for the game, as a game more improved and refined than its predecessor.[10] The game was later announced officially on 19 November 2008. The engine, EGO, initially featured in Race Driver: Grid, was updated to better take advantage of the PlayStation's SPUs, as well as improving multi-core processor utilization on the Xbox 360 and PC. The Flashback ability, allowing players to rewind time mid-race, a new feature in Grid, was kept and improved due to its popularity. In addition, the features and expanse of the multiplayer component, which was often criticized in Colin McRae: Dirt as being fairly anaemic, was completely new to the series.[11]


Colin McRae: Dirt 2 features five racing disciplines, all of which are playable offline (against AI bots when applicable) and online. In addition, three 'special modes' are included. Colin McRae: Dirt 2 runs on an updated version of the EGO engine, which powered Codemasters' Race Driver: Grid as well. The engine features, most notably, an updated physics engine, which models realistic weight transfer during turning maneuvers, allowing the player to incorporate advanced driving techniques, such as the Scandinavian flick.[12]

Rally racing occurs on non-circuit roads which usually involve public (closed) routes and technically challenging courses. Usually involving staggered starts, each driver competes against the clock. In addition, during rally events, a co-driver is present, constantly reading pacenotes to guide the driver along narrow and meandering tracks of up to 6 km in length.[13]

Rallycross races involve cars identical to those used in rally events; the races themselves, however, are completely opposite. Each rally-cross race involves up to eight racers competing in multiple lap events on circuit tracks of mixed surface type. The tracks, half tarmac and half dirt, exist in closed settings, such as in or around stadiums, and are approximately 1 to 1.5 km in length.[14]

The most similar real-world equivalent of Trailblazer events are hill climbs. Unlike hill climb events, however, trailblazer races do not require a positive change in elevation. Similar to rallying, trailblazing features staggered starts. Trailblazer (and hill climb) cars, unlike rally cars, usually feature massive aerodynamic aids, such as spoilers, diffusers, and splitters to help keep traction at higher speeds, regardless of track surface or conditions.[15]

Raid races are multi-car events involving heavyweight vehicles, such as buggies and trophy trucks. Each race begins with a simultaneous start of up to eight competitors, with tracks averaging 5 km in length.[16]

Landrush events are similar to raid races, but take place on a circuit. Each event features eight racers on a dirt track of about 1 km, and involve multiple laps.[17]

Special ModesEdit

In addition to the five straight game types, there are three special variants, each applicable to multiple modes.

Gatecrasher, which uses Rally courses and cars, involves smashing yellow barriers; competitors race against the clock. When smashed, the 'gates,' strategically placed along the best racing line, add time to the clock; whichever racer finishes the event with the most time on the clock wins. The format of the race is more similar to a multi-competitor time trial than to a traditional rally race.[18]

Domination, playable Rallycross and Land Rush stages, involves multiple drivers competing to set the lowest time in any given track sector. Points are awarded based on the final number of controlled sectors, as well as the final race position.[19]

Last Man Standing is an elimination-style race, during which the driver in last place is eliminated in a 20-second interval.[20]


Colin McRae: Dirt 2 features a set of multiplayer modes which the user can partake in over, the PlayStation Network, Windows Live and Xbox Live as well as local multiplayer. Up to eight players can compete in ranked (Pro Tour) or unranked matches (Jam Session). Within the 'Jam Session' category, any class of cars may be used on any track; the game lets hosts know when a combination is not necessarily advisable, such as Trailblazer cars on a Rallycross circuit. Ranked matches are, by comparison, much more restrained; only the prescribed cars may be used on a track.

Downloadable contentEdit

In February 2009, Codemasters revealed plans to release "a number of small DLC packs soon after launch which players can use to personalise and augment the boxed game."[21] At the time of release, however, only two DLC options were available: 'Trust Fund,' which unlocks all vehicles, liveries, and upgrades; and 'Access All Areas,' which unlocks all events and tracks.[22]


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 90.00% (PC)[23]
87.19% (PS3)[23]
87.07% (Xbox 360)[23]
69.50% (DS)[23]
56.37% (PSP)[23]
52.71% (Wii)[23]
Metacritic 89 (PC)[24]
87 (PS3)[24]
87 (Xbox 360)[24]
72 (Nintendo DS)[24]
56 (PSP)[24]
51 (Wii)[24]
Review scores
Publication Score
Eurogamer 8/10[25]
GameSpot 9/10[26]
GameTrailers 9.0/10[27]
IGN 8.4/10[28]

Colin McRae: Dirt 2 was reviewed positively by IGN, receiving a score of 8.4/10 from the US site,[28] and a slightly more favourable 9/10 from the UK site.[29] Eurogamer gave Colin McRae: Dirt 2 a score of 8/10 with their main criticisms being reserved for the lack of weather and track deterioration, and that fact that damage now has very little influence on the game, with drivers receiving a brand new car for each race.[25]

See also Edit


  1. Sony to distribute Dirt 2. MCV.
  2. Robinson, Martin (2008-11-19). Colin McRae: DiRT 2 Announced. IGN. Retrieved on 2008-11-19
  3. Dirt 2 dates revealed. CVG.
  4. Dirt 2 PC version release date. New Game Network. Retrieved on 2009-10-27
  5. PS3 version of Dirt 2 on Metacritic. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2009-10-22
  7. Dirt 2 demo out now. CVG.
  8. Dirt 2 PC demo leaked. New Game Network. Retrieved on 2009-11-30
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 23.5 Dirt 2 on Gamerankings.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 24.5 Dirt 2 on Metacritic.
  25. 25.0 25.1 Reed, Kristan (2009-09-03). Colin McRae: Dirt 2. Eurogamer. Retrieved on 2009-09-16
  26. Colin McRae: Dirt 2. Gamespot. Retrieved on 2009-10-24
  28. 28.0 28.1 Dirt 2 US review. IGN (2009-09-03). Retrieved on 2009-10-24
  29. Colin McRae: Dirt 2 UK review. IGN (2009-09-03). Retrieved on 2009-10-24

External linksEdit