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July 25 2007
Colin McRae Dirt - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
28/9/2007AtariCodemastersCodemasters
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
1TBA$109.95
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Check out the stunning motion blur.
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The world detail is astounding.

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In-game racing, and coming 13th.
The Playstation 3 is already starting to have a long list of decent racing titles released, or about to be released. We've already seen Gran Turismo HD - the free downloadable demo for the system - with Gran Turismo 5 Prologue due late this year and the full Gran Turismo 5 due out in 2008. We've seen great arcade based racing games such as Ridge Racer 7 and Motorstorm and now we're going to see on the of best rally car based series hitting the system. Codemasters are putting the finishing touches on Colin McRae Dirt which has already been released on the PC and XBox 360 to much critical praise. The PS3 version, however, has been improved over those versions with a better engine pushing the game.

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Try not to hit the wall, please...
International rallying competitions will also feature, with official cars on tracks based on real roads and locations around the globe. The title will also expand on beat-the-clock racing and include events with multiple cars on track to satisfy anyone who wants to push their on-the-edge driving just that bit further. Speaking of cars the developers are including more than 40 officially licensed vehicles covering 12 car class categories, fans of the McRae series will get their fix of throwing official 2WD, 4WD, Classic and RWD cars, including Colin McRae's prototype R4 and Travis Pastrana's X Games-winning Subaru Impreza, around the most challenging and treacherous rally stages around the world.

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Another screen of the replay mode.
The bulk of this game will take place in the career mode which is comprised of an impressive 66 races. The game includes a complete damage and destruction system. Impact from damage will see metal crumple, glass smash and everything that you collide with in the environment will be destroyed in a realistic way. Small trees snap and bend, grass can be flattened, wood will splinter and stone will be smashed, it'll even wrap a car around a tree if the crash is serious enough.

One of the more interesting aspects of this game is that the developers are claiming a '100 players online mode'. Now we can pretty much guarantee that this does not mean 100 cars on track at once, but we believe that the game will allow players to compare times in tournaments. We will know more closer to release.

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Graphics to beat Motorstorm?
Colin McRae Dirt runs on Codemasters proprietary Neon engine which has been in development for over two years with a team of over 30 tech experts ensuring the game is authentic as possible. Neon enables the development team to model locations and environments as accurately as possible, providing each with a unique look and feel, right down to the effects of the wind. Using real-time physics to model air movements, everything will be affected by the wind: exhaust smoke, trees, foliage, trackside flags, rainfall and the vehicles themselves. A car will create an air rush wake that will have an effect on everything it passes and also generate a real-time slipstream.

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Rally viewpoint from inside a car.
In terms of differences from the XBox 360 version apparently the loading time will be reduced for the levels from 45 to about 30 seconds while the engine has been fully optimised to make use of the PS3's hardware which should provide a few visual tweaks and improvements. Frame rate issues in the XBox 360 version have been fixed so the game now runs at a solid 30fps. Audio has also been improved and for those lucky enough the game will now support Dolby Digital 7.1 audio, rather then the 'bog standard' 5.1 on the 360 version.

Technically Colin McRae Dirt looks spectacular. The graphics engine is stunning and the game modes and physics also promise to take the series to new levels. PS3 owners who have been eagerly awaiting this title will be happy to know that the game is now set for a release on September 28th. The one very disappointing thing is that the main man himself - Colin McRae - is no longer with us to see just how brilliant this game is certain to be. Start the countdown!