While DiRT 3 was a kind of return to more serious rallying, DiRT Showdown brings back the violent fun of destruction derbies and stock car racing. It's been some time since a serious effort was made to bring this kind of racing to gamers. Tracks with crossovers will encourage crashes, which look great thanks to Codemasters's excellent EGO engine. Rampage is like a classic demolition derby, while Knockout is won by being the last car in the ring, after pushing all the other cars out.
One big development is the introduction of RaceNet. This is a social hub where you'll be able to share all your racing achievements - and it will be present in all future CodeMasters racing titles, so you'll be able to have a persistent racing profile over different types of game. DiRT Showdown also includes gymkhana events, which will require more nuanced driving. How these driving-as-ballet events will fit with the rough and tumble of the other modes is my main concern. Nevertheless, DiRT Showdown is shaping up to be a fun diversion for the series, although serious rally fans will have to wait for DiRT 4!