Head over heels for gadgets!
Today the DiRT 2 demo was released on Xbox so after re-upping my Xbox LIVE Gold account I hastily made my way to the demo section of the Marketplace. The download is about 950MBs so make sure you set aside some time, especially if you're on a slower Internet connection.
The demo includes 2 maps which you can race and 1 vehicle to drive per map. One map allows you to drive a Mitsubishi Eclipse while the other allows you to use a truck. At first I wasn't too keen on the map with the truck but it's definitely grown on me. Both maps are very well done, the attention to detail in them is incredible. The cars are also beautiful and the models are extremely well designed. As in DiRT 1, your vehicle can take damage and the developers definitely went to all lengths to make sure it looks and affects you vehicle as realistically as possible. Take too much damage and your car will let you know!
DiRT 2 has added a couple new features that I think will really add value to the game. The first is the that in multiplayer mode you can earn points or XP which allows you to level up and gain new items for your vehicles. For example, I've unlocked some cute fuzzy dice to hang from the rearview mirror in my car :) I'm not totally sure if you'll be able to unlock parts or upgrades for your car (performance-wise) but being able to earn items let's me feel like I'm working towards something!
The second is cars seem to be a lot more customizable over the cars in DiRT 1. As mentioned above, you can unlock some nifty items which can be used to customize your car. One item which is available to hang from your rearview mirror is YOU! You can hang a little ornament of your Xbox LIVE avatar. I wish I could get a picture to show you all, it's quite neat! You can even change the tone of your vehicles horn.
Included in the demo is the ability to connect with some friends and play over LIVE. I really liked that because not only did they toss in single player mode but they even went the extra step and added multiplayer mode. While the multiplayer mode only includes the same 2 maps it's definitely a lot of fun to race around and even in the demo you can earn XP.
I am definitely excited to see DiRT 2 in it's full and final form. This is one game I'll surely be buying. I really can't wait to see the Subaru STi and WRX :)
If anyone wants to race a couple rounds, let me know!!