Great graphics, sound, and control of the car. Nice to see more rallying in this Dirt series. Overall an enjoyable game, BUT!, Dirt 3 has missed many opportunities to being a AAA rally game. Codemasters claim 60% is rally. The problem is a large majority of the tracks are less then 2mins long, with almost half in snowy conditions - this becomes very tedious. The loading screens feel longer then the actual races!!. Due to this you end up feeling your playing mini sections of one large circuit, rather then, a full course of the whole rally circuit. Many well known tracks from around the world are also missing.
Dirt 3 STILL refuses to let go of Americanism and X-Sports; thats still annoying as ever!!! WHY! because it feels as if Dirt 3 is trying to please the Tony Hawks fans by stripping away the deeper rules, customization, race immersion of what rallying is about. Simply to appeal to the arcade 'RESPECT' gaming crowd. The whole rallying experience has been simplified and stripped compared from previous deeper gameplay mechanics from CMR 1&2 on XBOX1, eg: Limited-time preparation getting your car ready for next race by repairing the damage you caused from previous rally race, looking forecast for weather and condition on track to set-up car for next race, season tables, longer tracks, more realistic damage condition to car performance..etc. Dirt 3 misses many important rally features inc the necessity car customization, as it is rarely needed now, as Dirt 3 default setting does everything for you!. Car damage that effects the car is lessoned and is more eye-candy rather then mechanical. This making driving less skill based and more carefree with less worry damaging the car (no tyre wear or damage, engine/gear damage really takes a lot of beating to effect the car, lights never damage, don't have to worry about fixing you car for next race!). All this takes away the feeling of pushing the risk/reward play involved in rally driving. The whole feeling of being a rally driver has been over casualized - you're rallying one minute then doing X-Sports the next!. You don't feel part of a team that needs to succeed, or feel the need to care for the car you drive. Cars are also to easily available and with no threat of getting thrown out the tournament due to carelessly damaging your car. The menu screens are again too BLING for my liking.
Dirt 3 while less Americanized (thankfully!) then Dirt 2. It still misses the essence, excitment, danger of what rally is about. It feels it's been stripped back from previous CM-R games and seems to be drifting more towards trying to be everything by adding silly X-sports, and less about proper real rally, with proper racing conditions. I just hope upcoming FIA Championship Rally will bring a proper deeper rally game, rather then a bit of everything game and Americanism.