DiRT Showdown

Game review by
Michael Lafferty, Common Sense Media
DiRT Showdown Game Poster Image
Offroad racing and bumper-busting fun with no consequences.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

DiRT Showdown wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

Positive Messages

The announcer will certainly boost the egos of players after a successful competition and the game also does not punish players for not doing well. However, this is a game about doing damage to others' cars. Cars and trucks are reset after being disabled and the competition continues.

Positive Role Models & Representations

DiRT Showdown is primarily about crashing into other cars in an effort to ensure they do not achieve the goals of the individual events. In that context, this is certainly not behavior that should be emulated in real life.

Ease of Play

The control scheme of DiRT Showdown is simple enough, but the game does require some precision moves at fast speeds. The learning curve comes in tempering the speed of the vehicles with nudges on the controller so as to get in the right lines in the race course for taking jumps, turning around corners, or -- in the demolition mini-game -- lining up and tagging a competitor's car.

Violence

The violence perpetuated on cars in DiRT Showdown includes doors flinging open or falling off, as well as crumpled bumpers or front ends. While the damage does appear genuine, there are no true repercussions and players' vehicles will reset if the damage meter shows that the car or truck is beyond the operating level.

Sex
Language

Lyrics in the background songs make reference to rude hand gestures including giving someone "the finger."

Consumerism

Car brands and other sponsors will have detailing on vehicles, and while these are very visible, the branding does not appear to be pushed and feels like a normal part of the racing game. After all, cars and drivers do have sponsors in real life, and the sponsor placement in DIRT Showdown mimics real life.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Lyrics in the background songs have some mild references to alcohol but the music is background to the game sounds and the references are few and far between.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that DiRT Showdown is a racing game that has some vehicular violence and mild lyrics. The core elements of the game include crashing into other vehicles as well as racing on a variety of tracks. It is also a game that can be played in a single-player mode, or multiplayer on the same console or over an Internet connection. For Internet play, kids could be exposed to unwanted language while using open chat and they can share videos of accomplishments in the game on YouTube.

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What's it about?

DIRT SHOWDOWN is a briskly paced racing game where players can play in four racing styles, either in single-player mode or online against other players. As players place in races and demolition events, they earn cash -- which, in turn, can be used to upgrade their vehicles. In addition to the individual challenges, players can challenge friends to beat individual performances, or go online to play against others. For players with an active Internet connection and YouTube account, they can upload achievements as video files. The title allows 1-2 players on a single machine and up to eight players in an online match.

Is it any good?

DiRT Showdown has moments that will bring smiles to the face of fans of car-racing video games. There is a decent variety of race types, and the online component -- while it may take a bit to find a match -- can be quite enjoyable. There is a bit of a learning curve, and while the menus are easy to navigate, controlling the vehicles requires a small learning curve. The graphics and audio combine nicely to make for a fun experience.

Talk to your kids about ...

Game details

For kids who love racing games

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