Dirt Showdown new PS3 info: “let’s just be ridiculous”
Associate producer Iain Smith and senior director Mike Chapman talk about Dirt Showdown on PS3. The new rally racer that “does the Spinal Tap thing”. (Find out more with this new Dirt Showdown hands on preview as well).
Q This is the first Dirt game that isn’t trying to recreate an existing motorsport – what kind of freedom does that allow you?
Mike Chapman There are a lot of legal challenges with trying to get a licensed vehicle absolutely smashed up. So before we didn’t really have the opportunity to show that type of damage, but Showdown gave us that chance to really let loose. We can push it to more extreme [levels] because we’ve got fictional vehicles in there as well. We’re actually not bound by an official licence board, so we can totally go for the fun and not worry about something that’s more sanctioned.
Iain Smith The team’s really excited about it because they’ve been able to let loose a little bit creatively, and amp it up to 11 – do the Spinal Tap thing. Like, ‘You know what? We were already there – let’s just be ridiculous and take it up further.’ The damage and the atmosphere in the game is still grounded in the extreme sports-type environment – still grounded in reality – but in an imagined world where you can take it a bit further.
Q Where does Showdown put the ‘numbered’ Dirt franchise? Is there more potential after this for a sim approach to Dirt 4?
IS I guess we’ve differentiated the franchises somewhat. What we would say is that we’re hoping Showdown will whet the appetite of people who already know and love Dirt – but we’re also making it accessible enough for those people who haven’t played [the series] before. I think it provides enough of a challenge in career mode and in progressing through the game for people who are Dirt fans, but we’re also providing the accessible gameplay experience not seen before. As far as exact details of Dirt 4, we can’t really discuss that in too much detail at the moment – but suffice to say that Showdown should be an experience pretty much everyone should be able to love.
Q There’s been a lot of talk about the fans in Showdown, and how you’re being the ‘showman’. Is that how the rewards system is going to work, by you pleasing the fans?
MC The way the Gymkhana modes are gonna work – the actual hoonigan events – you’re still gonna have that reward system in there, so you’ll be rewarded for doing tricks quickly and expressing yourself in showing off as best as you can. The crowd will kind of amp up the better you do, so that adds to the emphasis on pleasing the crowd and actually putting on a show.
IS All of the senses are being ticked, so you’ll be playing the game and you get that feedback in terms of [knowing] you’re playing it just right. You’ve hooked a drift into the money zone, and also your other senses are telling you the crowd have gone wild for it – the music amps up, the announcer over the tannoy – so there’s that direct feedback in the game. That translates into cash [in career mode], so event winnings progress your career.