I had a lot of fun with DiRT 3, the latest chapter in the franchise that took over from Colin McRae Rally a few years ago. Codemasters has nudged the DiRT series away from its rally heritage with each successive release, and the latest iteration added drift and gymkhana modes to the usual mix of off-road racing. Now, it seems the DiRT series is destined to become even more extreme with a spin-off dubbed DiRT Showdown. Check out the trailer:
DiRT Showdown will offer a mix of decidedly arcadey events presumably set in a hip-hop motocross theme park. There will be racing, of course, but it'll be on tracks littered with jumps, obstacles, and alternate routes. Players will be able to get their fill of automotive carnage in demolition derbies or show off their gymkhana skills in "hoonigan" events. Ken Block has tried to trademark the gymkhana name used to describe his epic feats of precision driving, so perhaps that's why Codemasters turned to the Urban Dictionary for inspiration when naming Showdown's stunt events.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun thinks this new spin-off will leave DiRT 4 free to focus on the franchise's rally roots. Separating over-the-top stunts from rally driving probably makes sense, although I can't help but cringe to think at what might happen to the DiRT franchise if the former proves to be more popular. DiRT Showdown is due to hit the PC and consoles in May of next year.