Is putting this game at the number 2 spot controversial? It’s going to take away my membership from the Rally clubhouse, that’s for sure. Showdown was a strange sidestep in the series, a game that has all been about rallying and showing off car skills suddenly replaced with a demolition racer/destruction derby racer was a welcome breath of fresh air — but still a weird breath. By the time that Showdown had come out, the Rallying games were starting to feel a little stale, so a change in shift and tone made sense at the time.
Showdown was an extremely fun game, graphically it was incredible, hard hitting and devastating impacts made you wince at the big hits and there were many, many different tracks and arenas to get stuck into. These tracks included huge jumps to torpedo yourself into, a figure 8 course to rattle someone with a T-Bone, more complex tracks with interceptions to catch someone out, or huge bowls. It really did shape up being the Destruction Derby follow up we all wanted, and didn’t realize we needed until it came around.
If it was so good, then why was it so poorly received? Well, the reason for that is because it wasn’t a Dirt game – it was a spin-off title. The previous games in the series started as semi-serious rally games, which were getting more arcadey and more fun through Dirt 2 and 3. Showdown took a weird turn away from the series to do something completely different that a lot of the Dirt fans didn’t ask for. As I stated previously, the game was incredibly fun, and I loved it a lot, but perhaps it would have made more sense with a completely different IP name.