The horrors of Steam (and by that of course I mean Steam sales) led to my purchasing of DiRT 2 a few days ago. I am really enjoying it so far, but probably the thing I am finding myself most impressed with is everything that isn’t the game. Everything that sits in the periphery of DiRT 2, specifically the user interface is simply a sight to behold. I know that I am relatively late to the party with this one, but even though two years have passed since it’s release, everything about it looks and functions extremely well.

Whenever in-game advertising is brought up, an argument is made that if done properly, in-game advertising can add to the immersive quality of the game world. I don’t think any game could claim to have accomplished this feat until I actually spent time with DiRT 2. A seemingly perfect recreation of the world that rally drivers occupy, sponsors are plastered on just about everything from the cars, to the courses to the drivers themselves. While it doesn’t seem like you are earning sponsorship’s like in earlier Tony Hawk games, a number of different liveries (essentially the fancy way to describe a cars’ paint job) work to incentivize the completion of career events.

The X Games act front and center as some of the bigger tournament events that can be found in the game, and why not – for most of America, Rally was probably introduced to them in the form of Travis Pastrana, and Ken Block. For rally fans, certain omissions are odd, most notably in the lack of certain makes and models of cars, as well as some of the more well known WRC drivers such as Sebastien Loeb, and Mikko Hirvonen.

Those minor things aside, DiRT 2 is proving to be a really great racing title. I’m slowly trying to transition into playing with the in-car view, but it is definitely getting some taking use to. I’m not sure if this is the best game to earn my chops simply because of the absurd amount of time spent sideways, but I figure if I can do it here, it won’t be a probblem in any other series.