Since its introduction in 2007 as Colin McRae: DiRT, this oddly capitalized racing series has strived to be an ultra-realistic off-road rally game. But it also, starting with 2009’s DiRT 2, began including some unrealistic events, such as the car gymnastics “Gymkhana” modes in last year’s DiRT 3

Now the good people behind the DiRT series are embracing this less serious spirit with the spin-off DiRT: Showdown, which replaces the authentic handling and physics for arcade-style controls.

Though as we learned when we got to play some of the game, and talk to the people making it, at a recent press get-together in Los Angeles, DiRT: Showdown isn’t just DiRT 3 with less realistic handling.