GARAGE DAYS REVISITED

While some games have you use the same cars no matter what kind of event you’re running, Showdown takes the opposite approach. “There are three classes of cars to match the three modes,” Smith explains. “There are racing cars, Hoonigan cars, and there are destruction ones, and together there are about as many different cars as in DiRT 3.

“Though because of the destruction,” he notes, “the Hoonigan ones are the only licensed vehicles. That’s because the racing events are more aggressive this time. You’ll be able to take out your opponents, and parts of the cars will break off or be more deformed than in the past.”

It also helps that, for the first time in the series, cars come with the optional speed boost package found such fellow arcade racers as Need For Speed and Ridge Racer. And in Yugos. Though unlike in those games, your boost doesn’t magically regenerate over time. Instead, it magically regenerates when you do something cool. “It’s about player action,” Smith notes. “So if you drift around corners or hit other cars, you’ll get an incremental increase of boost.”