Friday 8th of April saw London's Battersea Power Station taken over to launch the third in the trilogy of Codemasters new rally video game DIRT3.
To promote the brand new Gymkhana levels, in the game, the guys at Codemasters got in touch with DC to invite none other than Gymkhana aficionado and DC driver Ken Block over for the launch, and Route One were there to check it out.
As many of you will know, Ken Block has become a legend through his YouTube videos, quite literally taking driving to another level by jumping cars over dirt bike jumps, drifting further and faster than ever before and even doing doughnuts around a person moving along on a Segway personal transporter! Heâs even jumped his car over some epic snowboard jumps in New Zealand right alongside the DC Snowboard Team.
This epic driving has brought him worldwide recognition with over 90million hits on his videos and even a slot of the BBCâs Top Gear. But this event was all about the game and Kenâs new âDC Gymkhana Compoundâ level thatâs featured in the game, taking Gymkhana from YouTube right into your hands. And they did not disappoint, the setup in Battersea was almost a spot on re-creation of the level from the game, only missing out the jumps. And the driving, the driving was phenomenal. From leaving his Monster pit lane Ken threaded his Focus Rally Car around the course in and out of obstacles at ridiculous speeds. When you see the cars up close you canât quite believe how quick they really are, and how fast they throw them into drifts almost 50metres before the corner or obstacle Ken has already got the car sideways spraying dirt and gravel all over the crowd.
He throws the Ford Focus into his signature âSpin Cycleâ doughnuts with precision expertise, literally inches from barriers, fences, metal skips or whatever he can lay some think black tire marks around. After some premiere drifting we were invited inside to check out the game and see all the new features.
The game looks fantastic, and feels amazing to play. The attention to detail is just incredible with the developers and designers recreating every little detail of the cars, right the way down to the stickers that are inside the drivers cockpits. And with new levels, the new Gymkhana competition levels and party style multiplayer sections the game is an awesome sequel to DIRT2.
The party mode especially is a brilliant new addition that is playable with friends at home, or online in the game playing community.
Thereâs even a new zombie style âInfectedâ game where you chase your fellow drivers down and infect them with a virus that turns your screen and car green. The aim is to be the last player alive before the zombie virus is completely spread throughout the game. It's little touches like this that set the game apart and put it up there with the new wave of multi player games available for consoles. But by far and away the best feature of the new game is the YouTube uploads. From the Gymkhana section you are able to create your own driving videos of your expert game playing and upload to YouTube and show all your friends. It takes the excitement of driving Gymkhana in real life and puts it in your hands, whilst youâre still sat on the sofa in the comfort and safety of your own home.
The press release finished up with Ken and fellow WRC driver Kris Meeke answering some of the audiences questions in a short interview session.
After the launch we ventured back out into the April sun to checkout some more of Kenâs incredible driving and relax on the Monster Energy Hospitality Truck.
A great end to a great day. Check out the game when it comes out, you wonât regret it, its going straight on all of our Christmas lists for sure! If you canât wait till then make sure you check R1 this Wednesday for an exclusive video of the day's events and an amazing Ken Block competition to win some Ken Block signed goodies!