As it’s predecessor, the racing-game DiRT 2 doesn’t just focus on accurately simulating the Rallye-sport like the earlier installments of the Colin McRae-Series did. Instead eight types of Offroad-events await the player during the main campaign called DiRT Tour:
- Rallye – The player has to get as fast as possible to the finish line. He’s the only one on the course at the same time and instead has to deal with hairpin curves and difficult terrain.
- Trailblazer – Basically the same as Rallye but instead of narrow courses, this mode features long and open stages.
- Raid – Races over wide and open terrain with many dangerous shortcuts allowing the player to get distance between him and the other drivers.
- Landrush – All drivers start at the same time and the tracks are littered with crazy curves and jumps.
- Rallyecross – Takes place on round-courses with a mix of dirt and asphalt streets.
- Gatecrasher – The player has a limited amount of time to get to the finish line. To replenish that time, so-called gates are scattered around the track each granting +2 seconds upon destruction.
- Domination – Similar to Rallye, the tracks are divided into sectors. Each sector gives 1-10 points depending on how fast the player in relation to his opponents finishes it. In addition 1-10 points are added for his final position in the race once he crosses the finish line. The winner is the driver with the most points.
- Last Man Standing – As the name implies, the goal here is to race around the course and be the last car in the race at the end with the last car being removed after each lap.
Each event requires either a different car or at least a so-called race-pack for that car both bought with the money earned by winning these events. Each car can be customized both visually and under the hood with parts unlocked by gaining a level. Experience points are awarded both for finishing races as well as completing missions like jumping over the finish line or getting through a race without any damage. The amount of cash earned at the end of each race, is influenced by the difficulty level. The higher the difficulty, the higher the reward. In addition the difficulty-level also changes the amount of flashbacks that are available for the race (from five to none). Flashbacks allow the player to rewind the action a few seconds when he made a mistakes or crashed and allows him to try that section again – hopefully without making the same mistake a second time.
The game features many real-world racers including their voices and their cars who give the player tips during the course of the DiRT-tour and also offer him additional challenges including duels and time trials. They’ll also take part in team-events with the player, if he keeps them happy by not crashing into them that often during races.