Put the words “DIRT”, “PENTHOUSE” and “CUSTARD” together and you might be thinking of a different kind of ‘specialist’ entertainment….but this was raw, destructive racing. Drifting, ramming, smashing and battling their way to the front, one racer would be regional champion.
Organised by developers Codemasters and local event specialists Punch Records, the evening brought together gamers from around the Midlands, giving them the chance to experience the game and make it through to the national final to be held later this year in London.
Midlife Gamers JayceStokes and myself stuck our names down for the competition which consisted of a free play session early on followed by an intense knockout tournament to crown the elite DIRT Showdown driver. Jayce had been putting in some practice and me….well, I had nothing to lose.
34 gamers signed up and after spending some time getting ready for the competition on the dozen Xbox Pods in the penthouse, it was time for a random draw for the first round. Host with the most was local artist Andre Hesson who got the crowd warmed up and ready, drawing names from his very fetching hat ready to compete split screen in a game of “8-Ball” (Figure of eight track for maximum carnage).
Jayce and I made it through the first round which saw half of the entrants walking home for an early bath. Next round saw me having my arse handed to me on a plate (no surprise there), but the real battle was with JayceStokes. He’d been draw with an alleged Street Fighter Champion and was on his tail for most of the race until a sideswipe on a cross over put him to the back of the field. Doing his best to make up time, the race and competition was over for Jayce.
The next couple of rounds saw some fierce split screen racing and disappointment whittling down the competition to two finalists.
It was to be a Wolverhampton local derby final between Gore84 from Wendsbury and ActualSp4ceman from Wendsfield. Wishing one another good luck and a final shake of the hands, the final 10 lap race of the evening was underway. Random starting positions put Gore84 on Pole position and ActualSp4ceman at the back of the pack, but the crowd that remained were in for a gripping ten lap final.
Less than a single turn separated the two, but it was Gore84that took the chequered flag after an incredibly valiant effort from ActualSp4ceman. It was an exciting end to the evening and once the congratulations and prizes had been handed out, everyone relaxed on the balcony as the sun dipped below the horizon…realising that the champions of the evening had been playing since the days before flat screen TV’s, wireless joypads and disc based gaming…both true Midlife Gamers. Take a look at the recent DIRT Showdown trailer here.
As a lad from the Midlands myself, I’d like to wish Gore84 (Greg) all the very best for the national final in London later this month. We’ll let you know how he gets on.
DiRT Showdown will be released on May 24th on Xbox, PS3 and PC.
Keep up to date with all the DiRT Showdown news here at Midlife Gamer.