While it is certainly possible to play DiRT 4 using mainstream hardware (thanks especially to low CPU utilization), the most demanding detail settings are reserved for gamers with modern, high-end graphics cards. Thankfully, there are tons of configurable options that you can use to fine-tune your experience; everyone should be able to dial in a combination that balances frame rate and quality.
The game’s graphics engine isn't extraordinary, and its visuals are merely acceptable. We would have liked to see higher-quality textures, more particles, and a greater effort put toward shadows/lighting. Hopefully, a future patch corrects the launch-day complaints of textures that don't live up to the Ultra quality preset.
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