Codemasters was in New York City yesterday showing off "Dirt 2," their upcoming rally racing game, and I discovered something rather unique about the game: It'll feature a posthumous memorial for Colin McRae.
For years, McRae was the main spokesman for Codemasters' racing games, with titles such as "Colin McRae Rally" and "Colin McRae: DiRT" (released as, simply, "DiRT," in the US). At the time of his sudden death in September 2007, "DiRT" was too far along in development to make any significant changes.
For "DiRT 2," Codemasters is honoring his memory. As you progress through the game, you're working towards qualifying for the Colin McRae Memorial Cup, a rally race that exists only in the game but seems like it deserves a real-world equivalent, as well.
Mark Turosz of Codemasters said that the homage goes further. "You'll hear other drivers talking about him. He's the central figure in the narrative."
This is one of the first times that real-world death has been dealt with in a video game, and it appears Codemasters is handling the situation rather well. It also helps that the game is looking on par with the first release, which was one of the best racing games of 2007.