WRC FIA World Rally Championship
This game brings forth huge mixed feeling. On one side Milestone manages to perfectly nail down the rally feeling with challenging tracks, but on the other side WRC so misses its turn on the visuals that the result is crash & burn. If graphics, no matter how bad they are, are of no importance to you, then you should try out WRC: FIA World Rally Championship. In all other cases, a trailer will satisfy your rally needs.
It won’t surprise anyone that WRC has the full World Rally Championship-license with all drivers, rallys and events. This means that even former F1 driver Räikkönen, the brothers Solberg and Sébastien Loeb are available. For newcomers there’s the possibility to start in the WRC Academy where you learn to brake, accellerate and take perfect corners in twelve challenges. Especially newbies would be wise to give this mode a chance as the racing itself is all but easy.
The career mode goes by the name of Road to the WRC. Here you start just like with all driving games as a rookie who tries to make it to the top. Everyone likes bitches and money, no? In the first couple of hours you’ll be driving a Renault Clio before you get to the big guns, or in this case the big rigs. In each event you need to complete three goals like getting a stage place, or make a certain move.
The racing genre has a problem with being quite repetitive and it may be clear that this game is no exception. Here it even gets highlighted even more as WRC lets you drive against the clock instead of opponents. One small error therefore leads to desastrous results, while you rarely see a “human error” from your competitors.
This doesn’t mean that Milestone didn’t manage to take the best out of rally with WRC. The racing over different surfaces and also large variety of cars demands a change in your driving style. Especially going over mud and ice will result in sweaty hands during the races where you go from A to B. The pros amongst us will be able to tweak their beloved cars to their liking to put down an even better time. For the casual car lover there’s an option to race with standard settings, as well as some aids for braking and stearing. On top of that the difficulty can be adjusted as well and all in all WRC ends up as an accessible rally game with quite some depth.
WRC isn’t bad as a racing game, but its graphics sure are. They’re so disappointing that they are unable not to bother you. Ugly cars, jagged environments with pale colors, little diversity, a butt-ugly menu and long loading times don’t help either.
In multiplayer WRC isn’t earth shattering either. With up to four players (’90s multiplayer?) you can check out the Hotseat mode and try to improve each others times. Also ghosts from other drivers can be downloaded so you can crush their times. The lack of real opponents, however, is deadly in this game, especially if you’ve been online for some time already.
WRC: FIA World Rally Championships official licenses may appeal to the biggest fans of this sport but few others. The countless cars, tracks and the rally feeling are good, but the death of this game are the awful graphics. They are all but appealing and make for a total turn-off to those that like to immerse themselves in a game. If you’re looking for a good rally game, get a Colin McRae title.