WRC: Rally Evolved
Prepare for the unexpected. Battle your way to victory as rock falls, floods, fire and debris punish those that cannot cope with the physical demands of extreme rally racing.
That were the exact words I read on the cover of WRC Rally Evolved. If I read something like this, I start thinking about a funny arcade game were you can drive really fast, avoiding rocks and other hazards. Yeah right, WRC Rally Evolved is as realistic as other WRC games. A bit strange though, because the cover really looks arcade, it almost looks like Mario kart Rally. Too bad for al those ten year old kiddies who thought they just bought a funny race game with no realism whatsoever. Instead of having loads of dumb fun you realise you just bought a super realistic racesim. Super realistic may be exaggerating, but it certainly isn’t arcade.
Driving on a bumpy road with a rally car obviously is a different sensation than a slick car on a smooth pavement. These are real monsters, and it takes a lot to keep them on the road. It scared the hell out of me when I could easily drive with the best. I could almost turn around to grab a pint and still finish with the best time. Well, that’s bollocks, I said, and I went looking for the options. It seemed the road help was automatically turned on to the maximum. Does Evolution Studios think I’m some sort of brainless gamer? I can honestly decide myself if I want to drive like a sissy. Maybe it’s a gift from Evolution Studios to all those ten year old kids who thought they’d bought a simple arcade game.
A little help while driving is for pussies, so I turned those things off immediately. After driving 3 minutes, my car was a piece of crap and I was completely happy with that because that’s the way it should be. After a couple of test drives I could easily keep the car under control. The controls aren’t even that hard for an experienced gamer. After some races you can finally drive through bends without breaking the kitchen of an innocent housemother.
The biggest innovation is the appearance of unexpected events during the race. Rocks and trees could fall out of the sky, seeing can be very difficult with smoke or water falling on your car. But let’s face it, that isn’t so very innovating isn’t it. That’s why I started noticing the lack of real innovations. The cars steer like heaven and you really feel like a part of the racing events, but that’s no different then 2 years ago. It’s really starting to form a problem, these easy sequels, and it’s only getting worse.
Gamers who haven’t played a WRC game before are buying a great game, honestly. But what about the people who have seen the ins and outs of every WRC game? Don’t they realise they’re playing an old game with some new topping, Casual gamers don’t really seem to notice this problem, but I think it won’t take long.
WRC Rally Evolved has everything to attract new gamers (I said new gamers). The graphics are great, the sound is great and the possibilities are yet again great. It’s possible to compete against other cars in the same race, which is a nice alternative. It did turn out I liked the races against time much more, but that’s just personal taste I guess. You can win a lot of new stuff, so you are almost obliged to play on every difficulty. Note: the novice mode is way too easy.
Of course, some things could be better. I personally think the heavy crashes are a little bit strange. It seems your car becomes weightless, like a little feather. This also happens while jumping from a hill. The damage doesn’t look that spectacular too, as if your car is almost indestructible on the outside. The signpost on the middle of the screen wasn’t necessary and it makes the road unclear. I mean; a rally driver hasn’t got little pieces of paper stuck to his window telling him how to drive does he? Yet those are merely little things that you forget instantly.
WRC Rally Evolved has got everything a rally fan wants. Great graphics, perfect steering, and great sound. It’s sad Evolution Studios can’t offer us some innovation. We don’t have to take these unoriginal sequels… It’s about time gamers stood up to this cheap entertainment. People who haven’t bought earlier WRC gamer should buy this one. The fans of the other WRC games will possibly get a feeling of been there, done that.