Monday, 23 November 2015

WRC 5

The World Rally Championship games have always been a compromise of budget and ambition. The previous developers Milestone have always had their heart in the right place but their hands used for execution were just not steady enough. Under a new team WRC 5 brings the series back in a really positive way, even if there are a few crests along the way. 


Developed by Kylotonn and out now Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3, WRC 5 brings the fun back into rally. If you’ve been paying attention to the other huge rally game series, Dirt Rally, you’ll know that it’s been focusing much more on the pure stage to stage rally driving with an emphasis on simulation. WRC 5 is much more of the fun, arcade side of things but stays through to the licence. 


The game includes all 13 locations with all stages. This means you get a full range of the difference surfaces. From the snow of Sweden to the tarmac and gravel of other locations, the game does a great job of making each surface feel different. This creates an excellent new challenge at each new location besides the new twists and turns. Each new location is a new test that you must wrap your head around as the different surfaces require different manoeuvres from your rally car.

The career mode in WRC 5 surprisingly focuses on keeping you in your rally car. The start sees you go through two short years before finally taking on the full career. The management is kept to a minimum with the only real menus you need to manage and navigate within is between stages as you choose which parts to fix up at the service station. 

The driving in WRC 5 is forgiving. Don’t expect the requirement for perfect braking times, turning and proper acceleration coming out of a turn. This is more about enjoy the feel of the ride. That’s one thing it does so well: Everything feels like an accomplishment. That’s not because the game is so punishingly tough but rather that the game makes you feel like you’re pulling off incredible runs, and you can do so with relative ease, but the forgiving braking and turning makes it all look and feel that little bit more spectacular.

There are a number of flaws though. The first one is with the A.I. driver who will interrupt himself and keep commenting when you take even the tiniest knock. It can delay the instructions meaning if you’re focusing on what your co-driver is saying it can become useless and that is certainly frustrating. The game also has some performance issues on consoles. There are frame rate issues as well as a couple of times when the game simply crashed. They’re problems that can be ironed out but as of right now, they are still present.


If you love the thrill of rally driving without the fear of losing over a single bad turn or one small crash, then WRC 5 may be a perfect fit. There is a better rally driving game available right now in the form of Dirt Rally but WRC 5 is a massive improvement on its predecessors and the future of the series is finally looking look.

WRC 5: FIA World Rally Championship is a medium right turn with 3/5.

★★★☆☆

Jason Redmond


WRC 5: FIA World Rally Championship at CeX


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