Review: WRC 8: FIA World Rally Championship (PS4)

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Out for a Sunday drive, blinking is very optional.

WRC 8In the options menu of WRC 8, ($59.99) there’s a race card screen that tracks your driving in the game, noting everything you do without any judgement. So far, on my time with the game I’ve ran my cars into stuff 3,302 3,477 times (and counting) between small dings to major collisions that had me completely wrecking out of a few races, but this is a good thing (not for my poor garage, though).

The game is quite a massive effort from KT Racing and it’s their best racer to date as well as the sole officially licensed WRC game on the market. The assorted cars, courses and sounds are pretty lifelike and the rides all handle differently under a range of conditions once you get a grip on the controls. But practicing makes the game even better and finding the perfect settings for each car and course is key to getting the most out of the overall experience.

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If you’re going too fast, that simple turn up ahead is a bear, but there’s no bear at the end of that turn, fortunately.

Codemasters’ DiRT franchise might be better looking (the terrain deformation adds to the realism) and better known to some, but the outside a PC mod, the more authentic to the WRC season licenses, courses, drivers, and cars here will be the way to go for fans who enjoy the sport and want the deepest dive into it. Thankfully, those options also include a number of tweaks to make the experience a good deal more flexible to new players. Granted, like the two DiRT Rally games, this is the sort of simulation that’s going to be daunting to novices no matter how many assists they turn on. But that sticking to the real deal thing is for me, what makes a good rally game and WRC 8 makes for the most the best WRC experience since the five great WRC titles by the late Evolution Studios way back on the PlayStation 2. That said, one has to give the still mighty Richard Burns Rally it’s own pedestal for what it brought to the virtual rally game.

Even when set to the easiest mode and with every assist on, the game still requires near flawless or even perfect mastering of its courses and weather conditions. New players to this on Easy can indeed make it around the special stage or a few rallies with some effort. but it’s a literal learning curve taking in the pace notes and reading the track ahead while not hitting something because you’re trying to do it while driving a car at high speed with a co-driver notes near-constant directions at you. Still, the game’s Season and Practice modes will be your friend for a while as you settle in. There are the much harder Weekly challenges to do, but you’ll want some mileage under your belt, as these are pretty difficult events.

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WRC 8: Rallying for A Chance at Besting DiRT Is a Good Thing For the Series

 

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Reflex check: “100, Easy right, care rocks inside – don’t cut” Or something like that. You’ll know what to do as that turn comes up.

As a longtime fan of the World Rally Championship series since the PlayStation 2 days when developer Evolution Studios created five of that system’s best rally games, it’s been a series of up and down yumps as the franchise has changed hands over the years. The team at KT Racing (aka Kylotonn ) has held the WRC game license since 2015 and have improved the overall quality with each release, offering rally fans on PC and consoles the opportunity to test their skills on a wide variety of courses with a wide range of world-class rally cars.  The upcoming WRC 8, published by Bigben Interactive certainly looks to be the best game in the series to date, as the dev team is looking to reach fans who crave even more realism to the virtual version of the sport.

As impressive as that trailer is, the game’s Career Mode is going the extra mile in terms of delivering the goods on a few fronts. Check out the details in the video below:

Want more? Okay, then – there are a few pre-order incentives below the yump (ha and ha, but yeah, go look at them).

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WRC 6 Slides Onto Console, PC

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Rally fans looking for another fun spin around assorted twisty tracks now have another entry in the genre as Bandai Namco, Bigben Interactive and developer Kylotonn present WRC 6 for your approval. PC (via Steam), Playstation 4 and Xbox One versions are out NOW, so I’m gathering you know what to do, right? Granted, Codemasters has the edge with its own rally games. But it’s always great to see other options available to fans who don’t mind playing as many rally games as possible. This one’s going to be more than welcome around here.

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-GW

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WRC 3 The Game Trailers: No Love For Rally Fans In The US, But Maybe Something Steamy?

 

Milestone has been around for a while making racing games, but despite all their work on assorted road, rally and motorcycle games, has never really made a name for themselves outside Europe. This will hopefully change up a bit as WRC 3 slides into stores there and a few folks import the game here and sing its praises. Hell, we AL:L could use a decent rally game that’s not an advertisement for a specific car, driver and race style that’s not rallying. I’m still hoping Evolution Studios gets back in the game one of these days or perhaps some of the folks at Warthog who brought the annoyingly tough to master (but eventually rewarding)  Richard Burns Rally to consoles and PC’s a while back. Granted, Burns is no longer with us, so it would need to be called something else (or the term “ghost car” would have a new meaning -O o -).

Hmmm… well, it IS PS3 and Vita bound and those versions shouldn’t be region-locked, so… it looks as if I’ll be importing this at some point to get my fix of tiny cars flying around slippery corners with nothing but the wind (and some good driving) keeping them from sailing off the edge. Yeah, yeah, Milestone wants to get this on Steam Greenlight as a worldwide release, but I don’t have a super fast PC to play this on should it get accepted. Besides, I like a bit of distance from the screen when I play a game like this… and a retail package I can put a disc in when I’m not glued to the TV.

 

WRC 3: The Birth of A Driver Trailer: Still Holding Out Hope For This To Skid Into The USA….

 

Hmmmm. So far, there’s still no news about a definite US release (boo!), but I do have my fingers crossed that a small publisher here willing to take a chance on what’s looking like a pretty solid racer will pick this up so we finally get an official WRC game after too many years without one. Not that I don’t mind the fun stuff Codemasters is doing, mind you. I just want something a bit less “party” and “social” and a lot more steel-willed concentration as I’m trying to make it though a course and nab that best time without wrecking.  As usual, we shall see…

WRC 3 Update: Vodafone Rally De Portugal Gameplay

 

Milestone keeps the good times rolling with this latest work in-progress trailer. I’m liking what I see here a lot, but as always, the proof is in the playing. Still, the developer has a decent track record with a nice lineup of racing games for different platforms, so my fingers are crossed that they go the extra mile in doing the WRC license justice. I’ll probably go for the PS3 and Vita versions, as it’ll be fun to compare the two in terms of features and see how much the dev team has managed to fit onto a Vita card. OK, it’s getting late and I’m running out of gas in terms of the auto-related puns. Back with more on this one as new footage magically appears on the internet…

WRC 3 Gameplay Trailer: Another Milestone, But Still A Ways To Go…

As works in progress go, WRC 3 is looking mighty fine to my eyes. Of course, some rally purists or overly picky types who didn’t read that disclaimer at the beginning of the video that this is indeed a game that’s NOT completed are getting a wee bit cranky at the sound effects work in the trailer. I say give it a rest and see what happens. For me, if the gameplay is solid, I’ll just fiddle with the sound options if I find the engines too buzzy.

WRC 3 Trailer Makes Me Jumpy In All The Right Spots…

If you know me, then you know I love a good rally game. WRC 3, headed to the PS3, Xbox 360, PC and Vita this year (well at least outside the US), absolutely looks like something I’ll want to play. Granted, since no one bothered to release the other two current-gen WRC titles in the U.S. of A., I’m a bit annoyed about that little issue (I’ll need to import the PS3 versions when I can find them cheap enough). From my poking around online as soon as I saw this trailer, it looks as if UK gamers will see this one in October, but I’m hoping a smart US publisher can snap this up at some point. Milestone has put out some fun racers over the years, but thanks to a new graphics engine and what’s looking like more attention to detail, WRC 3 could be the best game yet in the series. At least for the current console cycle, as Evolution Studios set itself the task of making the PS2 home to aome of the best rally games on a console with its five WRC games (only ONE of which was released stateside, boo! Thank goodness I also have a Japanese PS2 here). My fingers are officially crossed for a US release (retail, PLEASE), so let’s see what happens…