WRC 6 Review
Racing fans rejoice, the latest World Rally Championship game, WRC 6, has arrived. World Rally Championship games have been around since the early 2000’s, with the last one, WRC 5, arriving in 2015. The World Rally Championship is an international sensation with fans all over the world. There’s no doubt that WRC fans look forward to experiencing the excitement in the comfort of their own home. Will WRC 6 appeal to everyone or just die hard WRC fans?
World Rally Championship (WRC) is based on the real life rally series of the same name which is run by Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile or FIA. The WRC was formed in 1973 by combining a number of other international rally championships. The races, or “rallies” are split into a series of “special stages”. Driver’s don’t race against each other, but rather race against the clock. There are specific requirements for a rally car and some of the cars you’ll find are the Ford Fiesta, Mitsubishi Lancer, and Toyota Corolla.
There are a couple of important distinction’s worth noting with WRC. The most important distinction is that this is not your typical racing game; it’s not Forza or Burnout. You won’t be competing directly with other racers, but rather against their race times. This was probably my biggest hang up with WRC, because ultimately you won’t know how well you’re doing until you finish the race and see your times compared to your competitors. The other thing of note is that these courses are generally very narrow with many, many turns. While turns obviously add challenge and skill to navigate, some corners were brutal hairpin turns forcing me to come to an almost complete stop. Granted, this is something real life rally racing is known for – so this might not be considered a negative for other gamers, but I would have preferred more (if not all) courses allow me to maintain a faster speed. In fact, there were a couple courses that had quite a few straightaways and minor turns – these courses were an absolute blast to race on. However, fans of WRC might appreciate all the different styles of courses – so I can’t hold it against the developers for designing the tracks the way they did.
“The most important distinction is that this is not your typical racing game; it’s not Forza or Burnout.”
WRC 6 features a pretty meaty Career mode. You’ll be able to pick the team you want to race for, as well as which WRC class you want to compete in. You’ll compete in rallies all over the world (except for North America – which seems to have very minimal interest or participation in World Rally Championships). There’s a substantial amount of tracks too – probably about five in each country you race in. The difficulty is scalable; so you should be able to fit in regardless of your skill level. If you’re up for a real challenge, you can set the vehicles to get damaged – from busted engines to deflated tires. Or, if you’re a WRC rookie like me, you can set the game to easy and focus more on the driving without worrying about vehicle damage when you crash (aside from aesthetic damages).
The game features both local multiplayer and online multiplayer. Unfortunately, when I tried to play online, I couldn’t find a lobby with other gamers. The leaderboards had less than 2000 entries, which suggests to me that this game hasn’t found a very large audience yet. Understandable since it’s still relatively new – but if you’re intent is to play WRC 6 mostly online, you should probably make sure you have a few buddies that own it as well, or find a forum of like-minded racers.
Visually, the game isn’t that bad. It’s no Forza Horizon 3, but that’s okay – what it does, it does pretty good. However, if you played WRC 5, don’t expect to be wowed with WRC 6’s graphics; I didn’t notice any real difference aside from a few changes in the heads-up display. The games audio during races is as you’d expect; the roar of the engine, the cheer of the crowds as you drift on by, and that co-pilot of yours that just won’t shut up. In WRC, each vehicle has two occupants; driver and co-pilot. The co-pilot is in charge of telling you all the upcoming road conditions such as turns and potential hazards. The default setting is the ‘British’ co-pilot, and I’ll be honest, I could hardly understand a thing he said. Fortunately, we’re also give visual cues on the top of the screen that indicate what direction to go. At one point, I was playing with the options and changed the co-pilot to ‘German’, and even though I couldn’t understand him either, it was actually a tad more enjoyable.
“WRC 6 is a decent racing game, assuming you understand exactly what you’re getting into.”
WRC 6 is a decent racing game, assuming you understand exactly what you’re getting into. This is not a racing game where you’ll jockey for position against other racers at the same time – you’ll only be racing against their times. The courses feature a lot of corners, and require a fair amount of braking and some serious drifting skills – as opposed to driving with the pedal to the metal. WRC 6 isn’t easy either. While I didn’t find myself getting frustrated, I did have a hell of a time earning respectable times against the AI, even on the easiest setting. The game doesn’t seem to be much of an upgrade from WRC 5, but with new courses, vehicles and drivers – it may be enough for WRC fans to warrant a purchase.
***An Xbox One review code was provided by the publisher***
- Good representation of WRC
- Tons of tracks
- Some very difficult tracks
- Annoying co-pilots
- Online multiplayer doesn’t seem very active