WRC 5 Review
WRC 5 offers a taste of what being a rally can be like, high levels of concentration and reactive car control, without the accompanying risk of danger and pushing the car to maximum.
WRC 5 is the latest instalment of the FIA World Rally Championship Rally game franchise. WRC 5 is a carbon copy of all the official championship’s teams and locations. Not only will you be driving some of the best teams in the WRC at the moment, you also get the chance to drive the lower divisions of the WRC, WRC 2 & J-WRC.
It maybe a car game and the driving style can be picked up quite easily or not in some cases, but it doesn’t mean you won’t be pushed to the max. You have many elements to think about while driving the car at speed along the rally stage. You have surface changes not just stage but by corner as well, and it’s easy to drop a wheel on some ice or wet mud and end up sliding down a bank, or hitting a bit of ice and spinning in to a snow drift or hugging a tree so to speak.
I will admit that it took me a few good attempts to get used to the handling and controls, as I had to alter the dead zones and sensitivity of the steering and brakes via the option menu for the Xbox One Controller.
WRC 5 developers have used what they have created very well as the home screen and menu option motions are very smooth through out. Also all the rally stages are covered in full, with five stages, with the added weather conditions does make it more of a challenge to adapt to.
It’s going to be a very long time and I mean a very long time before you’ve remembered every single corner and bump in the roads, believe me its hard. I couldn’t remember what I did two corners ago, never mind the full stage. Remembering is the key to rally game longevity. For true rally fans I’m sure they will be hot on the heals to try and remember all the stages on the game and there is a fair few.
The game offers a career mode, where you have to gain contracts to race in the J-WRC category and then progress to the higher categories when you achieve your contract objectives, I really like the idea of a lot. This adds a sense of the achievement and reward for doing the job you are contracted to do, but can also be unrewarding because if you don’t achieve the objectives you are fighting for contracts again and fighting to be the best again.
As well a the Career mode, you have Quick Rally, Quick Stage and Rally School. If you are new to rally games I would recommend the rally school option first, if not you have to do a few of the before you start career mode anyway to it probably best to get some lessons in first.
Online Player offers four options, Smart Match, Player Match, Xbox Live Party and create a Private Game. There is also online leader boards where you challenge to the best in the world.
On the home screen of WRC 5 offers monthly and weekly challenges to take part in, to prove you are the best.
The car and damage physics in WRC 5 is very realistic, and you can damage virtually every part of the car, be it from the steering rack, bumpers falling off and the bonnet popping up and blocking your view (when in cockpit camera view). So be prepared to lose a few hours and car parts to complete a rally stage.
You have the option to tune your car to the any of the stages you are competing in, from a single player Quick Rally and Stage or Career, Career mode has it restrictions though because once you have chosen a tune you have to stick with for a full stage or just a few rally’s this also applies to damage repairs too. Quick Stage is the better option to test your tune out with the restrictions so you can put them into place in career mode at a later date
There is only one small issue for me, It lacks the sense and visual speed, like in other Motorsport games when you hit a certain speeds you start to get motion blur. I know rally cars don’t get up to speeds like a Ferrari or Lamborghini do, But rally cars can top 130mph easily on some parts of the stages and think the addition of motion blur would add a new challenge to the driving experience.
The controls were a bit awkward to get used to as most of Motorsport sports game tend to use a similar layout on the buttons, but WRC 5 does differ slightly. You do have the option customise the button layout so you don’t have to worry about learning the set up if you don’t want too. If you do go for the options of altering the controller configuration, I would recommend looking at the acceleration, steering and braking dead zones and sensitivity options, as I feel they needed a bit more refinement as personally I like a twitchy rally car as you can through it about a bit more.
The overall graphics and sound to the game are brilliant, as mentioned above its not Forza 6 type graphics but, for the type of Motorsport it is, the locations and surroundings are really well detailed. The cars have all their own engine sounds and the exhaust pops when changing up and down gears. the developers has done a great job in recreating the sound and visuals very well within WRC 5.
WRC 5 has filled a gap in the game market as there not many rally games about for the current gen consoles, plus I have noticed over the years, WRC has been passed around developers and publishers, so its like a a game that no one wants to do.but I’m glad it has been carried on. If you are at all interested in the sport, or just fancy the speeds of 130mph through Finnish woodland or along the the dirt roads of Australia that’s unique to rally games, then WRC 5 is for you!
WRC 5 is due for release on Xbox One on 16th October. Buying WRC 5 will result in many hours of tree smashing and loosing many car parts at firs, its a rally game what else would you expect.
I think for what you are offered with the game the price reflects it really well, you can pick up WRC 5 for £44.99 on the Xbox Store, prices may vary for digital downloads and online retailers
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