This game has been out since 2010, why does it say TBA in the release date? I still can't add it to my owned game's list or rate it, you guys should correct this.
Despite poor presentation, WRC offers a realistic and satisfying rally experience.
- Solid, realistic handling model
- Lengthy career mode
- Includes official WRC support classes.
- Poor environmental graphics
- Badly implemented steering wheel support
- Terrible loading times.
In WRC: FIA World Rally Championship, you assume the role of a young off-road racer looking to work your way up the ranks and join the world's elite rally drivers. Facing off against guys like Ken Block and seven-time champion Sebastien Loeb might sound like a difficult task, but WRC's variety of difficulty levels and lengthy career mode help to ease you into competitive rallying as you progress through the game's three support classes. WRC is more realistic than some other recent rally games, featuring a deep and rewarding handling model. However, it also manages to remain accessible while retaining the excitement that simulation fans expect. Unfortunately, the game suffers badly from terrible visuals, long loading times, and poorly implemented steering wheel support that doesn't do justice to the realistic handling.
WRC features responsive controls and a robust handling model. If you slog through the early stages in the slow and understeering front-wheel-drive cars, you're rewarded with the powerful and twitchy production rally class and WRC cars that are unlocked later. There are also a huge variety of stages on offer, based on the official locations of the 2010 Championship. Surfaces include tarmac, gravel, mud, sand, and ice. There is a real difference in car handling among road surfaces, with the hardest stages combining different types, making car setup and quick reactions important if you want to be successful. The effects of the different surfaces are impressively conveyed through the sound design, with clear sounds for different tyres running on the variety of surfaces available. Unfortunately, WRC does not include a flashback/rewind feature similar to DiRT 2 and GRID, which makes a perfect performance all the more difficult. Because of this omission and the often-long point-to-point stages, the game can be incredibly frustrating at times. Realism comes at a cost in WRC; one high-speed mistake right at the end of a course can result in the car being wrecked. Rally purists will love this hardcore aspect of the game, but it's a turnoff for casual off-road fans.
Though the skill level can be intimidating at first, the game is accessible to newcomers. WRC includes simple explanations for each part of the car setup and even offers different default setups tailored for each stage. A traditional selection of driving assists, such as braking assist and steering help, is in place to help newcomers settle in quickly. Even AI ability is selected on a slider in the options screen, making it easy to fine-tune the game's difficulty level to your own taste. You can also brush up on your technique in the Rally Academy tutorial mode. This involves playing short sections of a variety of stages from the game but with a suggested racing line to better inform your approach to corners, braking, and acceleration. Each Rally Academy challenge uses a different car and often a different surface. This mixture of courses teaches you the basics of how to approach different tricky road-surface changes, as well as how to approach different severities of corners, right up to hand-brake turns around tight hairpins. The whole mode takes about 45 minutes to complete, but by doing so, you will become much more comfortable with the basics of WRC's handling physics. Unfortunately, there is no such training on offer for players who wish to use a steering wheel. The wheel controls in WRC are incredibly sensitive and the game doesn't offer the opportunity to tweak sensitivity or dead zones on the fly. The default levels of force feedback are also far too fierce.
At the start of the Road to WRC career mode, you are asked to name your own team and driver. From here, you enter into tiered events, which start with slower cars and progress to quicker vehicles. Completing a percentage of the events on each tier will unlock the next one. It's a tried-and-tested career path that has become a staple of the driving genre, and it works as well in WRC as in any other racing game. After your first handful of races in the slower front-wheel-drive cars, you unlock new vehicles, which can be bought with credits earned by achieving your team objectives. Again, this is not a wholly original idea, but in WRC, it is backed up by a fairly substantial team editor. You can purchase a variety of different patterns to place on your cars and also choose the colours, selecting a base, as well as primary and secondary colours for the pattern. Successful racing will give you access to new sponsors who offer extra cash and allow you to place their logos on your cars. Unfortunately, while this is a great idea to help you craft an identity for your team, the sponsor logos can only be placed on two predetermined parts of the car and none of the companies are real-world organisations. This really breaks the sense of immersion in the career mode--brands such as "The Daily Carrot Village" really don't sit well in the high-octane world of rallying. The customisation is also devalued by the fact that once you reach the WRC itself, you are forced to join one of the real 2010 teams rather than compete under your own banner.