WRC 4: FIA World Rally Championship – Review
Follow Genre: Racing,
Developer: Milestone S.r.l.
Publisher: Big Ben
Platform: Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360

WRC 4: FIA World Rally Championship – Review

Site Score
Good: Improved graphics, licensed content
Bad: Not entirely realistic, framerate issues at times
User Score
(4 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.5/10 (4 votes cast)

Interesting times for the World Rally Championship as this year, for the first time in 10 years, somebody other than Sébastien Loeb won the championship. Now the sport has a vacancy for a new legend.  Are you up for the challenge?

WRC 4 - Logo


As the title implies, WRC 4 is the officially licensed game of the 2013 FIA World Rally Championship. You can choose your favorite crew and car from all the official categories : Junior WRC, WRC 3, WRC 2 and of course WRC.

Let’s take a look at this year’s new features:

  • Brand new career mode: several tweaks were made to the way you progress. Most noticeably the time you need to spend in the Junior WRC has been significantly reduced.
  • Improved rally experience:  race weeks are structured more realistically. It is now possible to drive under different light conditions (sunrise, daylight and sunset).
  • Improved stages: the landscapes, trees, rocks, etc… have been retextured.
  • Improved handling: unlike last year’s version, driving on a wet track will actually make the car feel significantly different.

WRC 4 - Cockpit


With steep competition from Polyphony Digital and Codemasters with their highly developed in-house graphics engines, it’ll always be hard to make an impression. Milestone has made much needed changes to the Spike Engine, but it still falls short when you compare the game to GRID 2 or Gran Turismo 5. The lighting effects do deserve to be mentioned, as they are now no longer laughable, but are actually pretty competitive.

Last year’s version looked highly outdated, but luckily this has been remedied by retexturing almost the entire game. Unfortunately, the engine doesn’t seem to be capable of handling all the new graphical splendor. On the Xbox 360 the game frequently drops under 30 FPS when driving through the water. It gets especially bad when you select the cockpit view.

WRC 4 - IceSound

In rally games, two thing really matter: the sounds the car produces (engine, gearbox, the tires, …) and the voice of the copilot reading you the pacenotes. Thankfully, Milestone got this right, especially the engine sounds. Your co-driver’s voice can sometimes sound a bit monotonous, but it doesn’t take you out of the action.

The menu music also deserves to be mentioned for being repetitive and terrible.


Before you can start playing, you have set up your driver’s profile. You can select your nationality, pick a co-driver and a manager. Unfortunately, all of this is only for cosmetic reasons. Picking a different co-driver or manager doesn’t change a thing.

The game’s main mode is the Career Mode in which you start of as rookie in the WRC Junior class. From there you have to work your way up the WRC 3, WRC 2 and eventually the WRC. Getting good results leads to better contract offers and of course better cars. Career Mode doesn’t offer anything we haven’t seen in any other racing game. You can check your Mail for contract offers and other info, check the Calendar or read the News.

WRC 4 - Stage

Quick Stage just puts you straight into a race. The car you get and stage you drive appear to be randomly selected. Thankfully, more control is offered in Rally Mode which consists of 78 different Special Stages. You can also select a Single Rally, where you can participate in one of the thirteen official rallies.  Like in Career mode, you can change the setup of the car in the Service Park. You can for example play with the differential, change the traction distribution, etc. Petrol heads are given the liberty to set up the car totally to their liking.

The Service Park isn’t only for making set up changes, it can also be used to fix any damage done to the car. This is important, as the handling of the car can get negatively impacted when you pick up a few bumps and scrapes.  However, result of a collision isn’t always predictable.  Sometimes a light touch is enough to get severe damage, while at times the big impacts don’t seem to have any major consequences. There is a time limit however, so be careful on what part of the car you let your mechanics work their magic.

It is of course better to simply not damage your car at all. As this is easier said than done, the game supplied us with a rewind button. You can Rewind a limited time per stage, so be careful when deploying it.

The game also features online and offline Multiplayer. The offline mode isn’t all that spectacular as you can only pass the controller to a friend and alternate driving the stages of a rally. The online mode is a simple lobby system where you can pick the race on an unranked or a ranked server. You can drive a Single Race or a full Rally Championship.

WRC 4 - Replay


In the end, WRC 4: FIA World Rally Championship is a game that does just enough to be above mediocrity. It has a minimum of modes, a minimum of tracks and recycles a lot of the content from last year’s version. Progress has been made however, especially in the graphical department. The foundations are solid, it just lacks polish.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.5/10 (4 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
WRC 4: FIA World Rally Championship – Review, 6.5 out of 10 based on 4 ratings

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