WRC 8 – Review
Follow Genre: Racing
Developer: Kylotonn
Publisher: Bigben Interactive
Platforms: PC, Switch, Xbox One, PS4
Tested on: PS4, PC

WRC 8 – Review

Site Score
3.8
Good: Many tracks
Bad: Bad graphics, Boring career, Horrible gameplay
User Score
3.3
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 3.3/10 (3 votes cast)

After pausing for a year, the WRC franchise has made a comeback with the newest title: WRC 8. As this was a series that we saw decline slightly in quality over the last few years, its absence last year felt like either they would stop the series or use the extra time to create a better game. It seems that time doesn’t heal all wounds nor makes for the perfect title as there are still many frustrations concerning the new installment.

Story

As all the WRC games share the same storyline with the same beginning, there isn’t much new for those who have previously played a WRC game. The new feature, however, is that if you want to join the big leagues from the beginning, you must pass a test and only have three chances to do so. This is done so that beginning players with not much experience won’t burn their hands on the high skill level needed to commandeer a true WRC2 spec vehicle. Furthermore, it’s the same old formula of starting out for a racing team and progressing with them or changing contracts if your reputation isn’t that good. For what it is worth, the story progresses just like in a career mode, you become a better driver and build your team as you invest in the many R&D branches available.

Graphics

WRC has never been a huge powerhouse when it comes to graphics, but when it takes two years to create a game, you would expect some serious improvements. Sadly, the graphics are far from enjoyable in this year’s installment. For starters, the cars look pretty goofy, like you are playing a cartoon game or some old Gran Turismo title. Animations are far from nice, for example, the wheels turn as they did in the old Saints Row – GTA games where it all just feels disconnected from the real world. If you manage to crash your car and make it fly around, everything is as static just as in PS2 games with barely any visual damage present (remember when you crash a car in Dirt? There is never something left of your vehicle after it). Maps themselves have barely any detail, the ground looks the same in all conditions, there is no rubble or flying stones, the only thing present is a little bit of dust but that’s so basically scripted that it’s boring.

Sound

The graphics might be bad, the sound is at least semi-decent. The cars sound like rally vehicles, but due to not many different vehicles being available in the game, there isn’t much to get wrong here. High-pitched whining engines combined with screeching tires and the sheering crowd is an easy formula that is hard to do wrong. While there isn’t that much depth to the engine sounds, it could just be because the older vehicles sounded much better and emission laws screw with the music that these beasts produce. During races, there isn’t any music playing but a generic tune that doesn’t fit anywhere entertains those who are idling on all the menus.

Gameplay

WRC 8 is a rally racing game where you can drive high-powered vehicles on many grim tracks all around the world. As rally stages mostly consist of either mixed surfaces ranging from gravel to snow, asphalt, and mud, each run will be an ultimate test of skills and wits. The game has a few modes to choose from, with an extensive career mode and a fun quick race mode, you can just pick your poison and play. First, let’s talk about the career mode. This starts with a short driving test to see how well you can handle a vehicle and to set your difficulties. After this, you may attend the Junior cup at no costs or try out for the WRC2 league if you can qualify for this. This is purely done to filter skilled players from unskilled ones as the exam isn’t backbreakingly hard. When starting your career, you will notice an extensive management screen in which you have more options than in a football manager game. Gameplay elements like these are fun on one hand but so painstakingly slow and boring that for some this will be off-putting to get far ahead in the career mode. Sometimes, just like in Dirt, you want to pick a car and race for the trophy, not spend hours managing your team and setting up your car to do one stage and then rinse and repeat. While we could delve deep into the R&D of our team to improve mechanics, to have extra information or upgraded parts, it might be best not to beat around the bush and talk about what this game is really about: rally racing.

WRC 8 isn’t scoring big points due to its basic graphics, bad animations, and mediocre sound, its gameplay is far from writing home about but there is at least one good thing about the game as it’s packed to the brim with many rally stages divided over fourteen countries. Sadly, there isn’t a wide range of vehicles to select from as only a few recent cars are available and only two retro cars. This means that the most memorable of rally monsters such as Group B and the well-loved rally rockets of the 90s aren’t represented in this game.

Most cars might be modern, but their handling is far from ingenious. Controlling the rides feels like a PS1 game and crashing feels very static, like driving around a brick and due to the car not flexing as it should, you get stuck quite often on the smallest parts of the map. Overall, the driving mechanics are ‘ok’ but in a rally game where you fly over the track at high speeds, it feels like going back to the early 2000s with their soapbox carts handling.

If the career mode is a bit too obscene for you, try your hand at the quick mode where you can select any car and any stage and just have a good time. This is generally a fun mode but even here you notice that, with the handling being bad, and not that many cars to choose from, the game gets boring quite quickly. As normal there are online modes and split-screen to pit you against racers all around the world if you find someone willing to play this game or play in horror as you try this title out on your couch with a friend next to you.

Conclusion

WRC games have always stood in the shadow of their bigger brother Dirt. While the two years of downtime might have meant that the developers took extra time and effort to create this game, it feels like they just wanted to lower the budget on creating content and keeping the rights such as that flopped Tony Hawk game. Almost every aspect of this game is bad, and when comparing it to other big titles such as Dirt, you won’t have to think twice about what game to go for when you are snooping around in your local game store.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 3.3/10 (3 votes cast)
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WRC 8 – Review, 3.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
MC_JP
MC_JP


Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

1 Comment

  1. 3rd-strike.com | WRC 8 available now for the Switch
    November 14, 2019, 9:11 pm

    […] our lesser positive review about WRC 8 for consoles, it now seems that the team behind the game will try their luck on the […]

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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