Motor racing fans have an array of games at their disposal. However, followers of rally racing have a narrower field to select from. The go-to franchise has to be World Rally Championship and I’m fortunate enough to look at the latest iteration, WRC 10.
Developed by KT Racing and published by Nacon, this builds on an already exceptional racing franchise. Utilising its strong foundations, you experience a wonderful blend of modern and retro racing. Reusing its well thought out formula is a great idea that creates a nice comfortable consistency. However, it also replicates many of the minor irritations from previous titles.
WRC 10 shows the sports excellent historical roots.
Whenever I play a sports game, I turn to the major franchises as this guarantees me a deep-rooted and interesting career mode. This always complements the other elements and creates a well-rounded experience. Skill levels are always considered and driver assists even up the playing field. Now, I was surprised when KT Racing took a slightly different route! The excellent Anniversary Mode ignores these rules and follows a dog eat dog idealism instead.
It makes for a baptism of fire and separates the men from the boys or the women from the girls. It was chastising and left me reeling in disbelief. Fortunately, though, you can experience the classic cars in quick play if you can’t overcome the shock difficulty curve.
This would be fine if the most intriguing concept within WRC 10 wasn’t locked within the Anniversary Mode. The Private Team option and livery editor are both unlocked after tackling this beastly option. It was a little confusing and held me back from truly enjoying everything on offer.
Same mistakes, new game.
I’ve been a sports gaming fan for years and yet I’m irked by the repetitive mistakes made by the developers. They treat every player like they’ve never played the game. It’s infuriating, as I don’t wish to recap the basics that I’ve covered for the last twelve months. WRC 10 assumes that every player wishes to start in the Junior or Series 3 events. In reality, experienced plays want to skip the apéritif and starter and go straight to the main course.
Nonetheless, what truly excited me was the roster of vehicles at your disposal. Petrolheads will adore the championship-winning rides that are available to be selected. Audi, Lancias, Peugeot, Toyota, VW, Ford and more are available. These iconic rides add further depth to an already overflowing title. Moreover, it was enthralling to race in a selection of much-loved vehicles across world-famous venues.
Customise your co-driver and an odd choice of races.
Alongside some other minor elements, WRC 10 has introduced a customisable co-driver. This made an interesting twist on a character you spend many hours with and added a layer of realism.
Another element that added to this was the introduction of tyre strategy. Combining a selection of rubber based on the track you were facing was an interesting tactical twist. You can gamble for more speed, increased tyre life, or improved grip. This was, however, undermined by the bonus objectives. Therefore, it was bizarre that this was a key strategic element, yet the bonus system ignored this interesting mechanic. Nonetheless, this was shortsighted by the developers and perhaps they should have forgotten about the bonus tasks.
I was surprised by the selection of tracks on offer. With the introduction of the stunning Estonian and Croatian rallies, but the exclusion of the Arctic Rally, it seemed the developers missed the boat. There were also key tracks from previous titles sadly unavailable. I’m unsure why KT Racing decided to exclude some much-loved locations, especially as there is a tab highlighting ‘other rallies’. I’m not sure whether these will be added later, but for now, it remains a mystery.
WRC 10 looks incredible and runs fantastically.
Whatever your thoughts on racing games, there is no denying the quality of WRC 10. Graphically, it’s fantastic and the gameplay is ultra-realistic. The tracks look amazing and the cars are mechanically sound. I love the dated liveries and the crazy crowds during the retro races. The claustrophobic nature of the tighter courses is great, and I adored the technical challenge within these courses. It retains the excellent quality I’ve come to expect from this triple-A franchise and runs smoothly with no glitches or frame rate issues.
The fantastic visuals are supported by some ear-splitting and meaty sound effects. Somehow these have improved on last year’s efforts and I loved the roar of the engines and the squeal of the tyres. Every race is accompanied by the custom sounds of your co-driver. They bark instructions, shout when you crash and make the odd sarcastic remark. All of these elements combined heighten the sense of realism and make for a great experience.
Reactive tracks and excellent controls.
The car handling and reaction to different surfaces have always been wonderful in the WRC franchise. WRC 10 is no different, and I loved drifting on mud, sliding on gravel, and powering through tarmac. The cars skit and slip as you’d expect, and this adds to the challenge. The array of driver assists make the gameplay accessible and reduces the learning curve considerably.
Your desire to return will depend on your love of online racing or the detailed career mode. Both options offer hours of thrilling action and fans will lose themselves in this adrenaline-fuelled world. Completionists beware! Finishing this isn’t easy and you’ll need skill and determination to get every achievement.
WRC 10 evolves from a wonderful foundation.
With a vast selection of modes, an in-depth career, and excellent online play, WRC 10 offers the full package. Its only let down is the Anniversary Mode that holds the keys to the best feature. I loved it and recommend you to buy it here! Choose your vehicle, select your track, and race your heart out.