WRC 6 is the official video game of the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship, but does it live up to the name?
WRC 6 is the second race game by the French studio Kylotoon Games and is available for PC, XBox and PS4. Keep in mind that I personally don’t know all that much about racing games, so this review might be slightly biased that way.
Apparently WRC6 has undergone some under-the-hood changes which resulted in a better graphical engine. Not only do we get high resolution textures, nice lighting and a particle system which should give us more realistic dust, smog and fog! But there is more !
Apparently the physics engine has been reworked as well. When racing through muddy terrain, you can even see the traces your car leaves behind. And if that isn’t enough, it even has an impact on how your car reacts to the underground. According to the press release we received, the things you see along the tracks look a lot better too. The audience, vegetation and damage have all received some graphical upgrades. Personally, I found the audience around the tracks to be rather static … but that is probably due to the fact that I was driving my car into them most of the time or driving by them at a very slow pace.
So … graphics should be a lot beter than WRC5 … Sadly we never played that, so no way to compare. And we do have to admit that we played the game on a machine that wasn’t really specced for high end gaming. Still … the game looked pretty darn good to me!
At first, I tried to play the game with just the keybaord and the mouse. Being and avid MMORPG / Action game player, I thought it would be the way to drive my car … I was WRONG! Using the keyboard and mouse will probably work for the more advanced racing game players, but not for a beginner like me. I just couldn’t control how the car behaved at all.
Later on, I decided to use a controller and that’s when things started to improve … A LOT! No, I wasn’t suddenly becoming a champion on the road, but at least I wasn’t finishing 4 to 5 minutes behind the rest. With some practice I was starting to get pretty close to the rest of the drivers, and with some more patience I was starting to get in the top 10. Of course … all depends on the actual rally course as well.
Apparently the gameplay in WRC6 is pretty similar to WRC5. Cars look pretty much the same, drivers are a bit the same, and the different courses are … well … rather the same. But this seems to be due to the fact that the IFA didn’t allow any changes to the actual cars. WRC 6 has the same set of countries where you will be competing on what seems to be the same set of imaginary courses. Some other courses are actually based on the actual real life courses too, but I wouldn’t know the difference since I’m not really following all the rally news at all.
Of course I’ve been spending most of my play sessions in the career mode. Trying to drive my way through the different seasons and contracts in order to make it to the top. I never got there … but as one of my teachers always told me : ” We strive for perfection, which we will never achieve, but we always have to try to get as close as possible”. Rest assured … I still have a long way to come even close.
The nice thing is that, even though I am a mediocre race game player, it felt pretty rewarding once I got better at it. Still, I was not good enough to even try any of the online challenges or multi player sessions.
Well, since I have never played any other racing games the last few years, it’s pretty hard to compare it. Controlling the car and race using the keyboard gave me headaches and resulted in 268 crashes in one stage. So, you can imagine that I didn’t really like this first impression. But once I switched to using a controller, I quite enjoyed the game. I won’t say that I’m a big racing game fan, but with the right gear WRC 6 changed from a frustrating racing game to a graphically very well done and enjoyable racing game!