WRC 5 marks a positive step forward for officially sanctioned video games, with a change of developer (previous developers Milestone working on the official Sebastien Loeb game) to Kylotonn Games, brings a reboot of the official FIA World Rally Championship game, now in its fifth incarnation.
While previous versions lacked structure, WRC 5 delivers from the word go. You can jump straight in and compete on a single stage or rally, compete online, compete against others locally in a party mode or alternatively jump in to career mode.
For us, this is where one of the biggest changes come. In WRC 4 you could compete in career mode but sometimes it felt a little stale, no real feedback in terms of how you are doing and no real sense of achievement. In WRC 5 you complete an number of tutorials to take you through the basics of car control and rally techniques before choosing your first contract.
Each of the contract offers have their own goals, for example some teams want you to go flat out and be as fast as you can, throwing caution to the wind in terms of damage, where as some teams just want you to bring the car home safely with the minimum amount of damage (which can be a good place to start).
As you work through the season you can get feedback from your team to see if they are happy with the goals they have set, the team morale can make all of the difference in a rally. If the team is happy then they can acheive more in the 45-minute service time without risking penalties
Working through the Junior World Rally Championship brings you further career progression as you advance in to the WRC2 class (or continue in JWRC if you choose), once again the contracts on the table differ, different goals, different cars and also different rallies to be competed on.
Ultimately you are hoping to make it in to the top WRC class to become become world champion; How you make it here is up to you, but the variations in the contract offers is a nice touch to make sure you don’t just choose the ‘pretty car’, you are made to think about what is best for you and what your driving style will suite.
During the rallies themselves you have the usual driving assists that can be turned on and off along with the now standard ‘snapshot’ feature that allows you to rewind and try that corner again, hopefully this time not crashing in to the tractor on the outside of the corner!
While some may argue that DiRT rally is the holy grail of current rally games, WRC 5 seems to offer the best complete package for someone looking to get a feel of a modern rally championship. All of the teams and drivers that are competing the 2015 season are available along with all of the officially licenced cars and liveries. Combine this with a number of different weather modes and time modes and it provides a great all-round challenge.
With an official eSports championship set to launch in 2016, mirroring the official rally weekends, this could mark the start of a very interesting time for rally games.
- Game Title: WRC5
- Availabile on: Xbox One, PS3, PS4, PC
- Reviewed on: PS4
- Category: Rally
- Modes: Single Player, Multi Player
- Developer: Kylotonn Games
- Publisher: BigBen Interactive
- Official URL: www.wrcthegame.com