Martin Carr reviews WRC 6…
I like my rally games but have avoided the Forza series favouring instead anything with Colin McRae, or Dirty Rally in the title baring‘Dirt 3. Reason being that number three seemed to lack the authenticity which CodeMasters had always strived for in other incarnation. Imagine my surprise then when WRC 6 came up for review.
I had heard and seen the series over the years but simply stuck to what I knew rather than deviating from the McRae franchise. But the news is that WRC 6 more than meets DIRT Rally half way and is actually more engaging, even though some have called it clinical on some levels. Visually WRC 6 is stunning with night stages, fog bound courses and rain soaked tracks which are challenging, realistic and frustrating in equal measure. An in-car driving perspective, which is my preferred viewpoint, puts you front and centre and shows off the graphical tweaks to WRC 6 perfectly.
Power sliding in game and having to adapt to those different surfaces feels organic, reactive and above all natural. Special stages, which are frequent, do not feel like a needless addition as they have in previous rally games. In WRC 6 they are integral, offer progression and the learning curve although steep never feels insurmountable. That back end might slide out a little too often, it may seem impossible not to get a time penalty for momentarily slipping off the track, but given practice these incidents decrease and things come more naturally.
Working through the career modes of WRC Junior up past Class 2 and then finally to WRC itself, which allows you to pick name and nationality before kicking off, vary in difficulty, track complexity and even surface. There are solo options as well as career and custom championship modes which offer up enough variety, even though the multiplayer option was unavailable prior to launch day. There are the usual repair or not repair option choices tied in with potential penalties should you go over that forty five minute mark, which ultimately jeopardise any chances you have if breached.
But essentially WRC 6 is hugely accessible, wildly enjoyable and dare I say better than CodeMasters recent foray back into the rally simulator fray. There are addendums to that which are purely subjective from my point of view, that include windscreen wiper animation, their choice of navigator vocal that feels more intrusive than DIRT Rally and sometimes unhelpful. But elsewhere there is far more to praise than criticise. Loading between stages is swift, responsiveness and that all important sense of intuitive control is present and correct for WRC 6. At its best the line between controlling and reacting to those corners through a combination of visual and audio instruction makes the experience seamless. Is it an adrenaline rush with moments of sheer controller chucking frustration equalled only by crossing the line mere split seconds ahead of the competition? You bet your bad boy booties it is. Do yourself a favour and go purchase it right now.