WRC 5 FIA World Rally Championship, the racer from Kylotonn Games, has the advantage of being one of first, if not first, official rally car racer on the new generation of platforms, and releasing on previous ones. The series is now under a new developer and made with a new engine with experts in the rally racing field. This is definitely a good game for fans of the genre, but unfortunately, that’s not saying much because of the lack of options on platforms right now.
The setup is pretty standard for simulation racing games, if you want to classify this game as one. You start off with a WRC car and choose a contract from what will be close to fifty official teams and drivers, but each season you will be given a few options to sign which sets you on your way for your career. The game will take you through thirteen countries involved in the IRL WRC competition.
Each area you visit will have you do six races which are divided up by three days. This is where the game gets interesting if you have the game on a normal or harder setting. The races are divided in different ways; you could have two races one day, three the next, and then one on the last day, or some amalgamation depending on where you are at.
What makes WRC 5 stray from the rest is its ability to actually be challenging. If you are heading to race three tracks in a day, there is no break for repairs until the next day. In other words, if you damage your car heavily in the first race, then you better be sure to take it easy on the next ones because you won’t rank in the top three or anywhere near it for that matter. Take it from someone who had three breaks in the red, a jacked up steering wheel, a broken speaker that made it impossible to hear the co-driver, and tires ready to blow.
However, there is that staple in simulation racing games now that is put in that allows the player to rewind time and fix any major mistakes, but can be limited based on what difficulty you are set at. We recommend doing the normal mode, because easy is way too easy and no matter how bad you are racing a course, you will always probably be first as the second place AI is always a half to whole second behind you since it is timed based anyways.
When you do get the opportunity the fix your car you only have a set amount of minutes to make the fixes you need to. The list of repairable items shows up on the screen and when choose what you want to fix, a bar appears that indicated how much time it will take make those changes and it does not mean it will be fixed fully. In other words, you have to make a decision, based on how damaged a part is, on how much you want it fixed compared to the others. If you don’t feel confident in making that decision, then you can press a button and let the game do it for you.
Visually on the surface everything seems fine until you play it for several hours and notice that there is not a whole lot of changes visually and the scenery tends to get a bit boring. The cars that are available look good enough until you wreck them in some respect and notice when you cross the finish line that the dent leads into a graphic flaw that allows you to see the legs of your co-driver.
Also, some of the environments interact poorly. Case in point, there were several times where I ran into a big rock or wooden fence that just went right through my car. There needed be some more testing with the physics in general and it may have chalked up to that fact that the game is also made for last generation consoles and hardly any work was done for the PS4, and possibly the Xbox One.
The gameplay is the racers best asset this time around. The driving feels like it should for a rally cross game, but the obstacle will be learning how to race a rally car to the best of your ability. You have the option to go to driving school in the game, but with it being pretty extensive with multiple parts, most gamers will probably ignore this option, at least until they find that the game is harder than they anticipated. As stated before, be careful with your poor car as when damage incurs, you will feel the effects. Your car will control differently based on what you are driving on or in. Rain will make the car slide more, gravel will feel like you are driving on gravel and when you switch from that to the tarmac, you will notice.
In fact, your best friend is going to be your co-driver that tells you the turns that are coming up. On the screen, you will see a card with an arrow and number in red, orange and green. The color is like the line in a lot of games like Forza that tells you how fast you should be going and the number represents how sharp a turn is. This may seem like common sense for most racing fans, but during the night races, this is going to be your best friend.
There is online multiplayer if you want, but at the time of writing this review, whenever we wanted to join a game, the actual game crashed and we were taken back to the PS4 menu which was obnoxious.
WRC5 is not a bad racing game, but it certainly isn’t as good as it could have been. The difficulty is what makes this game shine more than anything as you will be challenged depending on the difficulty that is set. In some cases, you may have to take the training modules provided to help you get a podium finish. The scenery isn’t too impressive for this game and could have used some contrast.
All in all, if you love rally racing then this game does a decent job, but only because of a lack of options.