WRC 17 is the official game of the FIA World rally Championship, which puts you behind the wheel of any of the 55 official teams within the sport set over all of the 13 stages within the calendar. Rise from the lower ranks of the WRC juniors to become a fully fledged WRC champion and race with some of the biggest names in the sport.
WRC 7 is an officially licensed game but how does it compare to likes of other games on the market such as the more recent Dirt 4? On first pick up and play the game does look stunning with some lovely visuals and vistas which do entice you play the game more and more, but through more play i noticed the game isn’t as polished as it should be with the small details such as glitchy camera angles and some lighting effects where the shimmer you get of rain soaked gravel that you can see in games like Dirt 4. In addition to this is the spectators which add a nice touch to the stages as you drive by them but they seem to be a bit static and generic.
Sound is great with ambient horns and cheers from the grounds or echo from driving through tunnels add to the authentic ambient sound, plus the car sounds such as tyre screech as you slam on the brakes and the exhaust backfiring are familiar sounds to rallying.
WRC 7 offers plenty in the way of driving options to customise your style of play, from a rookie point of view you get assisted launch and braking, right through to simulation mode where everything is turned off and manual gears are compulsory. For me I customised the game for semi automatic and turned off the assists to balance fun with realism. However i was let down by the car handling which at times is very twitchy and uncontrollable especially on the pro handling setting but even on the amateur setting it is hard to control your car, resulting in a stop start driving style to prevent you crashing off into a ditch or plowing into a crowd of spectators.
I think WRC 7 has a steep learning curve as after a while i did improve slightly and got the hang of going around corners by combining brakes and Handbrake, but it never provides that fun factor of stringing a sequence of corners together at high speed.
As with most racing games the core aspect has to be the career mode where you start from one of the lower teams, the more successful you are at winning the better the chance you will get a new contract with a better team giving you opportunity to rice through the different classes to the top tier of WRC championship.
Before each rally in career your Headquarters allows you check out the upcoming calendar, your team and it’s moral plus you can check rankings for all classes of championship including others that you aren’t participating in.
There are other modes on offer in solo mode, these include:
Quick game – Choose any car, championship or driver and jump into any off the 55 stages at any time of the day allows you to experience all available content on offer.
Custom championship – allows you to design your own rally and stages in a customisable order of your choosing
Driving test – is simply a tutorial to help you measure your skills to determine if your driving skills are legendary or a Sunday driver out for a cruise, apart from that their is nothing much else to it.
Multiplayer allows up to 8 players in a lobby with on track racing is time-based where you race against other online players ghosts in real time, this does offer some sense that you are racing against someone else and sticks to the authentic racing seen in a rally. There are some special stages where you do get to race against another driver but it lacks the carnage of wheel to wheel racing that you get in other disciplines.
If that’s not enough you get Challenges which allows you to become the number 1 driver in the world as you compete for the top spot by completing a specific stage on a selected rally against the online community.
I do love an authentic racing game and even though the game has some nice touches including all the official cars, drivers and stages, the over sensitive handling of your car took some of the fun out of the game.
WRC 7 has been improved from previous years but there are some niggling little details that make the game feel unfinished and not as polished with games such as Dirt 4, the cars seem to feel too light and should be more grounded.