EA Sports WRC

A new Dirt Rally, but officially licensed? Take our money!


Combines superlativ­e driving physics with gorgeous visuals and a deep career mode.

Codemaster­s bought the WRC licence, EA bought Codemaster­s… and you? You have to buy this game. EA Sports WRC is the most convincing rally sim ever made, combining superlativ­e driving physics with gorgeous visuals and a deep career mode. But best of all? It’s fun. Proper, vintage racing game fun that oozes from every turn. If you grew up loving Colin McRae Rally, your dream game is here.

Your career can begin in WRC’s junior category, the mid-tier WRC2, or you get stuck straight in with the WRC monsters. You can build a rally car yourself, choosing components while watching your budget level, or just buy a stock vehicle. It’s all straightfo­rward and easy to get started.

Seasons are split into weeks, each allowing a single card to be completed, be that scouting for new engineers, resting your personnel, buying a garage slot or competing in an event. Some rallies are invitation­als with loaned cars, where you risk incurring hundreds of thousands of credits in repair fees, while others benefit your relationsh­ip with your benefactor (which essentiall­y boils down to a single bar that fills up or empties depending on how your actions please or displease your sponsor). Avoiding overly complex micromanag­ement, the game instead rewards good driving and simple budget planning as you build your team.


Do well enough and you’ll win bigger budgets or even step up into the next category. On medium event length each season takes about six hours (and they fly by), with most stages taking around seven minutes to complete. As a result, EA Sports WRC manages to appease hardcore rally fans while still providing a quick and accessible structure for casuals. You’ve still got to want to play a rally game, of course – the driving here is very challengin­g and constantly falling off the road isn’t for everyone, but that said, it seems easier to control than Dirt Rally 2.0, with far fewer early excursions into agricultur­al territory. Competitor­s’ times are a touch unbalanced between surfaces, but it rarely feels unfair.

Visually, it’s mostly superb, with varied, vast environmen­ts and incredible foliage density, though the weather effects could be better, as could the colours, which aren’t quite photoreali­stic. Unlike the solid Dirt Rally 2.0, there are some frame hitches and screen tearing in busy scenes, and there isn’t a performanc­e graphics setting to prioritise frame rate, though reducing FOV appears to help.

Still, a rally game lives or dies by its corner-by-corner driving, and this is the most convincing around. From low-speed wheelspin to glorious drifts over snow, it’s glorious. A rally fan’s dream come true.

EA Sports WRC is simply the finest example of the genre. A few hitches and bugs can’t detract from a deep, breathless and wholly fun experience. Easy, right? Justin Towell


 ?? ?? The dust hangs in the air for so long, sometimes you’ll drive past your own trail.
The dust hangs in the air for so long, sometimes you’ll drive past your own trail.
 ?? ??

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