WRC 8 FIA World Rally Championship Review – Unforgiving but Still the Best Rally Racer

WRC 8 FIA World Rally Championship has finally been released across all formats and we spent the weekend racing on our PS4 Pro. Is the game worthy of your time, or should it be left in the garage?

Read on to find out

The WRC video game franchise has been around since 2001 and has had a handful of different developers release different editions. The current developer, Kylotonn, has been working on the series since 2015 and welcomed the franchise to the current generation of consoles. Their last iteration of the series, WRC 7, made some decent improvements in both the overall handling of the cars as well as the career mode. WRC 8 continues that trend and makes the series even better.

Get Behind the Wheel

WRC 8 wastes no time in giving you your first opportunity to get behind the wheel. The game wants to know your skill level and what better way than to let you jump in a rally car and take off. Playing in 4K on the ps4 Pro, the first thing we noticed was the improved graphics and gorgeous scenery. Not only did the game run smooth, the graphics at speed looked smooth as well. You can turn motion blur on and off, but it looks impressive either way, with an incredible level of detail both inside the car and out.

The handling of the car has improved some from WRC 7, with a tighter feel for the overall handling. The game is a true racing sim, so don’t expect an easy to drive arcade racer here, even with all of the handling assists turned on and in easy mode. We tried the game both with a controller and with our Thrustmaster T150 racing rig with a Wheel Stand Pro and found that the racing wheel and pedals gave us better control and faster times through most of the tracks. The game is very unforgiving, and even the slightest oversteer may launch you over a cliff at times. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though, as you’ll have to listen to your co-pilot closely and pay attention to the on-screen prompts as they will clue you as to what the track has in store for you.

Impressive Career Mode

Jumping into career mode you’ll find two options. You can go right to racing the big boys of the WRC, or you can opt to spend a season in the minor leagues of the Junior WRC. The game recommends spending a season on the Junior circuit, and so do we. This not only acclimates your driving abilities to the cars and courses, it also helps to improve your overall racing team. All of your main training sessions and races on the junior circuit will be completed in a Ford Fiesta R2, and that is what all the other racers on the junior circuit use as well, so there’s a pretty level playing field.

Playing through the junior circuit first also helps you develop some aspects of your Research & Development system before making the jump to the big leagues. The R&D system is pretty deep and gives the game almost an RPG feel to it. You unlock upgrade points upon successfully completing different daily tasks and training sessions, and these points are then used to upgrade different aspects of your team or vehicle. You can unlock meteorologists to better predict the weather, as well as experience boosts, mechanic upgrades, and performance boosts, to name just a few. It’s a pretty deep and robust system that adds a whole new level of realism to the career mode.

So Many Courses and Locations

With courses in 14 different locations, from Mexico to Australia, and the number of courses over 100, the amount of racing to enjoy is almost endless. All of the tracks from the FIA World Rally Championship are available, with some tracks doing double duty by being reversed, but each track is unique and in Quick Play or testing, you can adjust the weather to your liking. You are limited by the normal weather for a region, so don’t expect to be in a blinding blizzard Down Unda.

Publisher Big Ben Interactive has really found a goldmine of a developer in Kylotonn, as they are really going above and beyond and raising the bar very high for other rally franchises to try to reach. While the game isn’t for you arcade racers, and won’t even begin to hold your hand regardless of the terrain, its a rally racers dream simulator and should be in every racing enthusiasts library.

Now if only there was a VR Mode.

9


WRC 8 FIA World Rally Championship review code provided by publisher and reviewed on a PS4 Pro. For more information on scoring, please read What our review scores really mean.