Review: WRC 2010
When I first started playing WRC 2010 I found it extremely difficult to find anything wrong with the game. In my eyes, it was perfect. And in the sense of perfect, I was judging it from a racing stand-point, and not on its visual impression.
- Worth The Time?Yes
- Things LovedAlmost everything - from the sounds to the realistic gameplay which requires you to drive diligently and carefully on all surfaces
- Things HatedLack of variation in races, reasonable graphics, accidents
- RecommendationIf you're a rally enthusiast it's probably the best title to get your hands on. It only however caters for rally and nothing else. If you like driving and racing games, it's definitely worth a hire. WRC offers a real experience which shouldn't be missed. It's a long game to play as well, if you try and finish each race in first place.
- Name: WRC 2010
- Genre: Racing
- Players: 1+
- Multiplayer: Online
- Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
- Developer: Milestone SRL
- Publisher: Black Bean Games
- Price: R350 (PC), R700 (PS3, Xbox 360)
- Reviewed On: Xbox 360
I prefer realism over graphics and this is the case with WRC 2010. It has slightly choppy graphics, but it’s definitely pretty and more than playable. In fact, we’ve been blinded by graphics from Gran Turismo 5 and Forza 3 and naturally, the polish on those games put most titles to shame.
But don’t get me wrong; there’s more than enough effects and visual display to keep your heart pounding while sliding around a corner.
In fact, Black Bean’s rally-racer offers everything you need in the visual department. When you start the race your car is clean, when you end you’ll struggle to see any signage. Also, when you’re racing you can see the effects from the wheels. WRC 2010 does not offer ingenious, or new, visual effects – but everything available will offer an above-average experience, close enough to that of real-life.
Keeping with real-life, the interior views of the car are enjoyable. WRC 2010 offers a relatively new view which I enjoyed thoroughly. In addition to being seated behind the steering wheel like most racers, WRC offers a view just above the center of the steering-wheel. I found this to be a more enjoyable view as it not only offers more sight, but it also gives you the effect that you aren’t so far back inside the car. In a sense, it slightly negates the distance from you and the screen you’re playing on.
Graphics in WRC 2010 are nice. It works. It’s not a market-changer, and it’s not a game-breaker. It’s merely doable. The graphics won’t hurt those interested in playing because they’ll be too busy keeping active with the gameplay.
Which, in turn, leads me to the gameplay.
WRC 2010 is quite tough. When I first started I could barely keep the racer on the track. It was seriously difficult to keep stable on snow and gravel at first.
In the Career mode you start at the bottom, just like a real-life career in rally. Using front-wheel-drive cars you can feel the difference in turning and propulsion. Not to mention the power difference between the bigger, faster, four-wheel-drive vehicles.
Black Bean’s rally title is a game which takes practice and control. If you understand a bit about racing, and if you have the behaviour to slow down around corners and drive diligently, you’ll succeed. Negligence here will be your downfall when you cross the Finish line seconds behind the guy in pole position.
Because the Career mode requires you to race through various tracks and various rally-groups — WRC; S-WRC; P-WRC; J-WRC — which are all real, Black Bean needed to offer variation and differences in the cars and how they perform.
There’s a lot of cars at your disposal, all tuned differently and all have different features — as if it were real life. Some cars Rev up to 7500 RPM while others shoot up to 9000RPM, a difference which is noticeable: Both visually and audibly.
As mentioned above, it’s a game for enthusiasts because it comes across very real. Control of the car, like understeer and oversteer play major factors. The speed which you handbrake turn, the angle which you handbrake turn — it’s all important. But don’t get me wrong, anyone can play and learn. WRC offers a greater experience, and it doesn’t really cater for a market which drives around a track without caring about what they are actually doing.
Due to car-control playing a major factor, how you drive on the rev-limiter will influence your position. I found one problem that the automatic mode doesn’t seem to cater for high-RPM driving. My finger was more on the geardown button than it was on the handbrake for the pure reason that once you take a corner an immediate geardown will not only boost speed but also sound great. This, however, is preference, and a bit of driving experience on its own. And it’s rally — Drive it like you stole it.
WRC’s audio is good. But the co-drivers, or navigators, aren’t audibly enjoyable. They have a monotone without much enthusiasm and emotion. There’s the odd scream or chirp which comes your way, but that’s only because without the odd scream or chirp the navigation would be as exciting as an empty packet of crisps.
Navigation on the other hand is great. Without listening to the co-driver, you’ll definitely crash and burn. The co-driver can be from various countries, and male or female, and they are changeable when the race is over. The navigation system always lets you know where to go, and how to get there. Handbrake, don’t handbrake; fast or slow, they will let you know.
The engine, audio-wise, is also a different story. You can hear when the car is going fast, you can hear when it’s revving high. The difference between a car with a 7500 RPM and 9000 RPM limiter is not only found in speed but also sound. Each motor has its very own distinct sound. It’s amazing. Turbocharged cars have the swoosh of the turbo, and the massive release of air through the WasteGate when the gear is changed, or when you slow down. Thrilling, to say the least.
There is the ability to play off the sound of the motor. You never need to know your speed or your gear purely because you can hear that there are too little rev’s or too many for the upcoming corner. Most games seem to use sounds which are there for the sake of being sounds.
Game modes for WRC 2010 include Multiplayer, Quick Play and Career. These are the basic.
Career requires you to start at the bottom where you and your co-driver move up in ranks across the World Rally Championship. Starting with a mediocre front-wheel-drive car you’ll find yourself adding sponsors and changing the paint-job before being selected to drive for an official WRC team.
You will earn money from racing, sponsors and finishing certain objectives. Single events, in a specific group, are often quite lengthy as races can occur on two or three different tracks.
With the money used from the races, you’ll be able to buy new signage and new cars which perform slightly better than the one you’re using.
There’s no car-part modification like Forza. All the cars are kitted for rally as there are FIA regulations to maintain, therefore you’ll never be able to fill your hands with motor-oil. But, you can however tweak and adjust how your car drives. Soft shocks, hard shocks; low ride height, high ride height; how your gears are set out; more power in low RPM, or high RPM. The only thing is, I never found myself messing about with this. There’s no ability to actually test what you’re setting. If you accidentally set something outrageously stupid, good luck.
Tracks, are plentiful. In the beginning some repeat, however as it starts to progress you’ll notice some parts of the circuit are the same where an add-on or a change will soon be evident. You’ll turn left instead of right at a certain point, or something to that effect. Remember, these tracks are official circuits in the WRC as the game holds the official licence.
Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be any pitch-black night races. Nothing where you need spot- and flood-lights. It’s a pity because it’ll definitely up the hardcore experience and offer a new spectrum of play requiring you to listen to the co-driver even more.
There are however races in dusk and dawn, which is quite cool.
Watch out for strategically placed trees. After loads of testing I’m sure the developers found people are prone to spin out at certain points, where a tree just happens to be placed.. perfectly. And it leaves you to think, just how true is the tree plantation in these areas?
Which leads me to accidents, and damage. It feels as if the game is slightly on target with this. There’s the odd tree which leaves you completely stationary, or the odd bump which leaves you spinning and rolling out of control for a good five or six seconds. Rally is known for accidents, and accidents you will have.
Damage has been included into the game, and it’s great. Whenever you have a blow-out from crashing, your car will take strain. The effects of damage are visual and gameplay changing. If you damage your gearbox you’ll notice a definite decrease in speed, funny sounds when changing, sometimes the inability to change, and lastly the quirky “What’s wrong with the gearbox?” line from your co-driver.
Overall, it’s a racer and there’s not much too any racer. Racing knowledge or understanding will help in the beginning, but it’s definitely playable without. Without the aforementioned knowledge, by the end of the career, you’ll understand how to drive and how to maintain control and most surfaces – no matter how slippery. Probably in real-life too.
It’s a great game, with a few motivation factors like buying new cars for new races. It does however become a little stagnant. It’s definitely worth a rental if you’re a racing fan, and worth the purchase if you’re a rally fan.
In the beginning I said the game was perfect at first, thereafter, things started to change. It felt as if the game missed a few crucial and enjoyable features. For example, there’s only rally and nothing else – like gymkhana.
Hell, it has Ken Block.