Review: WRC 2: FIA World Rally Championship
WRC 2 is the successor to last year's Black Bean rally title. But, despite being new, just how much of it is actually a "success"? While the game has all the potential in the world, something seems to be missing. What could that be?
- Worth The Time?If you're into fast-paced racing, then yes. Else, last year's game might be the perfect choice -- if you have it.
- Things LovedGroup B races, Super Special Stages, better handling, the fast-paced action, the feeling of control and lack thereof at the same time, speed.
- Things HatedThe game feels the same as the previous version, the stages are the same as last year's game, crashes feel a little bit too uncontrollable, choppy graphics, repetitive.
- RecommendationIf you don't own WRC 2010 -- and you're looking for a fast paced racer -- then WRC 2 could be a great option. But, perhaps renting before you buy is best as you might get bored.
- Name: WRC 2: FIA World Rally Championship
- Genre: Racing
- Players: 1
- Multiplayer: 2+
- Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
- Developer: Milestone
- Publisher: Black Bean
- Price: R450 (-/+)
- Reviewed On: PS3
In an age where videogames need to constantly adapt year-over-year to survive, we’re plagued with a slight problem. It’s called WRC 2. Now, the thing about WRC 2 is that it’s not a bad game — in fact it’s actually really fun — the problem is the lack of change.
WRC 2 hasn’t enhanced gameplay-wise over last year’s 2010 version, which was a breath of fresh air as a fast-paced rally racer — in my eyes at least. In WRC 2, it feels as if you’re driving the same cars on the same tracks, because the majority of the tracks haven’t changed. While playing it’s easy to recall the tracks from the previous version, and it feels like Déjà–Vu. You don’t know that it’s a new game, but it’s understandable as the game is based on the real tracks used in the WRC.
But, that’s only in the campaign called Road to WRC — which features updated drivers and teams for the 2011 year.
Fortunately, Black Bean and Milestone has enhanced the other aspects of WRC 2, in the sense that there’s new modes which include Super Special Stages and Class B cars (which are older racers from the 1980’s). And while the original game did have Class B cars, you needed to purchase this or get a code for it. This time round, it has been included into the game.
Playing with 1980’s racers feels great, and the best part is that these racers come with new and enhanced tracks. If anything, WRC 2 is worth the play merely to get your hands on these features. But, as I mentioned, Class B was an add-on to WRC 2010 and this game could easily be an add-on in its entirety.
While you may feel that this is coming across all very negative, it’s not really.
WRC 2 is more of a purist’s game. It’s for those that love speed and thrill. Those that love smashing into trees because you’re going too fast. That’s me. I like that, I like this game. But I’m upset with the lack of changes.
In the racing aspect of the game, I don’t like how you cannot see your racing view of the car during the countdown before the race. Basically, you’re moving around your car and the second the clock hits “GO GO GO” you’re trying to find the correct view. And when you’re swapping the remote with friends in singleplayer (because Hot Seat isn’t helping the campaign), this becomes problematic. Essentially you need to find the view before the first corner, and this can be tough, depending on the race surface.
And you do need to focus. That’s for sure. The game feels somewhat tougher than it was last year, where the control of the cars feel a little bit less responsive. Not to mention, handbrake isn’t as great as it was before. But, don’t worry, there’s an added feature called “Rewind”. And, as you guessed, this feature let’s you rewind whenever you need to. It doesn’t let you rewind too much, but just enough to counter-steer that corner.
What I do love, however, is the racing views. There’s more than that found in a traditional racing game. The interior views rock, where you can also view the bonnet, an arcade style, and outside. Again, this is the same as last year, so nothing has really changed.
Visually, the enhancements are evident, for the car. As for the environment, things still seem unproductive and careless. And the same can be said for the interior of the car, which is disappointing because one should play the game from the interior.
However, despite the problems with graphics mentioned above, the cars have been taken care of — and you can spot this immediately. The way that dirt appropriates its way onto the car, how rain will start the windscreen wipers — it’s all adding to the effect. The graphics for the car are amazing, and bring everything to life, until you get inside.
As for the stages — when they aren’t being repetitive — you’ll have fun.
The Super Special Stages are interior-based events which are built for rally. They are unique and very tight for racing. These stages will test your skills and how much you know about the game. Overall, they add some great diversity to the game.
As for the Class B cars, these are the 1980 power racers. The original racers which put rally on the map. While the cars are great, and powerful, the mode lacks the iconic Lancia’s and Audi’s. However, this will probably be available in lovable DLC.
Mentioned above, I said that there’s speed and thrill. And this is undeniable. WRC 2 is quick from the get go. There’s no waiting to get involved. Once you start, you’re thrown into the deep-end where tight corners and slippery surfaces challenge you.
In WRC 2, surfaces play a big part in what’s happening. The car will handle differently on the various surfaces thrown your way, where if you’re technical enough, you can modify your car to handle these surfaces. WRC 2, when compared to WRC 2010, has bettered with car modification and adaption for the various surfaces. However, this is a technical aspect which many of us would skip, so it feels somewhat pointless. WRC feels as if it would like to be a Simulation game rather than an Arcade rally title that everyone can enjoy, which is upsetting in a way. Setting up a car for rally is tedious and tough, so thank goodness there are presets available.
The modes for the game are the same as last year, you can do the campaign — Road to WRC — or single player, or multiplayer. There’s also a learning centre for newbies, which comprises of different events and obstacles for you to undergo. This will teach you how to drive on different surfaces and how to take corners with the shoddy handbrake.
You will find the same style campaign as last year, where you drive, unlock and buy cars, build a reputation and find sponsors. Nothing has changed in this aspect. But, rightly so, because, how can it really change? That’s what rally is about, isn’t it?
And because it’s rally, you’re racing by yourself on a track. This can feel a bit lonely, but because of the speed and arcade feeling of the game, you don’t actually have time to focus on other racers. In WRC 2, each corner is a mission to get through — it requires thinking, especially if there’s a bump, or if the driving surface changes.
Lastly, I think it’s fair to say that I’m in two minds about the game. I love it but I don’t understand it. It feels as if the changes could be an add-on, and not really a new game. Similarities between the 2010 and 2011 title seem to be the plague of the game, but the enhancements seem to build love for the game. On first play the game felt the same, and that’s the problem. But, the 1980’s vehicles and new city stages seem to make up for this.