WRC 6 is the second WRC game by developer Kylotonn, after they took over from Milestone with last year’s release. We played the PS4 and PC versions to see how the series has progressed.
Considering how rally racing is a bit of a niche sport (be honest, how many rally racing events have you seen on TV?), there is a staggering amount of rally racing games out there. Since WRC 5 came out last year we’ve seen console releases for Sebastien Loeb Rally Evo and Dirt Rally, and each one of these titles has been worthwhile in their own right. Fans of the sport, either in the real life or virtual form, have plenty to choose from.
While Dirt Rally provides the best simulation experience out of the three titles, Kylotonn’s interpretation of the WRC franchise sits more on the arcade/fun end of the spectrum. I’d also go as far as to say that Dirt Rally is the best of the bunch, but whether it’s the best option for you depends a lot on the type of gamer you are. Kylotonn has made a smart move in not trying to copy Codemasters in that regard.
What WRC 6 does very well is offer gamers an accessible yet challenging driving and handling model. Having a game that’s not nearly as punishing as Dirt Rally might put off rally racing purists, but will be a delight for more casual fans of the sport and racing in general. WRC 6 is easy to get into, and we found it to be a lot more fun in multiplayer because of it. Dirt Rally is so intricate that a newcomer can’t just pick it up and play, but WRC 6 excels in making gameplay fun and competitive between friends right away.
Content-wise, WRC 6 is a bit on the light side – featuring a smaller selection of vehicles and less variety than you’d expect. The tracks that you race on are well done though, with a great sense of speed being created through the use of narrow roads and some tight cornering around obstacles. Aside from the regular (one car, time trial) type of race, WRC 6 also features a few stages where two cars race at once, for a more direct sense of competition.
Audiovisually speaking, WRC 6 delivers a next gen experience without blowing anyone away. The choice to leave the last-gen systems behind has paid off, but the level of detail and overall polish isn’t as great as it could have been when you consider things like damage models and weather effects. The co-driver audio feels a step behind Dirt Rally as well, with cues behind read off instead of having a more organic audio experience that dynamically changes based on the stage you’re racing on. Having said that, WRC 6 is definitely a step up from last year’s WRC 5 in audiovisual performance.
WRC 6 does have a better career mode than Dirt Rally, which takes you from being a newcomer in the sport all the way to the elite category. This reaffirms my belief that WRC 6 is a great choice for those who are more casual fans of the sport and prefer a fun yet challenging experience. For them, Dirt Rally – while great – might just be too much of a good thing. I’m glad that WRC 6 fills that void, and it fills it well.