EA WRC: best racing game in the last years?

After my HUGE expectations with Forza Motorsport and subsequent disappointment (Turn10 fixed some issues yet I’m totally sick of the game), I’m happy to say I got a new race game. Electronic Arts released EA WRC in November, and I bought it 10 days ago. Even though it looked great when announced, I vowed to never again pre-order a game. With that, I waited to read some real-world reviews before spending money. And since reviews were consistently good, I bought it. To my utter delight, the game truly is really good. Of course it has some issues (there are no perfect games), nonetheless it is challenging and really fun to play.

You can, in a way, build your own car, selecting key components and some aesthetic features..

One of the things I really enjoyed about it is the ability to “create” your own car, be it a Rally1, Rally2 or Rally3 class car. Well, not create create, yet you can choose a few different looks and mechanical components. And these parts (engine, brakes, gearbox, etc) can impact on how the car handles and if it’s less or more reliable. And of course, you can also create your own livery. You can’t actually go bonkers, since you depend on (many) pre-set decals, however you still can get really creative.

All liveries are customizable, yet for the Mini I kept it looking like the real deal.

You can also choose to use a “real” car, like my Mini above. It’s a FWD, that I use for some historical rally events. In the case of the Mini, I mainly used it in regularity races, which are quite fun to do. Nonetheless, you can choose almost any kind of rally car. From a very early Mini to an outrageous Group B monster to the technical marvel of a Rally1.

The Group B cars are REALLY tough to master! Loose focus for a second and you’re into the bushes.

However, not everything is roses. The game is HARD! I have decades of experience with Playstation and XBox racing games, including games like the classic Dirt. Nonetheless, EA WRC is giving me a hard time 😯. The FWD and the modern 4WD cars, like WRC or Rally3 (“Rally Junior”) are precise and steady . On the other hand, RWD Group B cars specially are horrible to control. If I wink wrong, I loose it, and to the bushes we go. I find them absurdly tough to tame. To the point that I have to go really slow or else I put the car in the boondocks. On almost every stage 😣. And since it’s hard to win races driving slowly, you get the picture. However, very probably that happens due to pilot incompetence. Or at least I hope so.

Conversely, Rally Junior cars are a delight to drive – not overly fast but nimble and predictable.

Another big issue is that the game has no instruction manual. So you have to learn by trial and error, and in career mode things get difficult. You have a team to manage (contract engineers, choose what races to participate in) yet no hint on what to do. And there’s no oops-button, with no way of undoing a management decision. So if you choose wrong, you can’t go back and choose better.

Rally1 cars: total beasts, yet tamable animals.

Nonetheless, if you’re interested in rally motorsports and the WRC, it’s a VERY enjoyable game. Not perfect, but in terms of a console racing game it is challenging and very entertaining. While this may be true, it is a demanding game, with a very steep learning curve. Bottom line, as a racing game (and if you do like rallying, of course) in general it’s exponentially better than Forza.

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