12th Oct2021

‘WRC 10’ Review (Xbox Series X/S)

by Phil Wheat

To celebrate 50 years of the competition in 2022, WRC 10 offers a unique anniversary edition, bursting with new features and driving thrills. A retrospective mode offers players the chance to relive 19 events that have shaped the history of the Championship – including six historic rallies, such as the legendary Acropolis Rally (Greece) and Rallye Sanremo (Italy), with over 20 of the WRC‘s most iconic cars: Alpine, Audi, Lancia, Subaru, Ford, Mitsubishi, Toyota…

Apparently making WRC 10 the biggest iteration of the game yet, paying homage to 50 years of rallying in a package that – I’m asssured – will please fans of the series. But what if you’re not a fan? What if you’re Playing a WRC game for the first time? Or if you haven’t played one since way back in the early years of the Xbox 360 and the first WRC FIA World Rally Championship? What then?

I tell you what then… You’re thrown in at the deep end trying to get your head around true simulation gameplay  when you’ve spent the interveneing years playing arcade racers, or de-tuning sim-style games to feel more arcade-racer like… Yeah, if you haven’t guessed, that’s what happened to me! Which, honeslty, really made a MASSIVE impact on my enjoyment of WRC 10. Truly. I tried to give the game a fair shake – tried all the game modes, all the difficulties etc. But even then there was something about WRC 10 that kept me detached from the gameplay, stopped me feeling any real enjoyment. This was a chore of a video game that’s for sure.

There are a lot of plus points though. For a start WRC 10 looks absolutely gorgeous. Especially playing in 4K where you can see specks of dirt flying through the air and the scenery, from rain-filled Britain to sunny Spain by way of brand-new course Estonia, is brillaintly manifested. Even if there are a few issues with long-range rendering. Then there’s the physics, which have already been praised by critics and drivers in WRC 9, have been further improved to offer players an even more realistic experience. Control of aerodynamic forces, the turbo and braking have received particular attention on all surfaces, so that WRC 10 recreates ever more accurate and intense driving sensations. Immersion has also been increased with a completely reworked audio design for this new edition; making the WRC 10 experience all about making this game feel like the “real” thing…

I get that there’s a place for simulations in the video game landscape, it’s just that – for me – they’re really not the type of “game” I want to play. I want to have fun playing video games, not stress about whether I doing things correctly. That’s why I prefer arcade racers… Though I did hope that playing WRC 10 with all the assists on AND on the easiest mode possible would at least offer some arcade-style gameplay but no. Don’t think you can throw your car around the track here. There’s no drifting round bends – hell just try it and your car spins out of control wildly! There IS the option for damage not to matter which is a plus but then, even with that option turned on, there’s still – at least in my eyes – no enjoyment to driving a video game car as carefully as you would a real one!

WRC 10 is for serious simulation gamers only. Me? I’ll stick to the Forza Horizon franchise and replaying the remastered Burnout Paradise…

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