Review: WRC 8 – Switch Edition

Rally racing is a motorsport discipline I love, both to watch and play, so it’s great when one of the top rally games of the year makes it to Nintendo Switch.

The console and PC launch of WRC 8 was a huge success, the series has come on leaps and bounds from its early days and even gave Codemasters a run for their money in terms of top Rally game. Now it’s the turn of the Switch to host Kylotonn’s new racer.

The good news is that all the content is there, from the licensed cars to the tracks and game modes. It’s an impressive feat to fit it all in. This is certainly the most featured rally game ever on Nintendo’s console.

Graphically, though, there’s the obvious downgrade in order to get the game running smoothly, which it does generally. That said, it still looks pretty good, it’s just that some of the background scenery is muddier and the draw distance is sadly lacking which is especially noticeable when you have a track with blind bends and you need to plan ahead.

Playing in portable mode gets a further downgrade with a more blurry background. The smaller screen helps mask some of these issues and it’s still fine for playing but when you see a game like GRID work so well in portable mode it’s a bit of a shame.

There are, however, two issues that I couldn’t get over on WRC8, the incredibly long loading times and the sensitivity of the controls. The loading times are a surprise, though I’ve heard that a few other racing games have similar issues, so it’s not alone there. It’s the handling that made this far less playable than it otherwise would have been. The Joycon controls are sensitive to a point where just staying in control of your car is a challenge in itself. Switching to a Pro controller it was a little better but not by much. Even changing the sensitivity didn’t help enough to make this feel like I was fully in control.

So while I’m impressed with the content on offer and the amount of detail in the tracks and cars, I’m disappointed by the controls which are a make or break for a driving game as far as I’m concerned. WRC 8 is not a disaster by any means but it’s nowhere near the game that the other consoles got.

WRC 8 - Switch Edition

6.5

Overall

6.5/10

Pros

  • Looks good in docked mode
  • All content is ported to Switch
  • Impressive licenced cars and tracks

Cons

  • Draw distance makes planning ahead difficult
  • Controls are far too sensitive
  • Handheld performance isn't as good as docked
  • Long loading times

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