Rally games have really come into their own in recent years. Dirt and the WRC series stand head and shoulders above the rest for good reason, so each year it gets more and more difficult to work out just how they could further improve. Thanks to Nacon and KT Racing, though, WRC 10 exceeds these lofty expectations to provide a solid rally experience.
The first game in the series to really make use of the power of the current generation of consoles, WRC 10 looks stunning from the offset. Courses are hammered by weather conditions that would have many normal people staying indoors, the scenery is so pretty it’s a shame that you’re often passing it at such a speed (while trying not to crash straight in to some of it).
This is backed up by a huge array of modes and races including a full on tutorial, some fun challenges that really push your handling of the cars in all sorts of conditions and, of course, the Career mode which is so solidly built that it’s hard to see how they could improve further on it (but then I thought that last year as well). The main career sees you not only try to take your choice of rally cars to the championship positions but also work behind the scenes to try to improve their performance through R&D and some team and money management thrown in for good measure. It’s similar to the current Formula 1 game approach to a full on simulation of the sport on and off the track but WRC 10 takes things a step further.
Not that you need to worry if you’re not interested in team management or are worried that this hardcore sim will test you too much, there are options to tone the difficulty down and modes which can be jumped into at will in order to enjoy the excellent tracks and handling. This is a game for everyone with even a passing interest in rally racing but also manages to cater for every hardcore sim fan. I haven’t even mentioned the online side of things, which is a whole other section in itself that features both online racing (there weren’t many players around to test this out at the time, sadly) and asynchronous racing against ghosts or beating online leaderboard time trials. Even offline split-screen is available and is very welcome for those of us who still like to challenge friends on the same TV.
With some of the best real world rally tracks beautifully realised here and a ton of both classic and new rally cars, WRC 10 is a rally fan’s dream and manages to somehow cater for both hardcore fans and newcomers alike.