I haven’t played a proper rally game since Codemasters dropped Colin McRae for the more diverse Dirt. But that doesn’t mean I’ve left my love for driving games behind, it’s just that I’ve embraced the tire squealing tarmac based fun of the Forza series, easily the best general racing game available.
But general racing WRC 5 isn’t. It’s a Rally game pure and simple. And as such, it’s whole different beast to tame. As with most sports games these days, you can jump into a quick race or head down the career path. Both are valid options, but I always feel that a games soul is found in the career mode, and so I set out to make a name for myself in the Rallying world.
First thing you have to do is pick an offer. Whilst in most other driving games I’ve played, you generally take the offer from the company with what you consider is the nicest looking car, with WRC 5, you have to look a little deeper, and choose a company that rewards your driving style. Pick the wrong contract and you style of driving may adversely effect your team, therefore making, say, your mechanics work slower, giving them less ability to fix your car.
Having a good team of mechanics is essential in the world of rally, as I found out in my first rally. I was doing great, leading the way with some good times, but only having a set amount of time to do repairs at the end of each day, meant that not everything could get fixed, and so it came to be, that whilst being in the lead, on the last stage of the last day, I had to retire due to mechanical issues.
My second rally I was a little more careful and used the rewind feature a bit more. Even then I had to sacrifice electronics at some point and part way into the final stage I lost radio coms with my co-driver and ended up driving essentially blind. Such is life.
WRC 5 is a little more challenging than your average racer. It’s narrow focus means you have to pay attention to the details, know when to conserve, and when to go hell for leather.
It’s a great game that rewards you for the time you put in, and looks and feels amazing.
If you’ve missed the heydays of console rallying, then this is the game to get you back into it.
Reviewed on: XBox One
Reviewed by: Jonathan