Reviews by Winsord

80

A Game With Heart

Winsord | April 20, 2013 | Review of WRC 2

WRC 2 may have difficulty appealing to a larger audience as a result of some rough edges, but it really excels at what it aims to do. Kind of the natural comparison for the game would be to Codemasters' DiRT series (or more specifically in this case, DiRT 3), as they're really the only modern rally games on the market.

The gameplay for WRC is really spot-on. The cars feel good and weighty, and drifting is fun but not too easy. The campaign mode has players go through a WRC Championship in the standard calendar event format that many racing games have used in the past. A neat differentiator here though is that players get to build their entire rally team, hiring mechanics and office workers. The different workers have different stats that will allow you do things like take on multiple R&D tasks at once or get new sponsors more quickly.

The main spots where WRC kind of falls flat are made even more evident by how polished the DiRT games are. The UI in the game is really generic and not very well designed. Certain menu options aren't always present in their logical places and they're too heavily layered; getting to R&D for a specific car is something like seven layers deep from the campaign menu and similar design choices to that make the out-of-race experience less enjoyable than it should be.

The game also has issues graphically, both from a quality and performance standpoint. Many of the textures are flat and/or blurry, and the experience pales in comparison as DiRT is surely made on such a higher budget. I have a fairly competent GPU (XFX 7870 w/ 2GB DDR5) and still had to turn off basic graphical options to get the game to run at a steady frame rate.

WRC 2 is a great game that simply lacks some polish. The gripes I have with the game are fairly minor and just aren't as important as how good the racing feels. The game hits on the notes is needs to, and it really feels like Milestone would make a ridiculously good rally game if they were to have the same budget as the DiRT series. If you have any interest in rally racing, this is a game worth picking up.