The official game of the WRC is back, fully updated to the contents of the 2011 Official Championship and with brand-new contents and game modes!
ROAD TO THE WRC: Start your exciting career in the Rally World! Build up your own team from scratch, make your way through different races and events and become the ultimate WRC Champion! And be in charge of the team management too: select your events based on time and budget and mange your own team (sponsors and engineers, mechanics, co-drivers)
WRC RALLY SCHOOL: Are you sure you have what it takes to be a rally champion? Complete the challenges of the WRC Rally School to learn how to master the most important rally techniques! HOT SEAT: Play with your friends racing one after the other! Available game modes: Single Stage, Single Rally and Championship.
SUPER SPECIAL STAGES: live the thrill of head-to-head races! You have the chance to challenge your favourite drivers into famous stadiums and open-air arenas!
URBAN STAGES: have you ever seen a WRC car darting on the streets of famous cities like Berlin???
Yep, it's whole lot better than the first WRC made by Milestone. I will dispense with the obvious, like upgraded graphics and stuff. Just jumping to the conclusion. WRC 2 has more cars, more races, and finally career mode is quite fun to play. You won't get bored half way through just to forget about the game and remember the time you spent playing it with disgust. Many new tracks and better car handling system ensure that. Still, game lacks that "polish," which would make it stand out. It comes and goes without much hype, and it falls to people like us to show it some appreciation. I don't usually play racing games. I find them quite boring in fact. With WRC 2 i wasn't bored at all. Even if it's not a great game like for instance DiRT, it's really worth a try. Coming from a person who sneers at racing games it means something.
As the name says, WRC 2 is the second game of the franchise. This is the only one to have the official cars and tracks from te WRC series. First of all, yes there is not a lot of cars in this game, but that is due to the always decreasing list of car manufacturers in WRC. We cannot blame the game for being true to the series. There are about 8 different categories, starting with the Suzuki Swift S1600 up to the Subaru Impreza or Lancia Delta Integrale HF '91. Each category contains about 4 cars, which is enough for me considering that you will do several races with each of them, giving you the time to appreciate or hate them. Same thing for the tracks, they are all there: France, Germany, Great Britain, Portugal, name it. There are also few tournaments consisting of 3 or 4 rounds battles, 1 on 1. This was the worst race for me, since all you do is racing 4 times in a row the same circuit, against a car that you will not really see since the other racer starts on a different part of the circuit. This is just long. However, the real circuits vary from snow to asphalt, passing by dirt and gravel. They can be bumpy, wet, large or shallow. I really enjoyed each of them. You have to build your own team, hiring mechanics and public relations representatives. The more you have, the more parts you will be able to upgrade ath the same time or the more you will be able to have sponsors. This adds a nice managing aspect to the game. There is a tutorial for the beginners that shows you the basics of rally. It is really nicely done. If you are familiar with rally, do not spend time on it, just skip to the Road to WRCC Championship as they name it. I had several crashes to desktop when upgrading a particular car when I was in the menu. So much that at some point, I could not change my sponsors at all when I used that car. At least, the game was saved since I was in the menu. Also, it happened few times that in the menu, I only saw the car skeleton until I entered a race, completed it and then came back in the menu. Graphics look dated, as it is the case for almost all of MileStone games. The in-car view is also not the most detailed, compared to Forza or Gran Turismo. However, it is still so pleasant to race using that view. For the more enthusiasts, you can tweak a lot of settings on your car, although you are not forced to. You can or not use flashback, which will allow you to rewind if you made a major mistake. The difficulty level can be adjusted at anytime between the rallies, allowing you to set brake assist, traction control assist and few other options. So, it gives the chance to the beginners as well as the more experienced drivers to play this game, as long as they keep in mind that this is not an arcade game, this is a rally simulator. Do not expect anything close to Dirt 3. I played the whole game with an XBOX controller, but I guess that it is more fun and realistic to play with a steering wheel. The controls are correct since you can map them the way you want. A lot of improvements were made over the first game, and for sure there are a lot that still need to be done, but I really look forward WRC 3. If you are like me and were disappointed by Dirt 3, run to your local game store and buy this game.
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.
With a wide variety of tracks, cars and vehicles to master there's a wealth of things to do in WRC 2. It's just a shame that the package lacks the polish and nuance of its peers, creating a functional and accurate driving experience without any of the pizzazz. The campaign at least tries something a little different, serving up a career mode as much about the managerial aspect of a rally team as it is the driving. But it's a shame that Milestone hasn't managed to stamp its personality on other aspects of the experience, with the empty minimalistic menus and sombre presentation giving the game something of a down-tempo feel throughout.
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