Racing games have always been around us. Whether it is on the Playstation 1 in the form of Gran Turismo, Mario Kart on the Nintendo handhelds or even new Free to play titles on your smartphone, people have always had their fair share or cars. With the release of more powerful consoles, we have been bombarded with games which always edge closer to reality, closing the once huge gap between our world and the digital one. It comes to no surprise then that people will have top notch demands for their new games, and if that title does not deliver exactly the kind of experience a gamer wants, then it will stay on the shelf.
WRC 6 kind of gives off mixed feelings about itself, in the sense that while it represent the sport quite well, it does not shine in any department of it whatsoever, and generally seems lackluster when being compared to other great rally games. I remember firing off the Playstation 2 demo disc, when I was short on games to play, and go over and over the WRC 2 playable demo, where if I remember correctly you could play the rally of Argentina, which is also in this game. I loved trying to best my time again and again, but upon playing WRC 6, even though the gameplay has made leaps ahead, it does not feel as satisfactory. It could probably be the less arcadey side of the game, but something does not feel as the rally of old.
Mind you, I began a little on the negative side of things but WRC 6 is definitely a title a fan should have. I am not much of a rally fan myself to be honest, but I always loved seeing a huge Citroën rip through deserts and snow and sand with nothing in its way, and upon being offered the game I thought to myself, why not?!
As anyone who is a candidate for the purchase of this game knows, Rally is a form of racing which takes off from the polished tarmac streets and puts you in rough terrain, testing your balance and your ability to make it out of anything and any weather. WRC 6 also features rallies at night, which are very pretty aesthetically but tough as nails on your very first go on the track. In fact I rarely got over 50 or 60 mph at night for fear of being on the negative end of a highlight reel destruction.
The night time rallies and all that are mainly accessed through career mode where you start in the Junior Rally division and work your way to the top by grinding excellent performances throughout. Between rallies you will get the chance to repair your vehicle. Repair times can take a maximum of 60 minutes total, but exceeding 45 minutes will result in a rally time penalty, so planning repairs is essential for balancing out what is needed to keep the car in the best shape possible. Different repairs will require different amounts of time to do, meaning there is a high chance that at times you might not be able to repair everything. Keep in mind that a flat tyre will be extremely detrimental for your performance, for example, and thus make sure that before stepping onto the track you have your tyres at 100%.
As far as gameplay in general goes, the game has a realistic feel to it, in the sense that you will have to keep an eye on your speed so that you are not going too fast. The rally experience is one full of turns and corners, so one recommends speeding only when the track is clearly straight and in front of you. When you don’t see a lot anymore, it is time to put your foot off the gas. Although this, speedy sections of a track are very enjoyable since you actually get a feeling of going fast after being forced to go round corners driving at 40 miles an hour. Terrain also makes a difference as well, as bursting through tarmac makes you very fast but very susceptible to going offroad from driving too fast, while gravel helps your car drift back onto the track without the risk of incurring time penalties for ending up outside of the track.
Apart from the championships and career mode, WRC 6 also features a split screen mode which I have tested with my girlfriend, who after a good five minutes called it quits since she is accustomed to just busting the speed pedal and that’s it. This goes to show that anyone going into the game and thinking it is a piece of cake is wrong.
Aesthetically the game looks good but not great. Environments are very important to a game like this where you’re racing into the nature and into forests and the like, but it seems that the developers didn’t give much detail to the ambient around you. I am not saying here that the surroundings are ugly since they are not, but they could have been better. The cars on the other hand show all the hard work that these devs have done since they seem very much like life sized replicas of the actual cars, only in digital form.
WRC 6 is a solid game with great mechanics. It tells you what it wants from you and delivers exactly what it says, which is a good, realistic experience of driving through rally after rally and taking care of your car so that it takes care of you on the track. Graphically it could have been better, but gameplay is a far superior meter to judge a game like this.