Game Review: WRC 9

We don’t cover too many racing games on our site, let alone simulation based racing games. But today, we’re bringing you the newest game in the World Rally Championship franchise. WRC 9 features a return to Japan and it’s truly exciting. Let’s discuss this new entry!

Description:

Making its return for the first time since 2011 is Rally Japan, in which players can enjoy the thrilling mountains and forests of the Aichi and Gifu districts, that will host the WRC season’s finale in November. Just like the real WRC drivers, in WRC 9 players can master the demanding course with its narrow asphalt roads and aggressive corners, while also navigating the lush environment which affects the driver’s visibility.

Features:

With WRC 9, the passionate developers of the French studio KT Racing have pulled out all the stops to once again meet the high expectations of rally fans looking for tougher challenges and heightened realism. With an enhanced career mode and many technical improvements, players are thrust into the heart of the new FIA World Rally Championship season with all content in the yearly calendar and much more:

  • 3 new rallies: Japan, New Zealand, Kenya
  • Over 50 official teams and their livery from the WRC, WRC 2, WRC 3 and Junior WRC
  • Over 15 bonus cars that have left their mark on the history of the WRC
  • Exclusive new game modes soon to be discovered

Trailer:

Audio/Visual:

Ok, well, if it wasn’t obvious to everyone already; this game looks absolutely smoking on PS4 Pro. I wonder what it will look like on PS5, although that’s in the future. There are lots of beautiful locales that you’ll visit. Some of which have different weather involved in the track. This may not seem like a thing to bring up in the visuals section, but I disagree. The rain pouring down looks great on your windshield, especially with the clouds in the distance. Further, it changes the world around you by having water build up in certain areas.

The audio is mastered…interestingly. The sound of the car are loud, as they should be. There is a bit of thunder due to weather elements. But that’s off in the distance. By playing with my surround sound on, I noticed the different bits. The only thing that was a bummer was the volume of the driver in the passenger seat. I wish we could turn him up individually. I thought it was a racing sim, I’m pretty certain they don’t just talk to one another. I’m relatively certain there’s a speaker in the driver’s ear to hear what the passenger is saying. If they can’t hear the passenger over the car, they just turn up their speaker. Let me turn up the passenger’s volume.

Gameplay:

I feel like this goes without saying, but WRC 9 is a rally racing simulation. That means if you are only into arcade racers, then this title is probably going to be way too technical for you. If you’re into games like Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsports, then you’ll be very at home with the WRC series. This franchise releases year after year with improvements, updates, and changes. So how does it play?

Well, the game doesn’t just throw you into hot and heavy, intense races. You’ll jump into a junior league competition in the beginning. It pits you against others who are on par or lesser than the car you’re driving. You’ll find that the further you go along, the other racers and their cars increase in difficulty and intelligence. All the while, you’ll be climbing the ranks by giving better car companies good impressions. They’ll extend newer, better cars to you, enabling you to win in those more difficult competitions as the game progresses.

Furthermore, this game has a lot of little tweaks that let you experience the drive the way you would in real life. You’ll find that there are settings such as anti-lock brakes on or off and traction control. Aside from customizing the car and how it drives, the game expects more of you. You’ll be balancing your money, your team (like morale), the objectives, and more.

Winning races means more money, more unlocked events, better morale and much more. Driving the cars in this game takes some getting used to. I’m guessing that they’re better than previous games in the series, so if you played this game years ago and didn’t care for it, I’d recommend jumping back in. For my money, it seems like the cars have a proper weight and react properly to the environment around it. I was sitting there just playing the game realizing that I wasn’t having any cars that were too floaty or were paperweights.

The title features locations from crazy spots all over the world. Not only do you have these great locales, but you’ll also be doing some retro/legacy races. These races feature throwback rides that are not exactly rally cars from 2020. But they are still vehicles that were powerful racing cars of the time period that they’re from.

Replayability/Longevity:

This game features different modes that keep you coming back and playing for a long, long while. You can choose between different lengths like daily, weekly, and monthly challenges. There are leaderboards as well to make you want to continue playing and keep on top. You’ll find that there are other online modes like a lobby and a club mode. The club mode is a newer inclusion of WRC 9. You’ll basically just keep racing and climbing the ranks with or against others. Lastly, even if you don’t care for long, extensive online gameplay and competition, you can always play couch splitscreen. You and your friends or family can get down in different modes.

Overall Thoughts:

I’m not a huge fan of worrying about the finances and the ins and outs of the car. I definitely am more into the arcade racers, but I can respect this game for what it has set out today. It gives you a full, fleshed out simulation game with much more to do than just race. By including the extra objectives aside from the racing and having all of the online elements, you’ll find a thoroughly designed game.

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