WRC 8 review – a muddy marvelous racer that leaves its predecessor in the dirt

FOR some gamers, WRC has somewhat trailed behind Codemaster’s more eccentric Dirt when it comes to rally champs.

But this latest corner cracker from BigBen Interactive puts it firmly on the right track in becoming the new go-to racer.

 Career mode means you must focus off-track as well as off it


Career mode means you must focus off-track as well as off it
 WRC 8's official licence means realistic motors


WRC 8’s official licence means realistic motors

For starters, it’s officially licensed – all the cars, teams, and tracks (think FIFA vs Pro Evo back in the day).

But now the game has the technical prowess to go with it.

WRC 8’s physics are vastly improved from previous outings and lead to an intense, in-depth racing experience.

Whether it’s resistance from the track’s imperfections or a clanking roll cage ringing in your ears, the attention to detail does not go unnoticed.

 Sexy skins cover some stunning cars


Sexy skins cover some stunning cars
 The tracks have been lovingly recreated


The tracks have been lovingly recreated

The thrill of hurtling down narrow tracks at break-neck speeds is translated brilliantly to the gamer.

Granted, for the ultimate ride you’ll need a steering wheel but there is plenty of room for praise with a good old gamepad.

The handling is incredibly sensitive too (which is a good thing for the hardcore). It leaves little room for error, if any at all.

Too heavy on the steering and you’ll end up in the trees. Diligence is also a must when deciding on when and how hard to brake. In short, WRC 8 forces you to remain “in a zone” in order to complete a race, all of which results in an incredibly rewarding experience.

Every inch of every track looks like it’s been lovingly reproduced to please rally fans.

Unpredictable conditions and environments affect your performance, not to mention muddy up your motor’s sexy skins.

The game has been vastly improved off the track to.

There’s a competent career mode – Junior WRC, WRC 2 or WRC, which rewards you with more powerful cars as you progress.

And when you’re not revelling in the dirt, you need to look after your team in order to stand yourself in good stead for race day.

You must keep the wins/money rolling in so you can pay your crew, find better people to replace them and generally maintain a good reputation for your manufacturer.

 Changing environments affect resistance from the track


Changing environments affect resistance from the track
 Cornering is a blast but controls are sensitive


Cornering is a blast but controls are sensitive

There’s a handy skills tree too. Unlock R&D points to gain access to new abilities which you can pick and choose and prioritise however you like.

The array of activities in career mode away from race day will keep you busy. It’s a brilliant improvement to the game and adds to the all-round immersive experience.

And if you can’t be bothered with all that admin, it can be skipped in Seasons mode, where you can simply race and let the computer worry about off-track headaches.

Visually the game is pretty impressive, though there are times when you feel the graphics are not quite up to scratch compared to other racers.

Multiplayer is similar to last time round with challenges and time trials.

However, there’s not an extensive collection of new cars and circuits (which may have something to do with the licensing).

That said, this is an awesome rally game – muddy marvelous.

WRC 8 review verdict

The final score is…4/5

  • Formats: Xbox One (reviewed), PlayStation 4, PC
  • Price: £34.99
  • Publisher: BigBen Interactive
  • Developer: Kylotonn Racing
  • Release Date: Out Now
  • Age Rating: Everyone
  • WRC 8 on Xbox at Amazon for £46.70 – buy now

  • WRC 8 on PS4 at Amazon for £49.99 – buy now

In other news, Sony’s PS5 has been tipped to cost over £450.

Read our round-up of the latest rumours about the Xbox 2 and PS5.

And find out why both of these consoles could be the last you ever own.

What’s your favourite racing game of all time? Let us know in the comments!

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