WRC 8 FIA World Rally Championship review

It’s back baby, it’s been 2 years since we last saw an official World Rally game and there have been numerous racers to have hit the shelves. But is the game’s new face lift, featuring all the WRC’s stars and cars going to be enough to get those juices flowing again.

WRC 8 promises to be the most complete and authentic official WRC simulation yet. With a brand-new set of physics for all surfaces, an all-new, completely redesigned Career mode and dynamic weather, which is fitting as no one can control the weather right?

If that’s not enough to raise an eye, how about 50 teams, 14 countries, 100 tracks, an eSports mode for the serious driver and weekly challenges. Cool I got your attention. There’s just something about racing games that gets the adrenaline pumping, that sparks the competition drive within you. Racing games awaken that thrill, the need for speed that’s been caged up in the back of your mind, as you take the sensible route and go on with your day to day activities.

Rally games free this. What you might not be able to do in the real world, you can do on the screen. What you might not feel in the seat of your family car, you will experience from the comfort of your own home, as you choose cockpit view and see and feel every bump of the road.

Arcades use to be where it was at, a place you could go feel the super speed, the dangerous hazards of a rally racer. The gameplay would be bang on and the excitement would soon have you reaching for another coin to deposit into the slot, in order to keep the dream alive.

Not anymore, now you can experience the thrill of the ride on consoles, and I promise you the experience on hand is so much more appealing, captivating and just as addictive.

Just how sports have improved in the sense of a viewing spectacle and production on the silver screen. Game developer’s too have taken note and done their research. They have utilised their findings and harnessed them to help shape and mould an experience that features all the aspects of the sport and it’s new production like feel.

No longer is it just about the racing, we as gamers want to get involved with what goes on behind the scene. Tinker in the garage, mange our calendar’s, train hard in order to improve our skills and become the very best we can possibly be behind the wheel.

The WRC championship is the most challenging and demanding motor racing competition in the world, and now’s your chance to see just what it entails to be a rally driver in this sport, with WRC 8.

WRC 8 FIA World Rally Championship is the authentic experience, and as close as your going to come. Feel the changes of the weather and all the challenges that brings as you try to regain control of your car, in a chicane slide that has gone horribly wrong. Battle with the elements and all its climate conditions and effects, just as it would be in real life. Brave the howling winds, the unrelented rainfall, and attach those snow tyres, as your car squeals in search for any sort of grip you can find on the snowy track ahead.

As a rally driver you will have to pay particular attention to the weather forecasting available in the game and form a strategic approach for tackling the task ahead. Be prepared to alter your racing set-up for each stage and make shrewd decisions as you take all the changeable conditions and the variable traction into account.

WRC 8 FIA World Rally Championship wouldn’t be complete without a Career mode, and I am delighted to reveal that this element of the game has been rebuilt from the ground and is now packed with some awesome features. Take control of your calendar and populate it with tasks before your next rally event. The tasks available include, taking part in historic races with some classic cars, getting behind the wheel of a battered car and nursing it home in the quickest time possible in some very Extreme Conditions. You can also arrange a training session, to improve your skills and get to grips with all the many bumps, jumps, and tight turns that you’re sure to encounter ahead.

Another potential aspect of the calendar is manufacturer try-outs. From time to time you will be offered the chance to get behind the wheels of another manufacturer, and maybe even another class of car. These try-outs will prove vital in progressing your career, as you earn recognition and respect from potential employer’s that may be impressed with the skills you possess, and the handling of their mean machines. One last thing, you could always leave a spot free in the calendar for a little recuperative time. After all, if you don’t look after your team who will?

In Career mode there’s a lovely upgrade feature. Taking part in the many different events and rally’s on offer, leads to the award of experience points, and a levelling up progression of your character. There’s also the ability to earn skill points amongst other things such as reputation and morale levels, which will all prove very useful in the game.

The R&D (Research & Design) section is where you spend your skill points, a chance to develop all characteristics of your team, from earning more slots available to you for staff recruitment, better and more detailed weather reports, to extra experience points for personal progression and reliability skill sets with perks.

WRC 8 Screen 4

There’s no I in team! And with out a crew you would be nothing. Crew management is something to keep an eye on. Make sure the morale levels are high at all times in this detailed informative section. Employ mechanics, a meteorologist, an agent, a physical therapist and a financial director to keep track of the money your bringing into the team.

Other things of note in the Career mode menu is a mail system, for all the vital up to date information, and bill paying. An objectives tab, where you can view and sometimes choose key requirements that the team want you to meet, with in a Rally event. Achieving these requirements, brings in extra cash, XP for driver progression, and team reputation points. WRC 8’s all new Career mode also features detailed information on all your races, and overall driver standings. So, if statistics is your thing then you will love what’s on offer here in these tabs in the menus.

And last but not least in this newly formed Career mode is the test area, a chance to drive without constraints and get a real feel for your car. Try out potential set-ups and see if your car still got soul after all the changes.

WRC8 FIA World Rally Championship is crafted wonderfully, and well presented with some excellently designed menus. Clear and sharp screens take you where you want to go. The menu’s have a panache to them, a certain Je ne sais quoi.

The Home screen is divided into section’s of your last activity, News’s of all things WRC ( and a link that takes you straight to  WRC All-Live, a YouTube channel where you can watch live stream rally races straight from the 2019 rally season) your latest weekly challenge, and your driver card- the driver card allows you to follow your progress and all your related information from within the game.

Scroll to the right of the home screen and you will find the menu named Solo. In solo you will find all the driving modes available to you, should you fancy a solo adventure. From a very detailed career mode, to a quick play feature where you can drive any stage of any rally, within any car class you wish, oh and you can change the weather dynamics too.

There are also options to take on an official season of WRC should you not fancy a career that involves all the day to day management tasks.

WRC 8 Cars

Next up is the competition screen, did I not tell you that this game is packed full of choices, it’s fantastic right? From within the competition menu, you can jump into online multiplayer via hosting or joining a lobby, or if couch play is your thing, then why not fire up split screen mode, for some close action competitive play. You will also find the challenges section from within this menu. There are two exciting and thrilling options available to you as a driver who fancies a challenge.

Weekly Challenge- allows you to compete against other WRC 8 players around the world. Each week a new challenge is set from a rally stage within the WRC tour for a chance to earn points based on your leaderboard position. And should you not be interested in the points; you can look forward to the challenge of seeing where you rank amongst the very best.

Next up is something to whet your appetite…. Have you ever looked at some eSports events and think you could do that? Well now’s your chance with an excellent addition that’s sure to get your pulses racing. Challenge the best in the events of the WRC Championship eSports! 5 chances per challenge and should you perform well, the organises of the eSports events will be in touch via your gamertag, how cool is that?

WRC 8 is packed with a whole host of features, and some excellently generated modes. The menus are clear and have a certain flamboyance to them. The career mode and what it has to offer is sublime, and the addition of all the online options and the challenges are pure gold and adds to the excitement and repayablitity of the game.

“But what of the handling and the actual races? WRC 8 performs really well in this department, as with all rally racing game there is a bit of a learning curve, in terms of the car classes, and how to handle the ever-changing environments.”

The controls are easy to pick up yet hard to master. The way the car handles on the track can be a little tricky to get a feel for, what helps is paying attention to the noises of the tyres as they struggle for grip, the two go hand and hand. Overall, it’s a good ride, but a little to slippery at times. Should you lose control you will have to manage your throttle to bring the car back in line. The sound effects are on point, and play an important role in the perfect run, after all sometimes its best to listen to the car and the noises it makes, to much squealing and you know you better slow down. You really do feel the bumps, and crashes to your car in the back of your throat, so to speak.

The rally’s themselves are wonderfully created, with some excellent jumps, crests, hairpins, water features, and tight & narrow turns. The back drops around the races are so picturesque, you could almost be forgiven for losing control due to admiring the games graphics and scenery.

The game has numerous racing views, but the game really comes into its own in the cockpit view. You really do feel every bump, turn, screech of the wheels, and although it may look daunting, I feel the game handles better in this view in terms of the cars handling, you seem to be able to control the traction of your tyres a bit more, and the car doesn’t slide around as much.

The sense of speed this game gives off is unbelievable, it’s a rush of adrenaline straight to the heart, and you should crave the top spots of the world leaderboards, I can assure you your in for the ride of your life, it will be a test of your throttle and control skills, as I can assure you, you most definitely can’t floor it all the way. The tracks, and the hazards can be unforgiving, and that’s before we take the dynamic weather changes into effect, which really do have a massive impact on your tyres grip.

The developer’s have really worked hard with WRC 8, and have throw caution to the wind, and packed it full of features. With 50 teams, 14 rallies and over 100 special stages in the 2019 season, WRC 8 has the deepest content ever included in an off-road racing game and although it’s a rally game, I feel it offers so much more.

WRC 8 game capture’s the very soul of rally driving, and offer’s a fantastic experience. With beautiful graphics, stunning tracks and an awesome career mode. The challenge modes are breath of fresh air, especially with the inclusion of the Esports challenge. If you love racer’s but aren’t so keen on Rally games, give it a go, you won’t regret it.

CX Score
  • 86%
    Overall - 86%
86%

Summary

Pros

  • Fantastic Career mode
  • Weekly challenge additions
  • Sharp visuals and sound effects

Cons

  • Car handling a little slippery
  • Missing a rewind feature

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