WRC 8 arrives on the market almost two years after the launch of the previous chapter. After the not particularly brilliant performance of V-Rally 4, Kylotonn has therefore returned to propose an evolved version of the rally experience based on the licenses of the FIA World Rally Championship. The time spent has allowed the French team to prepare some improvements in an attempt to make the game experience a little more articulated and enjoyable. Starting from the renewed Career mode, passing through the interventions on the gameplay, WRC 8 promises to evolve the typical approach of the franchise bringing it as close as possible to the very aggressive DiRT Rally 2.0. A more complete, refined game, but also focused on the simulation component, as evidenced by the collaboration initiated by the developers with the best eSports players in the category. To find out if all that glitters is really gold, all you have to do is continue reading ours review.
A revisited Career mode
During the making of WRC 8, Kylotonn set a fairly clear goal: to refine the formula packaged in the previous episode, trying to optimize as much as possible all the items that had room for improvement. The main novelty is precisely linked to the presence of one Career mode significantly more structured than the one that had been developed in the 2017 chapter. After selecting the name and nationality of your virtual alter ego, the game allows you to choose whether to start from the bottom, trying your hand at the championship Junior WRC behind the wheel of a front-wheel drive Ford Fiesta R2, or whether to raise the bar immediately by offering to one of the division's stables WRC 2. This time, in addition to the completion of the competitions, an articulated progression system was introduced that links the results obtained on the field to the degree of satisfaction of the team with which the contract was signed. Not only that, given that there is a real internal management system for the human and economic resources of your team. By accessing the dedicated area, you can manage the training of your collaborators, evaluating their skills and remuneration. Each specialist is associated with skill cards that must be inserted in special slots divided into items such as Mechanic, Engineer, Agent or Meteorologist. The level of fatigue accumulated by each of these individuals also makes it necessary to measure their strength and have valid substitutes available; with the increase in the money collected and the evolution of the pilot's reputation, it will also be possible to find new talents.
By accessing theWorkshop you have the opportunity to organize your calendar, having the foresight to set your own agenda with some daily deadlines to be completed between an official race and another. In these spaces, for example, it is possible to choose to rest, or vice versa to spend on side activities such as workouts. Then there are the Builders tests, useful for improving the driver's reputation within his own team, the Historical Competitions aboard legendary cars, or even events in extreme conditions, where it is necessary to drive a heavily damaged car as far as possible, especially in adverse weather conditions. The Research and Development department, where you have access to a vast area, is putting further meat on the fire skill tree with which to activate upgrades. From the skills useful to make the structure and competence of its collaborators more solid to the increase of items such as morale, physical fitness, rewards and relationship with the manufacturers, passing through improvements such as tire grip in variable conditions and the improvement of some specific components of the car, there really is something for everyone. While WRC 8's Career mode represents a decisive step forward, the alternatives made available to the player have proved to be very standard. In addition to the usual single season and the section dedicated to tests / training, you have access to one multiplayer section which merely proposes the classic split-screen - for heaven's sake, always welcome to ignite the challenges in the living room - placed next to a section online where the only options are to take part in a generic quick match or the creation of a custom lobby.
PlayStation 4 Trophies
The WRC 8 Trophies are a total of 44, divided into 28 bronze, 12 silver and 3 gold plus Platinum. Some expect to finish on the podium of each stage in Career mode, others to complete specific objectives including a minimum of kilometers traveled and the conquest of special events.
Simulation gameplay, new physics and dynamic weather
However, the greater consistency of the contents of WRC 8 can also be seen in the variety of traced. Making a quick comparison, we have in fact gone from the sixty paths of the predecessor to the current 102, distributed in 14 different countries. Alongside the current models, the historic cars return: WRC 7 had been able to improve the driving structure and the physics of vehicles, but this year Kylotonn has managed to field further substance in an attempt to eliminate deficiencies in terms of driving feeling and credibility in the behavior of the car on the rough dirt roads and tortuous asphalts that mark the stages of the World Rally Championship. The approach is devoted to simulation, although there is room for deciding how to juggle the settings. For example, those who wish can decide to activate certain aids, but if necessary it is also allowed to limit the actual incidence of damage suffered by the car and increase the capacity of theartificial intelligence resulting in more competitive race times. We found the sensations returned during the driving phases to be appreciable, in particular as regards the distribution of the weight that is perceived in the sudden changes of direction and in the presence of bumps and jumps. Nonetheless, pad in hand we have often perceived an almost excessive steering response in relation to the stresses exerted by the racing terrain.
The other main change brought by WRC 8 concerns the dynamic weather. A feature that is increasingly sought after in today's driving games and certainly a plus in terms of variety of the playful experience. The presence of variable conditions can affect the development of the individual stages; it follows, for example, that it is possible to leave in conditions of dry ground and then have to see it with showers of water of varying intensity. Although the real-time modification of the environmental context represents a step forward for the series, the differences between one situation and the other still seemed to us not very palpable, both on a concrete level and on an exquisitely aesthetic level, thanks to an approximate rendering of the splashes caused by the passage of your car on wet ground. The consistency of the surfaces remains in line with its predecessor, restoring a driving feeling that changes in relation to the composition of the route. The major shortcomings of WRC 8 are revealed precisely from the graphic point of view, definitely a step back from contemporary standards. Kylotonn undertook to refine the aesthetic reproduction of the cars, with satisfactory results after all, while one cannot help but point out objective limitations as regards the tracks. While taking the original counterparts as a reference, the paths lend their side to obvious shortcomings in visual depth and general impact, with a fluidity anchored to 30 frames per second and a physical model of damage that still needs to be perfected.
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Kylotonn must be acknowledged for having worked in these two years with the aim of smoothing out some of the main shortcomings attributed to the franchise. WRC 8 is objectively still a step behind the main point of reference on the subject, that is DiRT Rally, but even with this awareness it remains a title that we feel we can recommend to fans of the genre, especially to those looking for a well-rounded Career mode. structured. However, there are still clear margins for improvement as regards the other available activities and above all the technical implementation, on which the French team will necessarily have to try to improve in the future.
- New Career mode structure
- Introduction of dynamic weather
- Driving system improvement
- WRC licenses updated to 2019
- Technically there is still some work to be done
- Damage to cars that can be improved
- Very standard multiplayer mode