WRC 4 FIA (World Rally Championship 4)
It seems to be a pre requisite of Rally games that they are going to be a ton of fun. I’ve toyed with them ever since the original Colin McRae, so when it came to getting down and dirty/snowy/muddy/tarmacy with the newest official World Rally Championship title I was optimistic. Happy to say, that much like Volkswagen team in the 2013 season, it delivers a solid performance right out the box.
WRC4 features all the vehicles from the 2013 World Rally Championship season, including the new VW Polo, the outgoing Mini Countryman WRC and even the upcoming Hyundai i20 car. It also features the full garages from the WRC’s official feeder categories, Junior WRC, WRC3, and WRC2. Whilst it is a strong line up, die hard fans will notice that the classic Group B monsters that starred in WRC3 are gone, as are any other support categories. Whilst it may seem like a big deal, you still have the likes of Ford, Citroen, VW, Mini, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Peugeot, Skoda and even Proton to choose from throughout your career. And with the amount of fun you’ll be having you quickly forget anything that WRC4 may have missed.
Career mode sees you race in a couple of WRC Junior rallies to prove yourself, before moving up to the WRC3 and 2, before playing with the big boys in WRC. You can customize both you and your co drivers names, avatars and countries, and even your cars number plate, although your co driver still retains the male English voice that seems to be in almost every Rally game since day dot (I swear, that guy must make a killing.) You also appoint a career manager, although your choice has no effect on which contracts and cars that become available. That’s up to you kiddo!
You are awarded reputation points as you win rallies, finish above a certain position, and beat certain rivals. This unlocks more cars and one off drives to progress through the season, leading up to you eventually signing a contract with one of the main factory teams for a full season. The stages take you around the world, with every Rally from the 2013 season available to enter and win. Or crash into trees, which will happen a lot. Again the die hard fans will notice that the stadium special stages have been left out, but again it’s easy to forget this when you’re smashing through a forest in Finland, with co pilot instructions coming at you faster than the rocks you’re trying to avoid. There are 10 levels of difficulty you can choose from, and the damage is quite spectacular as well. Much like the real WRC, you have to be careful with your prangs, as you only have a limited amount of time in the service stops to repair your vehicle without incurring a time penalty.
To make the game more user friendly they have also included a rewind function, enabling you to fix mistakes and crashes you may have. Be careful though as you only have a limited number. Should you stray too far from the course, or decide to launch of a cliff, the game will automatically reset you to the course, meaning you can’t really get it too wrong along the way. WRC4 is very user friendly, whilst still retaining the options that will keep the more professional racers happy.
- Fully licensed cars and drivers. The cars themselves are recreated in fantastic visual and sound detail.
- Fun, more streamlined career mode, with multiple options to progress.
- The way it immerses you in the WRC world. It’s quite humbling to see your name alongside the likes of Loeb, Oiger and Latvala, and to have them mention you in between stages and rallies.
- Load screens can be a bit glitched/laggy.
- A lot of the driver talk can get repetitive after a while.
- The lack of Stadium Super stages kind of takes away from the ‘you v rival’ intensity. A few extra support categories would’ve been good as well (perhaps a future DLC?)
Written by Ben Rachow