Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: WRC 3

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Milestone’s WRC series has received a considerable of acclaim over the years. Without question it’s the only console rally experience that’s able to compete against Codemasters’ phenomenally popular DiRT series, and as such is competing for the best of the genre available on any current format. This latest edition, WRC 3, is aiming to do much more however, rewriting the rulebook for what an official FIA World Rally Championship videogame should be.

The core videogame experience is divided into three different offerings: WRC Experience, Road to Glory and online gameplay. Beginning with the WRC Experience chapter; single race, single rally and championship modes are offered within. The first two are relatively self explanatory, while the championship mode is WRC 3’s revamped career mode. Offering the player the chance to play through either their favourite rallies or the entire rally championship, WRC 3’s championship mode is an investment that rally fans will keenly take on board.

The WRC 3 mode is a very challenging simulation of rally driving, unforgiving in all but it’s inclusion of the now commonplace rewind function. Road to Glory however, is a more lenient series of events that offer more than just simple racing. Clearly inspired by the comprehensive nature of the aforementioned DiRT series, the Road to Glory mode features eight series of events ranging from single stage races to gate crashes and drift challenges. Whole the WRC Experience is designed for the fans of rallying, Road to Glory is most likely where fans of rallying videogames will spend the majority of their time with WRC 3.

That is of course discounting the online gameplay, wherein players can customise matches from plenty of different options. Online play is smooth and unproblematic, just as it should be. In addition to the online gameplay there’s the hot seat option, which allows up to four players to partake in the WRC Experience gameplay options one after the other, acting as competitors in the same championship. It’s a pleasant addition to the formula, and most likely one that will be present in other racing videogames in the future.

As the official videogame of the 2012 FIA World Rally Championship, WRC 3 features all the trimmings associated with an officially brand product. Eighty three tracks, fifty race teams and thirty five cars from the official league system are all present in the videogame, including a selection of content which was exclusively licensed to Milestone for this project. For fans of rallysport looking for a videogame experience that represents their interests, there simply is nothing better than WRC 3.

When it comes to the on-track set-up, WRC 3 does what so few modern racing videogames dare to: offer a real sense of speed. Given an icy track and a realistic handling model WRC 3 is quick to present heart-pounding gameplay where every second of a three minute race has you teetering on the brink between that gold trophy and a plummet down the ranks into fourteenth place. The Road to Glory mode is more forgiving, allowing the player to adjust the handling settings as they so wish and giving a steady difficulty curve to climb. Unsurprisingly, Electronic Theatre would recommend all players begin with the Road to Glory mode, if only for one or two races.

The technical quality of WRC 3 is certainly commendable, with the videogame looking far superior to last year’s WRC 2 – the Official Video Game. The cars collect dust from the tracks and bounce on their balanced suspension in an incredible realistic fashion, and while gamers won’t feel every scuff on the tarmac in the same fashion as SEGA’s high-definition SEGA Rally reboot, there’s still a respectable amount of visual detail that impacts the handling. The soundtrack is phenomenal however, with high quality dubstep presented on the menu screens, representative of the high-adrenaline in-game action, and a commentator introducing each new event or option with pitch-perfect clarity.

As the third title in a three-year series of annual releases, WRC 3 has a certain amount of pedigree to deliver. Thankfully Milestone has achieved all of their goals, delivering a new edition of a series on top form, offering brand new gameplay modes, a welcomingly challenging simulation and a respectable online presentation. It stops short of being quite as comprehensive as the DiRT titles simply by scraping away most of the least enjoyable aspects of Codemasters’ current-generation magnum opus, and in doing so offers a more well rounded package. As DiRT Showdown stepped into an entirely different field this year, WRC 3 stands alone in the home console rally videogame genre in 2013, but it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to find any reason to want another one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In-depth Reviews Score Interpretation

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Don’t forget: Electronic Theatre is currently offering our readers the chance to win their very own copy of WRC 3! Simply visit the Win Milestone’s WRC 3! competition page for more details!

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