WRC 6 Preview: Feel the Road
WRC 5 taught developer Kylotonn Games (Kt Games) quite a lot thanks to an overwhelming response from its community. Player feedback has greatly influenced the development of WRC 6; and with its predecessor selling over 700k units, that’s a lot of potential critique. Well, Kt Games listened, and the improvements to an already successful formula are astounding.
In addition to the fantastic communication with the World Rally Championship community, quite literally everything has been upgraded for the new 2016 season. Over 50 crews are represented in WRC 6 (that’s all the official cars and drivers of the season), and 14 official rallies with their own unique routes are available for players to experience. Roads are narrower than they were in the previous game and are scaled 1:1 with their real life counterparts. Incredible precision and absolute control over your car will be necessary in order to earn a competitive time of completion for each track. Each country has its own signature rallies including, for the first time in the series, the Rally China.
Graphically speaking, improvements are more than noticeable – they’re a gorgeous visual distraction from the game’s intense competition. A richer vegetation system flourishes in the foreground and background of each rally’s location, and even the spectators along the sidelines, of which there are 60 times more than WRC 5, are fully rendered and naturally fit in with the race’s environment. New material shaders and a particle system for flying dust do well to greatly immerse players into the moment of being on the course, ultimately presenting an incredibly convincing driving simulation for those behind the wheel.
Brand new damage models have been introduced for each of the cars – even the tire models feature signs of wear and various punctures accrued over time. When you make a pit stop to fix these very issues, you can prioritize the order in which you tend to them. This grants players a strategic opportunity to balance car maintenance with driving time; successfully doing so will give you quite an advantage over your opponents.
Distinctions between road types are prevalent now more than ever. Various textures constitute dirt, gravel, pavement, and other types of roads each with their own grip level and visual representation. Transitions between these materials are integrated into the game in accordance with how cars are controlled while driving on each surface, presenting to players a wonderfully accurate depiction of the World Rally Championship. The eSports scene for WRC 5 is both popular and active to say the least, and improvements to the accuracy of the game’s depiction of rallies will surely help to grow its audience. To make the already sweet package even sweeter, WRC 6 is forgoing the cost of entry in order for players to participate in championships that run in tandem with their real life counterparts. Anyone who owns a copy of WRC 6 will get the chance to try and become the next WRC World Champion.
WRC 6 didn’t once fail to amaze me during my time with a hands-on demo of the game at E3. I’m terrible at racing games, but I still felt an enjoyably convincing, palpable weight behind the car’s movement, acceleration, and handling (which is newly improved). And with split screen support and local multiplayer, look no further than WRC 6 for an impressively realistic interpretation of visual racing. The game truly feels as good as it looks, and that’s saying a lot.
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