While competitive rally driving is not exactly the most popular motorsport in North America, it still commands attention thanks to ever-improving vehicles and a roster of drivers who routinely ride on the edge of disaster at white knuckle speeds. Undoubtedly the world’s premier rally series, the WRC takes some of the world’s best rides and challenges them with an array of the planet’s best rally stages. KT Racing has been producing WRC-licensed games for a while now and their newest entry into the series doesn’t break any new ground, but if it ends up being your cup of tea, you’ll never be left wanting for things to do.
The perfect stage
This season marks the 50th anniversary of WRC competition and KT Racing is offering their new game in an Anniversary Edition that aims to revisit some of the most iconic moments in the sport since 1973, along with offering a competent digital version of the current WRC season. The game’s history mode offers the chance to tear through the countryside in several cars that are certifiable rally royalty. The action can even go down across one of the included classic stages that are situated in places like Greece, Argentina, and Germany.
While the anniversary festivities may be getting a lot of attention upfront, for solo drivers, the returning career mode is where the lion’s share of time will be spent. The basic structure and features of the career mode remain consistent from last year’s game, but KT Racing has included a livery editor this time around, allowing team owners to fully customize their drives, offering just a bit more immersion into the virtual world of rally and letting players add their own personal touch.
Online events are plentiful in WRC 10 FIA World Rally Championship and the most dedicated players will have the opportunity to compete in the eSports WRC Championship season from within the game. Clubs, weekly events, and community-created challenges help to round out the esports offerings and represent another feather in the game’s bloated feature collection.
Once you are buckled into your ride and tearing through stages with loose gravel, the overall feel is very similar to WRC8 and WRC9. KT Racing claims improvements to turbo and braking management, as well as how the tires interact with surfaces such as tarmac, snow, or gravel. My time with the game was on a controller, so I’m not an authority on how physics changes will impact driving at the highest levels. I do appreciate how the cars feel when using a controller and the learning curve is real.
I wish KT would offer better haptic feedback for triggers on either the Xbox or DualSense gamepads. In competing games, such feedback goes a long way to giving the player how much grip is available (as much as grip can have an effect on a rally car at full speed, anyway) and is a glaring omission. While I did not play with a wheel and pedals, I did hook up the old Logitech G25 and the game recognized it and allowed for straightforward configuration. This bodes well for most folks who are using equipment that is not so old. Disappointingly, VR is still a no-go on all platforms this year.
Visually, WRC 10 FIA World Rally Championship still looks dated. While it is available with higher resolutions and more stable frame rates on PS5 and Xbox Series S/X, it retains the overall look of a game straddling the previous two console generations at times. Trees, grass, and bushes. in particular, feel out of place in a game that is in its second year on new consoles. In some weather conditions, it seemed like the game failed to light up the interior of the cars in cockpit view. I also experienced intermittent stutters with the PC version on my test machine. While my average frame rates were solid, I often experienced rapid micro-freezes, particularly when in the apex of turns or while hopping over crests.
Annual sports title syndrome
WRC 10 FIA World Rally Championship is a solid all-around experience built on a reliable foundation. Rally fans will find no shortage of things to do across the mountain of content included on Day 1 (plus new cars and rallies planned for post-launch release). If you are new to all of this, the package is very compelling, but most of it will be old news for those who spent any amount of time in WRC8 or WRC 9. While it's more than the cliched roster update and higher number in the title, the criticism carries some validity. 7/10 Group Bs
This review is based on the PC Steam release. The game key was provided by the publisher for review consideration. WRC 10 FIA World Rally Championship launches on September 2, 2021, for Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
WRC 10 FIA World Rally Championship
- Solid driving physics
- An ocean of rallies, cars, drivers, and events
- Built-in esports functionality
- Livery editor spices up Career Mode
- Lackluster visuals
- Performance issues on PC
- Largely unchanged from last year's game