Milestone are back with their latest World Championship Rally game for consoles and PC, but is this latest outing worthy of your time if you’ve already sampled last year’s effort? Take a look at our WRC 4 video review for the full story.
WRC 4 review:
Today we’re taking a look at Milestone’s latest game in the World Rally Championship series, WRC 4 which is available now on consoles and PC. The game boasts the full 2013 roster of racers and includes the all new Volkswagen team who enter the championships for the first time.
From the offset, players are presented with the usual suspects, in that there’s an assortment of modes which center around the core of rally racing. There’s quick stage races, individual stages, full on championships which can be tailored to offer the full event or smaller segments, a career mode, and online or local multiplayer.
The career mode is perhaps the best place to start to get a feel for the lower class WRC cars, and then after pushing through the global circuit moving up the ranks until the WRC 4 cars are used. There are 13 world stages to push through, although the real difficulty comes with tinkering with the options which by default are quite forgiving. Players can opt to turn on or off the braking assist, and tune the amount used, which ranges from full-on where the cars almost drive themselves, to something more subtle. It has to be said, there’s a vast difference between using the auto braking and having it switched off, making for easy access to the game for beginners and being open enough for veterans,which is welcome.
In terms of speed, the game moves at a fair pace, although this isn’t as apparent when using the lower class vehicles. The WRC 4 cars are much more exciting to drive, given that many circuits are a series of complex tight bends which don’t allow for top end speed. The game covers variable surfaces as well as weather and times of day which don’t seem to make much of an impact on the drive, but visually offer a bit of variation.
WRC 4 boasts some minor upgrades to the visuals from last year’s effort, although there’s not much between the two. Whilst not the most visually stunning, the conveyance of rally racing is well realised with its variety of circuits across the globe. There are still issues with the game not registering button prompts during the pre-race menus as with last year’s game, and a few dips in frame rate here and there.
Audio is once again focused on the team mate highlighting incoming turns throughout the stages, and the engine sounds and tyres over varied surfaces are captured well. There’s not much more to be said about the audio other than it’s well functional – and that includes the rather subdued menu music.
In terms of longevity, WRC 4 is more focused this time, although the career mode is much more in line with its peers in terms of progression. There are a lot of races to participate in which will take some time to best,, although once done, there’s a few achievements to strive for as well. Beyond the single player content, gamers can hotseat play locally by handing over the controller, or there’s an option to dive into the online multiplayer which supports up to 16 players. The multiplayer is fun racing against real time opponents in their ghost cars, although latency issues can cause problems with vehicles not being where they should. The only major obstacle for players is finding enough like-minded individuals to race with as the WRC 4 online community is quite small.
WRC 4 acts as an update of last year’s game with the full 2013 roster and new additions such as the VW team. As with any sporting title, it’s hard to justify the purchase if you already own WRC 3 as the game hasn’t really moved forwards in terms of its basic game. As it stands, WRC 4 is a competent rally game, but feels too entrenched in its own past to really stand out as something refreshing and new.
Score 6/10 – Review by Robert Cram