WRC 6 Makes Rally Driving Accessible and Fun

WRC 6 Makes Rally Driving Accessible and Fun

Kylotonn Racing Games’ rally racer is coming to PS4, Xbox One and Steam this fall

We're at E3 this week, covering the year's biggest gaming event. Be sure to check out all our coverage on our E3 2016 hub!

I’m a big fan of DiRT Rally, and have put a lot of time into Codemasters’ hardcore off-road driving sim. Sometimes, though, I’m just not in the mood for it. That’s because it’s not very forgiving: You need to concentrate 100% on driving it, because if you don’t, you crash. And if you crash just a few times, your race is over.

It’s for those times that WRC 6 sounds like it’ll be ideal. The official game of the World Rally Championships aims to be a little more fun and accessible than DiRT Rally. That’s not to say it’s a piece of cake to drive: It isn’t. It’s just not going to chew you up and spit you out for your mistakes in the same way that DiRT Rally does.

I sat down and played a two-track Xbox One demo of the game at E3 today, and really enjoyed the experience driving a Citroen rally car through a Welsh special stage and then down a regular track set in Portugal. Both dirt-based courses were very tight and twisting, and initially I drove way too fast – but this is where the more forgiving nature of the game came into play. I crashed multiple times, but rather than my race ending there and then, each time I was put back onto the course and was able to continue onwards. In that respect, the game felt a little arcade-like, putting the focus on driving and having fun rather than being ultra-realistic and punishing.

The handling engine is solid, and generally feels quite light and responsive. I was able to get the car sideways on longer corners, and counter-steered into the slide and held it, and that felt really exciting. Almost like Sega Rally of old, but with far more sophistication. Like the rest of the game, the handling is quite forgiving, and while you can still easily put the car into a ditch if you’re clumsy with the controls, there’s some leeway to throw the car around quite spectacularly. The brakes are sharp too, and I was able to slam the stoppers on quite aggressively going into corners, further enhancing the game’s arcade-like feel. At least, it feels very arcade-like compared to DiRT Rally’s more sim-like approach.

Graphically, WRC 6 looks quite impressive. Its special stages are based on actual World Rally courses, but its longer regular stages are fantasy tracks that are inspired by their real-life counterparts. The pair I drove both looked good to me: The Welsh course was lush and green, with trees hemming the track, while the Portuguese track was more open, and felt dry and dusty. Although it was hard to hear it above the hubbub of the show, the audio also seems quite authentic, with a raucous engine noise, and the sound of gravel bouncing off the underside of the car.

I’m certainly looking forward to spending more time with WRC 6. It was ultimately exciting and enjoyable to drive, and seems to strike a good balance between being easy to pick up and play, but offering plenty of potential for mastery of its twisting stages.

Set for release this September, the finished game will feature all 14 rallies that make up the championship, including new-to-this-year China. It’ll also sport a complete roster of 2016 WRC cars, including Volkswagen Motorsport, Hyundai Motorsport, M-Sport World Rally Team, and Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team.

We're at E3 this week, covering the year's biggest gaming event. Be sure to check out all our coverage on our E3 2016 hub!

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