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EA SPORTS WRC Review – Races to the Finish Line

Having played a preview build on PC for EA Sports WRC, I was impressed with the variety of racing options available with career and moment modes. I was also very pleased that I felt the difficulty settings were just right for my level of engagement with rally games. The old Colin McRae Rally games were challenging and fun but as the series evolved, I gravitated more to the arcade style of the five main DIRT games. When DIRT Rally came along, it took me multiple attempts to pass the very first entry race that I gave up on it quickly, and I didn’t even bother with DIRT Rally 2.

Having now put some decent racing into EA Sports WRC on Xbox Series X since launch on November 3, I can happily say that this is the definitive rally racing experience for me. There is ease of racing events once you get used to the handling of different vehicles, but it’s still bloody difficult at times and all it takes is one bump against rocks or a hidden wooden post that can cause damage and burst a tyre, ending your run pretty quickly. I must say that seeing your progress against the class leader on the left and a quick glance at the split times on the right was a gratifying boost to keep focused on racing to the end.

Career mode in EA SPORTS WRC was presented well with weekly tasks, a budget to work within, a well narrated race manager that peps you up in between races, and an easy to navigate interface made career progression a breeze. I didn’t fully comprehend the weekly options when I played the preview build, but it all made sense once I got to the release version. You will need to slowly build up your garage of cars, focusin on vehicle classes depending on weekly races you choose. You’ll also need to hire engineers and have them focus on key areas like enhancing repairs which became critical for me to move race to race.

I found that when I played the preview build on PC, I struggled in getting enough precision with a controller balancing between speed and turns to not hit every wall or tree. I ended up using the keyboard and had better success. My release review version was on Xbox Series X, and I had none of those previous issues using a controller. I might have driven a little more cautiously for the first few race events but found my groove pretty quickly. What could have helped was in doing a shakedown race first. This gave me course familiarity but also a second set of tyres for the main event, knowing that I blew a couple of tyres in the preview build. Turns out I haven’t yet had to use any, but I love having the option to practice the course first.

The graphics in EA SPORTS WRC are outstanding for the vehicles, race track itself and the surrounding scenery. The game performs really well on the Xbox Series X with quick load times and no issues at all once racing on tracks, which was a better experience than I had with the preview build on PC. There were many times where I snapped a screenshot as I peered over at some sheer drops to the side of the track or seeing the moody lighting effects of racing at dusk or dawn. There are 17 current and former WRC locations and over 200 stages at launch, with more coming in regularly content updates. Vehicle sounds are super authentic too, but what impressed me the most were the race calls from my co-driver who I named Eric Bana as I know he’s into rally driving himself.

When needing a new vehicle for the next race, you can purchase one from the list that range from classic Group B cars to modern WRC cars, but you can also build your own vehicle to the required specifications. The build mode allows you to design and build a rally car from the ground up including selecting the chassis, body shells, all of the mechanical parts and customising the interior and exterior of the car. I am not mechanically minded so I didn’t go down this path, but the functionality of the builder was easy enough to pick up. No doubt rally enthusiasts are going to enjoy this mode.

Overall, EA SPORTS WRC is the definitive rally racing experience for me and there’s enough variety in gameplay to suit most rally game fans. The graphics are excellent with amazing scenery details and the car sounds are authentic, with the co-drivers race calls being a big help to anticipate turns ahead.

This review utilised an Xbox Series X key provided by Electronic Arts and EA SPORTS WRC is available now on the EA App, Steam, Epic Games Store, Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5.


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