Whenever one discusses licensed sport games, he/she always goes straight for the colossi of the industry. Titles such as FIFA, NBA, and NHL are always at the forefront of the discussion, and this is understandable as they are the biggest and greatest licensed sport sims out there. But unfortunately, not every sport is big enough in order to warrant a multimillion dollar video-game adaptation, and therefore fans of franchises such as WRC, have to make do with what they are offered – and the recently released WRC 7, is the best example of that.

WRC 7, just like all its predecessors, is a simulation of the motorsport and the franchise at hand. But where other developers have the funds and the ability to create grandiose experiences such as Dirt: Rally, the same unfortunately cannot be said about Kylotonn, the developer of the title, or Bigben Interactive, the publisher.

Right from the start it can be observed that WRC 7 is not a AAA title, regardless of all the smoke and mirrors the aforementioned developer has used during the title’s marketing campaign. Visually, WRC 7 is lagging behind its competition, as all in-game vehicles and tracks look rather sub-par. And the fact that some portions of the environments repeat very often, and can on occasion look downright ugly, doesn’t help WRC 7 either. But in the grand scheme of things, that’s perfectly fine. Because WRC will never be as big as Dirt, the same way that Styx will never be as prominent as Thief.

WRC 7 is a AA title thorough and through, and despite its intentions and all the little tricks, it will never be mistaken for a complete AAA release. However, regardless of its underwhelming visuals and simplistic content, WRC 7 carries a AAA price tag, and outside of the PC market you’ll struggle to purchase WRC 7 for less than £40.

The entry point is likely WRC 7’s most significant flaw as it is as misleading as it is inappropriate. Mechanically, WRC 7 is a sound and at times immensely enjoyable title. However, fun driving mechanics will only get one so far. And by the time one has driven around the same, underwhelming track for the tenth time, the joy of the gameplay completely disappears.

The title in question consist of multiple components. It features a career mode – which consists of WRC Junior, WRC 2, and WRC – quick play, and last but not least, a multiplayer mode. And regardless of which mode you’ll choose to indulge yourself in, the same feeling of boredom will begin to creep in, as WRC 7 simply lacks excitement. Someway, somehow, Kylotonn has managed to drain rally racing of all its fun, and present it on a plate as a carcass of what the title should be.

WRC 7 features a plethora of different types of competition, in order to break-up the above-mentioned monotony. However, whether you are driving through a normal stage, a special stage, or competing in a versus-exhibition, you will always notice one thing – that WRC 7 simply lacks the sense of speed. Yes, the vehicles feel unique and fun to control, but you can have much more fun driving a classic, dilapidated MINI in Dirt: Rally, than the top of the line contemporary WRC vehicle in WRC 7, and that’s because the game simply feels sluggish.

Even if one is not a seasoned driver, he/she will never feel like treading on the edge of a razor blade while driving, as there is no intensity to driving itself. And even if one sets aside the fact that WRC 7 lacks the sense of speed, he/she simply cannot ignore the fact that the driving mechanics are closer to an arcade title, rather than a simulation, which WRC 7 is aspiring to be. As even on the higher difficulties, it is borderline impossible to experience the sense of dread and immediate demise – which persisted throughout Dirt: Rally­­ – and that’s because WRC 7’s driving mechanics are simply inadequate for a simulator.

WRC 7 may not be the rally sim which many expected it to be, but at the end of the day it is a competent title. And one which has a huge advantage over the previously mentioned Dirt: Rally. And that’s because unlike its rival, WRC 7 is an immensely fun experience when played with friends. And that is mostly because it is not a hardcore racing sim. Anybody, no matter how familiar with the genre, can pick up the controller and simply have fun. Young, old, gamer, or not – any and all can simply pick up the controller and take a car – any car – for a spin. And due to the addition of a plethora of offline modes, WRC 7 can be experienced with a bunch of friends on a single couch, in front of a single TV.

Many will surely find the fact that WRC 7 is not a hardcore rally-sim as an affront. But by straying away from the hardcore scene, Kylotonn has done the best thing it could have. Because it has provided the fans of the genre with an alternative to the hard as nails Dirt: Rally. And at the end of the day, WRC 7 is the breath of fresh air that the genre needed, even if it’s not the AAA title which many wanted it to be. But that being said, it has to be underlined that regardless of the fun factor which WRC 7 contains, you should probably wait a while for its price to drop, as its current entry point is just too high for what the game has to offer.

 



Author

Kamil

My name is Kamil, and I'm the 'Feature Man'. I write news, and reviews just like everybody else, however, feature articles are my true forte. And this is not because I'm another self-centered, pseudo-intellectual games journalist, but because there are many discussion worthy matters which go unnoticed in the flurry of other video-game related articles. If you want to read more of my #HotTakes and #Opinions, or if you simply want to fight me over the internet, you can follow me on Twitter @Kama_Kamilia.