E3 2010: FIA World Rally Championship Preview

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E3 2010: FIA World Rally Championship Preview Empty E3 2010: FIA World Rally Championship Preview

Post by Yaznee! L4DS on Sat Jun 19, 2010 3:23 am

"Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports ... all others are games." So said Ernest Hemingway, and if you want auto racing at its purest then you can't go wrong with rallying. F1 and NASCAR drivers may do their business above 200mph, but the men and women of the WRC do their stuff without a safety net, threading 300bhp through narrow country roads. It's driving as tightrope-walking, and a discipline that's far removed from other forms of motorsport.

It's also well suited to games, as the likes of the Colin McRae series, SEGA Rally and Rallisport Challenge verify. But it's been slim pickings this generation – Codemasters took Colin McRae in a direction that some felt failed to scratch the rallying itch with the DiRT games, and WRC developer Evolution Software has busied itself with the hyper off-road action of Motorstorm, leaving SRS's revival of SEGA Rally the sole waver of the straight-up rally flag.

There's an appetite to be satiated, so it's perfectly fertile ground for Italian developer Milestone to tear up with its own, officially licensed off road racer FIA World Rally Championship. It might not be the biggest of guns in development, but Milestone has quietly carved itself a reputation as a crafter of reliable motorsport games with the increasingly impressive SBK series.

Milestone's treatment of the WRC licence is much the same; there's a level of care taken with the fundamentals, and while it's not met with a great level of polish it ensures that it'll be a game that could, at last, scratch the rallying itch.

The official licence brings with it all the trappings you'd expect, with the cars and drivers of the WRC all fully-realised from Loeb to Raikkonnen and through to the lower classes of the World Tour. 13 locations host the action, although they're hardly authentic having taken certain liberties – but if the Corona Rally Mexico really does wind through Aztec ruins we'll admit to being wrong.

There's a host of modes at hand, from a straight-up run through a season to a more engaging career mode where the player works their way up from racing as a privateer, attracting and managing sponsors before shooting for a drive with one of the works teams.
Most important is what happens on the road, and here FIA World Rally Championship makes up for its lacklustre visuals (admittedly it's only 75% there visually, but we doubt that other 25% of work will bring it in line with the standard set by other driving games). Taking Raikkonnen's WRC-spec Citroen C4 to the dust-coated roads of Bulgaria, there's a tangible sense of momentum that's supremely satisfying to keep in check.

There's the unfortunate spectre of Gran Turismo 5 and its WRC content that will doubtless eclipse this effort, but it won't stop it from being a competent rally game that should be welcomed by those looking for a dedicated and authentic off road experience. Keep an eye out for it on its release between September and October.

E3 2010: FIA World Rally Championship Preview %20yaznee
Yaznee! L4DS
Yaznee! L4DS

Posts : 221
Join date : 2010-03-25
Age : 37
Location : England


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