That’s not on my pace notes…
I started my WRC 10 journey by going straight for the Career Mode. Before I’d properly gotten the chance to warm my brakes, I was already thrown into a do-or-die situation. If I wanted to go straight into top tier racing, I had three attempts to beat the time on a set track. Fail three times and it’s off to the junior championships. I didn’t want that.
I failed the first attempt miserably. I failed the second attempt even more miserably. The third and final countdown to go had me wondering how many PSN profiles I would have to make to avoid the junior championships.
Release Date: September 2nd, 2021
Developer: KT Racing
Availability: PSN (Digital) Retail
Thankfully, I didn’t need to resort to such measures – I crossed the finish line with a second to spare and that rally racing bug was back.
It’s been a long time since I’ve played WRC 9 – I reviewed it last year and thought it was a fantastic game, but as is the life of the reviewer, I’ve had to sideline a lot of what I like (including sleep…) to put the hours into work reviews. I’m glad that WRC 10 landed on me then.
This year’s game is celebrating 50 years of WRC and that means you can take a flat left down memory lane by replaying some classic rally stages from throughout the sport’s history. There’s a bunch of classic cars which I really liked and, dare I say it, I preferred many of them over the modern cars. The retro Lancia’s were my favourite – there’s something about the weird and wonderful angles that you just don’t really see in modern rally cars. I know, aerodynamics and all that jazz, but there’s no harm in enjoying the fun oldies.
The 50th anniversary is a separate mode all by itself and you can spend hours rambling your way through and unlocking further courses and cars. Or you can take to a quick race and choose your car, course, and weather options.
Throughout the game’s Career mode – which is as extensive as ever – special Anniversary events are available to play to earn some extra cash and points, though you aren’t forced into these time-travelling tests of skill.
Career Mode is where most of us will spend our time, though there is a full multiplayer suite that includes the option for online championships, co-op, and even split-screen local multiplayer. As my mates are all banned from my house until they’ve been fully jabbed and have learned how to behave like indoor people (they’re feral lads) I’ve only got my partner and my five-year old son to play with, and neither want to play WRC 10, so I can’t test it out.
Multiplayer isn’t a big thing for me anyway and given the way rallying is done – it’s an asynchronous competition – I prefer to play offline and test my admittedly crap rally skills against the A.I in the deep Career mode or try to beat my own times in quick races.
Unlike last year, I’m playing WRC 10 on PS5 and so I get to experience first-hand what the next-gen experience is like. It’s good, but there are some niggling problems.
The DualSense support is great and feeling the rumble of the track in my hands and my trigger fingers was cool and not overdone. The audio coming out of the controller, on the other hand, was a bit overboard. Going over gravelly areas, the controller would spew out some awful sound effects and it wasn’t long before I was muting my gamepad.
Performance-wise, it’s not perfect. WRC 10 aims for 60fps on PS5 and it does feel great for the most part, but there are definitely some judders.
That’s not the worst of it, though. WRC 10 has lots of screen tearing and I did find this distracting. Pair the screen-tearing with the pop-in and you’ve got a recipe for sending me careening off a mountainside. That’s an exaggeration, sure, but it was very distracting. Over time I just got used to it, but whenever I saw it – and it’s frequent – I always noticed it.
It could be worse, sure, and while it may look a little rough around the edges, it is still a decent looking game and it does at least feel good to play.
There’s a deep simulation if you want it – and I do! – but I was happy to see that there are a lot of options to open up the game and make it a little bit more forgiving and inviting to newcomers. The difficulty of the Career mode can be tweaked and there’s a load of accessibility and assistance options, which is always nice to see.
Something I really liked about WRC 10 was the unintentional comedy. The co-driver this year is a genuine bag of laughs. Smash your ride into the plebs standing on the corner and your co-driver will say something like “I don’t have this area in my notes” or “not there” or “the tracks over there.”
Clear a section ahead of time and the co-driver will let you know that they’re happy with your performance by yelling “PERFECT!” or “YES!”
It’s a small thing, sure, but it made the experience that little bit more believable. Now, if KT RAcing can get the driver to scream and pray as I refuse to use the brakes, that would be something.
WRC 10 PS5, PS4 Review
- Overall - Fantastic - 8/108/10
WRC 10 is another solid entry in the long-running series. This year’s a special one for WRC fans thanks to the 50th-anniversary content which is its own game mode. The racing is as good as ever and the Career mode has taken pains to bring fans into the backroom of the sport. A few performance issues aside, WRC 10 is a must-play for rally fans.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Primary version tested: PS5. Reviewed using PS5.