Wow, so, where do we start? Most of you are already familiar with Milestones work as they managed to single handily ruin both SBK and the MotoGP series, so what could they do wrong for the rally community? Haha, yeah, just as much as they’ve done for the bikes.
First thing that hit me was the visuals; everything is dark, and relatively basic. Your dusty, old Playstation 2 with the funny sounding disc drive could run WRC 2 with ease and still have time to erase its third party memory cards with an evil s"naughty word alert". There’s something just not quite as punchy as other racing titles. The game has this effect similar to Midnight Run LA where the grainy visuals begin to grow on you after a long period of time playing the game but even so, it’s still a bit half arsed.
Moving on to sound, and hell, whilst we're dusting off old consoles grab your Super Nintendo out, because the cars sound fresh from a Ridge Racer hash up, and the rest of the sounds come across hazy, as if your listening to a recording, of a recording, of a recording, of a rally program recorded on your VCR.
Co-drivers directions are hard to hear and often too muddled to correlate with where you actually are on the track.
Maybe it’s just me but I’m a bit of a sucker for the whole race team progression side of things. It’s the one thing you can actually add into a racing game as a poor aid to a story and not completely ruin it. Obviously, WRC requires no story so the whole acquiring a team to get sponsors and race engineers to get you more money and research better parts for your cars does interest me a fair bit, it’s a shame there’s just not much of it.
As you race you level up which allows you to fire and hire better drones to aid in your World Rally Domination but aside from researching your car parts and getting fancy new stickers, there really isn’t that much for you to do. For those grease monkeys out there you can get stuck in with some gear ratios and other custom parts but here comes the other drop…does it make much difference?
I tried a fair amount of different vehicles and they didn’t really vary from each other that much. There’s no real massive difference between front wheel and 4 wheel drive in the idea of handling and if you think that’s bad, wait until we get onto the whole weather system.
Wind, rain, snow or blaring hot sun, it really doesn’t make much of a difference or impact on how your race will unfold as your cars handling will never fault. Even from dirt, gravel to asphalt, handling never changes. Now, to some people that makes it easier to win, but c’mon, for an WRC game to actually be realistic, this is distinctly lacking.
As is the scenery, the tracks are tame and quite dull to put politely and there’s never really much to look at beyond the track.
Since we’ve moved back to the visuals. For both water, dirt and vehicle damage, you’d probably see more and better looking damage on a can of Sprite that’s been dropped down the stairs. Outside of the main game the menus are also quite hard to navigate and use.
Its hard to keep wailing on the game since, when I do play it, I do get a little drawn in since there’s nothing out currently that caters for the race team wannabe inside. Whilst the career is long, it’s not that rewarding despite there being little on the market for rally games these days aside from Dirt. Making it always a pain to see another game fail to bring the genre to the standard it can be. With a lot of issues still left out from the first WRC game (including the tracks!) WRC 2 is unfortunately one to avoid.
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Review: WRC 2
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