Monday, 18 September 2017 06:10

REVIEW: WRC 7 (Playstation 4)

Written by Brett Hale
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This years latest installment of WRC is just around the corner. Bigben Interactive have published the WRC games since WRC 5, Kylotonn Games also started developing the WRC games at the same time, they both had a rocky start with WRC 5 but last year's WRC 6 was a far better improvement.. But 2017 brings WRC 7 and it's the best WRC by far, it’s also stiff competition against DiRT 4.

Everything from vehicles to countries and stages, their all based off the 2017 World Rally Championship season. There are ten locations accross Australia, Finland, Mexico, Sweden and Deutschland, all across different terrains including snow, gravel and tarmac surfaces. Some stages have a mix of these example being 10% tarmac, 90% snow. Beside the surfaces you’ll rally on, weather conditions and times of day are significant to the game. Times of day range from dawn, noon, evening and night. Weather will depend of the stage your playing but some conditions can be clear skies, rain or cloudy. What’s a professional motorsport game without the authentic cars and teams? Well known car brands like Toyota, Ford, Hyundai and Peugeot can be found in WRC 7, as well as the 20+ teams across WRC, WRC2, Junior WRC and a bonus sector of cars and teams.

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When playing WRC 7 for the very first time, you’ll be put straight into a driving test. This is just you driving a course and the game will tell you based on your skill level what game options you should take. The driving test can be done after this in the solo menu at any time. Now having good loading times between stages and menus is a must, so I bring some good news, WRC 7 has great loading times. Driving difficulty depends on how good you are at games which involve driving, and I have to say, some rally games aren't easy when it comes to this. DiRT 4 is pretty easy while DiRT Rally was a heartache, but WRC 7 is in between both those DiRT games and because it's not easy or too hard, it creates a good mix with steering the vehicles. In WRC 7, you can use a manual gearbox or semi-auto, AI difficulty is easy, medium, hard and hardcore.

Now coming off the track enough or flipping your car onto its roof will cause you to auto respawn onto the track. This also gives you a time penalty that’ll be added to your overall time once that stage is completed. Single player is a choice between a single stage to doing a full rally, you can even create your very own championships to take part in. The biggest part of offline is the career mode. It's the career mode that's fully based off the real thing that is the 2017 World Rally Championship. You’ll race rally events pressing to become the WRC champ. It’s not an overly long career mode but it’s definitely worth the playthrough.

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Single player is alright if you're not into playing games online, but for those who love to race online can do so through quick match, find a lobby or create your own lobby for other online players to join. Online multiplayer uses the same stages, modes and what not, with the only difference being the fact your racing real players instead of AI. WRC 7 has decent servers that make for good rallying. There are a couple of achievements/trophies to be earnt from online multiplayer, but multiplayer isn't all about online interactivity, you can split screen with a friend or even take part in the multiplayer hot seat mode.

WRC 7 has so much going on visually. For the most part its positive. Last years WRC 6 looked good I reviewed it on the Xbox One and I quiet enjoyed the game for everything it had to offer. This year i'm reviewing the PS4 version of WRC 7, on my PS4Pro. I managed to find that WRC 7 does in fact have PS4 Pro support, though I couldn't get a clear answer regarding the specifics on what the actual support was unfortunately. No matter what stage you're on there all very much alive with fans on the side lines, and you’ll pass cars, trees and drive through water that makes the experience that much more realistic to the real deal. The cars themselves look stunning, as well as being covered with sponsors and their turbo engines purr like super beast kittens.

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In WRC 7, you can have it so vehicles damage will affect your car's performance or have it as visual only. The damage realism is authentic, boots will bust open, tail lights will shatter and be careful not to smash your front end at night as headlights will be gone before you know it. The worst damage to take is to your gearbox or even worse getting a flat tyre. Driving on tarmac or gravel will cause those super quick cars to get a little dirty in real time, the only exception is when driving on snow that the car won’t get snow anywhere on the vehicle which I found to be strange. Something else I noticed was some times of day caused upcoming shadows to appear rapidly, which looks quiet odd and can be off putting if there large dark shadows.

The HUD is very generic when it comes to most rally games. While the HUD is mostly the same and easy to understand, stage section going down left of screen speedometer bottom right and the time for stage top right. Audio heard in WRC 7 is authentic, as its visuals are, from the noise of a vehicle crashing into a rock wall to smashing into a tree, even the sound of the gravel beneath your tyres sounds like it would in real life, but the best sounds you’ll hear is the turbo engines and the mighty exhausts. The key thing when playing a rally game is the co drivers call outs for upcoming directions and hazards. WRC 7 has the choice of a couple of languages for them to speak, as I only speak english it’s what I used and the call outs are mostly clear, though you’ll also see visual directions top middle of the HUD.

Now, as I draw to a close of my WRC 7 review, I think it’s pretty clear that I was impressed with the latest edition, and would declare it as a must have game for any racing fan. Keep in mind if you havn’t played a rally game prior, don’t give up early on when your not so good as driving skills will come quickly if you stick with it. WRC 7 comes out here in AUS on the 6th October, 2017

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 4.8 / 5.0
  • Release Date: 6th October, 2017
  • Developer: Kylotonn
  • Publisher: Bigben Interactive
  • Genre: Multiplayer, Racing, Hardware