Since Nacon Games, when it was still called BigBen Interactive, acquired the official rights to publish video games based on the WRC license, the developers have been Kylotonn. Since then and until now, they have been improving delivery by delivery until reaching the culmination of the saga with the current WRC 8.
The French developer Kylotonn Games has specialized for years in bringing us some of the best-known sagas in the world of racing on wheels such as TT Isle of Man, V-Rally or Flatout, apart from the WRC that concerns us. And every time they do it better, maintaining the positive aspects and improving where they could.
Unfortunately for users using some of Steam's features such as remote streaming play or capture without having to go through external programs, WRC 8 is exclusively available on the Epic Store. However, this will only mean a negative aspect for those who are going to use some of the possibilities that other portals offer and the Epic Games client does not. Each user must assess whether or not it represents a loss of some type of useful functionality.
With regard to WRC 8, analyzed, we find three new rallies, namely: Japan, New Zealand and Kenya. Likewise, by continuing to have the official license, we will be able to use up to 51 official teams among the various categories that are offered to us, from Junior WRC to the premier category. Of the 100 stages, 35 are totally new, and Portugal and Finland are going to be totally redesigned and offered through two free DLCs that can be downloaded in October and November. We will also have access to 12 classic cars, including the 2005 Citröen Xara WRC or the 2007 Ford Focus RS.
With respect to WRC 8, the new installment has a new and improved career mode with improvements in team management and greater variety in the events that we can face each week. In this career mode, the culmination of the game, we will have to make our way through the different categories, from Junior WRC or WRC 3 to the premier category.
Starting from that beginning, our expertise will depend on convincing and maintaining the relationship with a team. But to face the races it will not only be important to drive with mastery, as this type of competition requires, but also to properly manage all the aspects that surround the competition. From the hiring of personnel and the management of their rest either by scheduling sessions for this purpose or by rotating them having spare personnel, budget management, carrying out tests of a certain type as in extreme conditions, which will help us to improve morale and reputation which will redound to financial benefit. Everything must be taken into account, even the expense in car repairs, here it is not worth going to sack to win neglecting the integrity of our vehicle as it can have consequences.
The R&D system is reminiscent of the skill trees of certain CRPGs. We will have several branches and as we earn points to invest we will obtain the selected improvements, adding another additional touch of strategy to said mode.
As in any self-respecting career mode, we will have a series of short, medium and long-term objectives. Of course, the weight that they will have in the good relationship with the team will be variable and it will not be serious that some of us fail to comply, but we must not neglect ourselves because a bar will indicate the state of our relationship at all times and, if necessary, they may throw us out.
Of course, if we don't want to worry about all those aspects, we can enjoy the traditional modes present year after year to play a specific Rally, a quick race, train freely or get into one of the events or multiplayer modes, both at split screen as online. And if we don't quite like what we are offered, or we are not convinced by any of the daily, weekly and special tests, we can create our own competitions to compete with our friends.
WRC 9, having the official license, does not skimp on detail in showing the circuits or official vehicles. Special mention to classic vehicles, which will be a delight to drive with the detail that current hardware allows. Unfortunately the number is somewhat limited, with only ten vehicles to choose from in this category, we hope that in future deliveries their number will be expanded.
Once at the controls of the vehicle, WRC 8 shows us its simulator soul, from the beginning to the end. And it is that, although it is possible to adapt the control to our tastes, it will always be within a framework very far from what an arcade game can offer and therefore we must take into account the special difficulty presented by the context of rallies added to the system simulation. Not only do we have to do with the behavior of the car, the terrain will be just as important and we will have to regulate the car taking it into account both this and the weather conditions that we are going to encounter.
Contrary to what is shown in simulators of another cut, we will not have the option of activating a help that indicates the path with a color code from green to red that shows us the appropriate speed. Nor is there the now common option of rewinding the last moments to repeat that curve in which we have lost a few precious tenths for not going as well as we would like. Nor will we have a map in a corner that shows us what we are going to find, but, as in real life, we will have to be guided solely and exclusively by our visibility and the instructions of the co-pilot.
regardless of the camera we're driving in. Not so with the effects of the engine, the road, or the vehicle's own rattle, which will adapt perfectly depending on whether the camera is inside or outside.
Well-positioned cameras that will give us the usual options: exterior at mid-height, exterior in rear position, interior showing the steering wheel, the increasingly common one, fortunately for those of us who like to play with the steering wheel, interior camera but that directly shows the dashboard , the camera direct on the hood and the one that shows the road on the whole screen.
All of them will perfectly show the quality of the graphics achieved in this installment. Despite the usual contrast between highly detailed objects such as the car and other less important ones that are seen in passing, where modeling and texturing are saved, the whole set borders on a great visual level. But, although the game looks great with everything maxed out, we can only highly recommend prioritizing performance in a game with these characteristics.
As for the control, crucial aspect in a title like this, it is perfectly adjusted and allows customization. And where WRC 9 especially shines is when we hook up a set of steering wheel and pedals. The Force Feedback is not very intrusive and could even convey more of the vicissitudes of the terrain, but overall the immersion jump and experience improvement is remarkable. It is missing, to finish rounding the set, yes, compatibility with Virtual Reality glasses. And it is not an accessory fault today. Other driving simulators have already shown how the combination of the steering wheel and pedals with a VR system gives a unique experience that is difficult to forget once you have gotten used to it.
In short, WRC 8 is the officially licensed annual delivery that Kylotonn has been offering us for years, improving year after year to the current result. It is not perfect, but it has been polishing its formula, becoming the best option that fans have on the market, as long as they seek to enjoy pure simulation, of course.