Compared to last year's big jump in quality with the WRC 8, the WRC 9 is one step ahead more modest. Several new rallies have been added and it feels like there has been a bit of a massage under the hood, with a better feeling of mass transfer and car weight transfer, but elsewhere things look quite similar. This makes WRC 9 be an excellent entry point into the category, especially for rally fans who are unaware of the rapid and noticeable improvement in the official WRC series since developer KT Racing took over in 2015. However, if you already own game from last year, you might want a little more than you WRC 9 has to offer.
WRC 9 is a bit of a quirky experiencebecause it's in a similar position to Codemasters F1 2020. I mean, thanks to the long-term nature of video game development and a global pandemic, it ended up coming with a ton of events. They've already been knocked off the real schedule long before launch, and naturally without any of the surprise substitutes who entered the real league at the last minute. So, they unfairly stole its authenticity, but in a way that allows us to pretend we live in an alternate universe that isn't that awkward.
the New rally locations are Kenya, New Zealand and Japan, and that's the only way you can see WRC cars tackle these events in 2020. Kenya, known as the Safari Rally, is a standout star; Passing flamingo tusks in the African countryside is a massive aesthetic change from the predominantly European rallies that make up most of the calendar. The red mud and soil contrast beautifully against the rolling green grass and there are tons of unique features to see, from massive baobabs to curious zebras. It also features some fantastic high speed blitzes in an open field that are extremely authentic to the actual event, and these are very different from the tricky and winding scenarios in places like Monte Carlo and Germany. It's a great addition to the KT Racing series.
New Zealand is fantastic too, especially the sections that run along the coast of the North Island, and Japan is an incredibly demanding and technical tarmac rally with many elevated road sections flanked by streams and ditches. it will completely ruin your day.
Fuel and unusual punishment
WRC 8 came with a drastically revised career mode that seemed to take inspiration from the Dirt and F1 games, turning the vanilla mix of WRC 7 from one event to the next into something that made me feel like I was I actually had a real racing team to drive. around me. . WRC 9 looks pretty much the same in this department, but to avoid déjà vu I probably could have done it with a way for returning WRC 8 players to skip the starting series and go straight in the WRC championship proper. It is also quite incongruous that it would be for a newly hired driver to personally rotate the staff for the holidays, although this time around it is less boring as the team members don't seem to tire so quickly in the WRC. 9. Ridiculous However, the bonus targets have been maintained, and while the penalty for ignoring or abandoning them is only slight, it remains difficult to swallow the reputation of the current constructor who falls after winning a rally, all this because he had the audacity to… choose the best compound tire for the job rather than just one. arbitrarily required. Did you guys save these tires for a special occasion? I thought I was doing the right thing by using them to… drive faster than these other guys.
Triple caution! Stay in the center!
There have been a few updates elsewhere, with a few subtle but welcome tweaks from WRC 8. The weight feel seems better, although the cars aren't less nimble; there just seems to be a feeling of enhanced volume as your car dances on gravel, which is ideal. There is a new English co-driver whose performance is more organic, although it would be good to have one who has dialogue at hand to be able to react in real time to your good (or bad) behavior. Additionally, the awkwardly rigid chase camera ultimately appears to have been discarded in favor of one that allows the car to slide and rotate more on its central axis while the camera remains facing forward. The chase cameras above looked like GoPros strapped to the back of your car on a broom, and I found them virtually impossible to use. It looks like improvements have been made to the already excellent sound mix as well. Everything from the kick-up racket, loose surfaces to worn brakes, seems noisier in WRC 9, although I have encountered a weird bug on several occasions where the engine sound becomes soft and muffled despite all other effects. remain at normal levels. Less ideal is the AI, whose skill level is now determined by a slider rather than named difficulty levels. The slider suggests more control to set it to the perfect level to match your own driving ability, but the disparity in how the AI performs during rallies can often be odd, especially when they nibble your heels at an event. . to be miles behind. behind in the next, even if there has been no change in its surroundings. The AI can be adjusted to compensate before each career mode event, but it takes some testing to find the right difficulty range (and it's not as straightforward as in F1 2020).