I’ve always been an avid fan of racing games, I’ve purchased every Forza there is, enjoyed playing Gran Turismo on PS2 and PS3, DriveClub is a game that I admire, but I have to be honest, I’ve never been a fan of rally games, I’m more of a track based driver racing against others instead of a time base rally driver. Not sure why, rally driving has never appealed to me, but when I had the chance to review WRC 7, I jumped, mainly because of my love for driving games, as well as the fact I wanted to try something different.
I hadn’t played a rally based game for a few years so I wanted to see how this panned out and whether my views on the whole sport had changed. I’m not going to pretend that I know what I’m talking about when it comes to rally driving in terms of the season and how the points are done, as I don’t, this review is solely going to be based on the game and how it plays and feels to me.
Career – Can tune your car before each race, again, I know literally nothing about cars, so I didn’t really change the car and left it at default. If I had known, I may have been able to change this accordingly. I had the same problem when it came to F1. Didn’t have a clue about the car set up, I just drove!
The first thing that you notice when you open up the game is the menus, and I like how the menus have been set up here, simple, straight to the point, no annoying sub menu after sub menu, just single or multiplayer, then career, race etc. Well designed and easy to navigate, just how it should be.
Then when you get into a race, or you do your first race, you can see straight away the beauty that this game holds. The tracks, the cars, the environments look stunning, the lighting as well has been superbly done and compliments the time of day that you are racing. Just watch out for that Sunset over the mountains, you will appreciate it when you see it.
The only thing that I have nitpicked over is the animations of the cars, especially when crashing, as I seemed to do a lot of when racing. the animations seemed rather wooden, there were some crashes that happened because I didn’t notice a corner coming up (Now I know what you will say, ‘but doesn’t the guy shout the directions at you in rally?’ – I will address this next) and would go flying right into it as I wouldn’t have time to break or even handbrake. I would crash with a lot of force and the car would just flick up a little bit, which was kind of anti-climatic in this writers opinion, I thought the car would have been trashed. Nope, still showing as green on the hud and everything fine… Now, I have been in a car crash in real life, and from the crash that happened, my car would have been trashed, but not a tickle on this.
When driving there is a guy who is shouting the directions at you making you aware of what is coming up, however, I understand when he is saying left and right, that is fine, it’s all the little numbers that come with it, so while I’m not trying to look at the directions at the top of the screen, as you’re going that fast that sometimes there isn’t time to check, but I felt that I had to sometimes, just to gauge how sharp the corner is, as I wasn’t sure whether or not the numbers were speed, angle or what. You can see where my novice in rally driving is showing through here.
This wasn’t a bad thing as it is part of rally driving, but for a novice, it can be quite daunting to get used to having someone shouting directions and other numbers at you at such a fast speed.
I did have a bit of difficulty getting used to the cars, and the style of driving needed, a lot of the corners you can take with a handbrake turn, so getting used to tracks and knowing them is very hard as each one is so varied, even after the hours I’ve put into the game, I still couldn’t get used to certain tracks.
There is a lot of skill that comes with Rally driving, and even though I’m a good driver myself and on other track-based games like F1, Forza, Gran Turismo I’m good with my tracks, Rally driving is whole new ball game completely. There is a finesse and skill with rally driving that you don’t learn from other racing games such as keeping complete close control of the car while trying to maintain speed going around such tight corners requires a lot of concentration and skill. Not that other racing games don’t require this, but in Rally driving, it’s even more so.
It a wonderful, beautiful and masterful game to play, while difficult to get the hang of if you’re not used to Rally driving games, it has an element of satisfaction when you get it right and finally nail that corner with precision. One thing I did ponder about this game is how much better would it be by using a steering wheel? Controllers don’t give that accuracy or smoothness that playing a racer with a steering wheel can give. Unfortunately, I don’t have a wheel so can’t test my theory, however, I do feel that if you were to play with a steering wheel the experience would be enhanced.
This is definitely one for racing fans to try. 8/10