I love rally games. I love rallies. I love motorsport. I love cars. So, let’s just say that I was kind of looking forward to playing WRC 5.
I have to admit, at first I was very disappointed.
I am not really a graphics guy (see all of my reviews praising 8-bit graphics here), so the fact that the game looks a bit drab wasn’t what threw me off. It wasn’t the fact that the noise crackle was too loud either. Or that I couldn’t hear my engine.
My issue was the physics of it all. It just didn’t feel like the rally games that I loved playing growing up (from Sega Rally to Colin McRae Rally).
The car understeered like crazy, and the only way to correct it was to steer using the throttle.
But then, I went and fiddled with the realism settings a bit. And after half an hour or so, I had the game running like a dream.
Since then, I’ve won the Monte Carlo rally (thank you very much) in the WRC-J category, and I nailed the first special stage in Portugal. Why did I go the extra stage? I wanted to see if the game had particle effects on gravel. It doesn’t.
So, yes: the game doesn’t look particularly great, or sound all that awesome. But the mechanics are there, and when it comes to a rally game, that might just be enough to earn a very, very high spot in my book.
We’ll just have to wait and see until my full review if this game is front wheel drive (drab) or rear wheel drive (fun).