WRC 6 is (you guessed it) another game that intended to test your patience of the racing sim genre. A niche area that can be squared up in even more devoted areas, only appealing to certain individuals who are really love motorsports. The majority of us probably won’t get it, but Kylotonn knows their audience very well at this point.
I say this because WRC 6 has a lot of expectations to meet when inevitably compared to DiRT 3 or DiRT Rally, the mainstream pallbearer of rally racing finesse. Codemasters made their series exciting, recognizable, and distinctly appealing, similar to a Monster Energy Drink or Alpinestar merchandise. In that respect, WRC 6 will be the next best thing and plays to its strengths accordingly, not the flashiest rally game but it does thrive on its technical quality.
The tenseness is there and takes some time for newcomers to appreciate. Zipping through narrow stages feels accurate but undoubtedly white-knuckled throughout the entire career, where even the most modest speeds and light turns can be make or break on cramped roads. Prediction and navigation is crucial when whipping around the countryside, with little leeway if you overestimate your abilities. The expected realism in the cockpit pretty faithful to the experience, and does a good job of avoiding the arcade-style gameplay.
There are courses laid out in 14 countries that include China, France, and Portugal, with a little more variety compared to DiRT. The locations in WRC 6 are detailed enough but not as picturesque to behold. When raging through the wildness in the wet you’d expect some dynamism when you waterplane or climatic cloud of dust to fly during a Scandinavian flick, it’s there but the effects are forgettable with environmental effects feeling like an afterthought. What you see isn’t bad but a little more pizazz would go a long way to match the stupidly dangerous nature of the sport.
Fortunately, the cars are treated with a finer eye, and that’s good since the roster of vehicles in WRC 6 are strictly limited to current rides that are commonplace in today’s World Rallying Championship. Hope you like hatchbacks because Volkswagen, Peugeot/Citroën, and Ford models make up the competition. But, they do look fantastic as the mud and snow cakes on the body and obscures the windshield in first-person view, with believable visual damage. Frame rate hits are a occasional distraction but tolerable as a whole.
Audio is an area that’s hit or miss though, as it sounds a little too soft for my tastes. The feeling should be loud, coarse, and just a little bit jarring for the uninitiated, but it’s not that extreme and a little static. Maybe the sound is lighter so you hear the oncoming pacenotes—I don’t know, so either turn up the volume or wear gaming headsets for improved immersion.
Career mode doesn’t innovate but it does a decent job of placing you in the thick of it without repetitious menu-based play. Overall, it’s fairly short as you start in the Junior WRC bracket and move to top tier with somewhat dry commentary thrown in. DiRT clearly has a better polished presentation that American “track bros” will clamor to, WRC 6 on the other hand, isn’t so keen on shiny bits lighting up the screen.
With the official FIA license behind it, the ultimate claim to fame for WRC 6 is the branding. So, while it’s not the most bombastic racing title I’ve played, this is still a fun entry that’s more about the core fundamentals. If you’re hurting for a formidable semi-precise rallying game to fill the void, Kylotonn have spruced up the FIA-endorsed series for the better.