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WRC 7

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Racing
Publisher: Bigben Interactive
Developer: Kylotonn
Release Date: Oct. 3, 2017

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PS4 Review - 'WRC 7'

by Michael Keener on April 9, 2018 @ 1:15 a.m. PDT

WRC 7 is the official racing game of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship season, including all 13 WRC rounds, all the official WRC drivers and teams, as well as new Epic stages.

Buy WRC 7

I've never been in a rally car, but from playing WRC 7, I get a good impression of how difficult it must be. Rally car racing is where two-man teams (one driver and one navigator) race vehicles from one point to another on designated and blocked-off roads. It can transition from public roads to off-road paths that wrap around forests, over and under hills, and more. There isn't a huge variety of games that mimic the world of rally car racing, but the Dirt series and the WRC series, which is short for World Rally Championship, are at the top of the market. WRC 7 is the third installment developed by Kylotonn, but the franchise has been a solid option for the last 16 years.

After loading up the game, I was immediately prompted to play in two back-to-back races to test my rally car racing skills. In the first race, I absolutely wrecked my car. I over-corrected my slides and flew off the road, and I rolled my car on aggressive bumps. On one turn, I was going so fast that I almost bulldozed a crowd of onlookers. This was shown from the first-person perspective, so imagine how horrifying it was. Thankfully, the game reset me on the track before anything bad happened. When I finished the race a few minutes later, I rolled to a stop in a vehicle that looked like it had gone through a car crusher. The second race went better, and I finished in something that still looked resembled a car.


There's a huge learning curve to the game, but it's easily achievable given a little time. My crashing and wrecking didn't stop for hours of racing, but the game didn't punish me for being less skilled. It catered to my "noobness" with a few assists, like braking, shifting, and preventing false starts. For those looking for more of a challenge, there are four different driving styles, each progressively taking off the training wheels until you reach simulation settings, which have full performance damage, manual transmission, and no assists. The difficulty itself ranges from easy to hardcore.

You have an AI co-driver who calls out the upcoming turns, whether they're slight adjustments to the left or right, or hairpin turns that otherwise would've seen you flying off a cliff. You can change his voice to be British, French or Spanish. Additionally, you can decide how late he gives the calls.

Solo players can participate in the standard Quick Games, which jump straight into the action; Custom Championship, which is a tournament-style event; Driving Test, where players can be re-evaluated on their skill level; and Career mode, where players try to become the best rally racer.


Career mode is the bread and butter for solo players, as it follows their climb from the low rank of WRC Junior to the World Rally Championship. Players will race, get decent finishing times, participate in tournaments, and unlock new cars along the way. Create a driver profile by choosing a name and nationality. Begin with a few contract options, where teams prefer you to race as fast as possible or do the best while keeping the car in great condition. Focusing on the preferred style is key to keeping the team morale high. I like the mode for its simplicity but get bored after several races, so it'll progress slowly but surely for me.

If you like competing online, there is some fun to be had with WRC 7. Don't expect multiple racers in one match, but luckily, there are ghost cars that run with you and represent other racers. The community seems hit-and-miss, but most of the time, there are no matches to be found. It's to be expected, but if you have at least one friend to play with, whether its online or local split-screen, it can make for some really fun times. I wasn't able to find a match online but was able to host a lobby to race with my brother. The competitive scene may be better in the Challenge mode, where you race the leaderboards for best times. It resets every week with several new challenges, which is fun to test your skills and see how you fare.

I'm impressed with the diversity in race tracks. There are 13 different rally locations, each one with several track options. Each location has an extra-long event that provides 15 minutes of non-stop tension as you rip through forests, hills, and frozen tundra. The developers have completely overhauled the stages, and it can be seen whether you're racing on a 5-km track or a 20-km one. The locations include Argentina, Australia, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Sweden.


At first glance, the graphics in WRC 7 look really great, but there's an underlying feeling that it's not fully fleshed out. The snow kicks behind the tires, but it happens because the game knows you're racing on a snowy map, not because you're driving through a patch of snow. There's no way that could be fixed because the snow, like other elemental things like dirt, are visual elements, not mechanical features. It's almost like driving on 2-D snow. It's minor but changes how you view the game once you notice the issue.

The sound is lovely, and wherever there's dirt, gravel, or snow, you can hear it crunch under your tires. The same goes for drifting in turns; the constant sound of grit under your rubber helps you instinctually feel how hard of a drift you're in, and it can save you from wrecks more times than you'd think. Sprinting through a tunnel yields the appropriate rattling and echo from your exhaust, and it continuously grows in strength until you rocket out of the other end. There are subtle differences in tunnel noise with the various car builds, but the real difference is when you can hear the raw roar through the rest of the races. The throaty and growly rip from engines sounds just as good as any other racing game out there. I particularly liked how responsive the RPMs were in this title, which translated in both faster and louder throttling sounds.

To say WRC 7 is a rally car simulation is a bit of a stretch, but it has nice simulation-like characteristics, such as vehicle damage, navigation call-outs, and car builds. I don't feel that it competes with the Dirt franchise very well, but it could be due to a lack of aesthetics in the menu and excitement in career mode. WRC 7 is still a quality choice, but it feels like the second option in a marketplace with a niche target audience. Racers of all kinds will have fun playing the game — to an extent. If you fit into that target audience, then you might want to give it a try and judge its standing for yourself, but for those looking for a strange and different experience, I'd suggest waiting to see if the immersion is improved in next year's edition. You could also wait for a good sale or try another racing series. WRC 7 is a solid choice for fans of the sport, but it lacks something more before the community will flourish.

Score: 7.0/10



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