I feel there are precious little rally simulators available. Richard Burns Rally has and is the benchmark. Dirt Rally (2.0) has taken the crown for mass market rally fame-dom. WRC9 seems to be the rally game, that takes the officially blessed, king of licensed rally content. While WRC8 was a little underwhelming, but nevertheless a fantastic improvement to handling and physics. I have to say, WRC9 has finally taken the WRC series firmly into the proper simulator space, with a feeling of, there is no denying the physics, handling, and location design is amongst the best ever created. Sprinkle a little post processing on top of some current gen graphics (nothing earth shattering, just current), and you have a game that models the rally locations better than any other rally game ever, with lighting that damn well looks close to, if not, actually realistic.
But who cares about looks. How does it drive… man oh man does it drive. Take everything with a pinch of salt, because this is me writing after 5 quick races. Wheel picked up no problem. Stock degrees rotation. Dropped overall force of wheel to 75%, and drove immediately. There are discrete fov sliders separately for every view available! Switched to dash view, adjusted fov to suite me, and go!
Lock to lock seems set as it is in RL. So it’s quick to turn in, or flick. Let’s try Mexico, soft gravel surface feels like it’s telling me, got traction, but if i brake hard, it feels like it’s sliding. Let’s try kicking the rear out with a light tap on the brake, while flooring it through a short 3 left: check, car slides out slightly, there’s no panic, you counter steer. With the low degrees of rotation, it comes back instantly. Pacenotes sound correct, nothing seems horribly out of sync with what I’m expecting to see It sound like a motorsport radio filter has been added over the voice. Like it or hate it, it does make it stand out, from the car and engine noise, as well as the wheel, road surface noise… There’s a fast long 3 right, into a short 2 right. I can take that in a wide arc right? Maybe? OMG, it slid from the first bend right through, into the 2nd bend exit first time, though i clip the inside shallow ditch around the apex flag. I’d say your co-driver is understandable without much fuss, if you’ve rallied before. Car (Toyota Yaris) seems to do what it’s told.
I try Argentina because well, it was second in the list. It will be nice to compare to Dirt Rally 2.0’s Argentina. Let’s try power oversteer. I take a slow entry into a few corners, drop a gear, and floor it while turning. It power oversteer drifts the corners, no problem. I miss time a throttle blip during a bumpy section on a corner, causing understeer. Again, car does what you’d expect it to do. Handbrake turns, seem to go without issue too, and considering it’s needed in this tight, and twisty location, it works really well. The sound under the harsh sharp stones is undeniable, and distinctive. At times, the stage was so narrow, I banged my way into those stone bridge that are dotted throughout the Argentina. Car did look a little battered at the end, and based on the 2nd race at Mexico, damage which I had set to realistic, completely botched my chassis alignment, so damage is a thing.
The driving experience is superb. The game runs well. Thrustmaster detection seems to work. Defaults assignments seems sane. If i had to nitpick: who ever designed the button customisation process, needs to be put on reception duty. Oh, and while previous WRC titles, only had current cars and locations as content, this iteration includes some Legends ie. older rally cars like the Lancia Delta.
Anyone else picked up this game and given it a go?