E3 2019 Hands-on – WRC 8
In an era where racing games aren’t as common as they used to be, we have actually been graced with a ton of rally games over the last few years. Dakar 18, Gravel, Dirt Rally 2.0, and V-Rally 4 are just a few examples of games released over the past year and a half. Kylotonn’s WRC series is set to make a comeback this year, and I had the chance of playing a demo for WRC 8 at Bigben’s booth at E3 2019.
During the half-hour demo, I had the chance of playing the game for a bit, as well as checking it out its sizeable car roster and new modes. The overall gameplay left me very satisfied. After playing games like V-Rally 4 and Dakar 18, in which the controls and physics were nigh impossible to handle, I was glad to see that Kylotonn had done a great job revamping WRC 8‘s physics and controls. The game is a lot easier to play than those aforementioned competitors, but doesn’t feel arcadey at all. Its physics are realistic and you can notice major control differences whenever you change your tires or face different weather, as this game now features dynamic weather changes in the middle of a race.
WRC 8 features improved physics and graphics, but what really impressed me the most was the thing I saw for just a brief moment during my E3 session: the career mode. Instead of your typical career mode featured in these games, which is nothing else but a sequence of races in which you acquire money to eventually buy a new car, this one is a lot deeper and complex.
In WRC 8, you don’t solely control your driver, but your entire team. You are in charge of hiring mechanics, researchers, and so on. You are in charge of your team’s entire budget, and can schedule exhibition races and other events besides your mandatory championship races. Even though these events cost money, you earn monetary and experience rewards by completing them. Whenever you acquire enough experience, you earn skill points that can be used in order to improve your team in various ways. To sum things up in an easy-to-understand fashion: WRC 8‘s career mode is not only a simulator, but also an RPG. I can’t think of any other racing simulator out there with a similar premise.
I entered my WRC 8 demo excited for the visuals and physics, and left it excited about its RPG mechanics. I don’t think I would have ever thought about this ever happening in a racing game like this, but I’m glad Kylotonn is shaking things up a bit in order to differentiate its franchise from the many other rally games out there. I’m now very excited for WRC 8 and am looking forward to playing it in just a few months.