STAFF REVIEW of WRC Generations - The FIA WRC Official Game (Xbox One)

Wednesday, January 11, 2023.
by Ayden Heilman

WRC Generations - The FIA WRC Official Game Box art Nacon’s KT Racing’s license for the WRC series has come to an end. WRC Generations acts as KT Racing’s send-off for the WRC series accumulating a lot of the tracks from previous games and updating the graphics and game. Offering a sort of package deal for long-time fans and newcomers with a lot of quality of life changes and improvements.

The first hour or so is jarring and painful to go through with the poor sign-up process to get into the game which then puts you into the tutorial. The tutorial did not seem to help much since it was mostly text boxes indicating and telling you certain instructions. Once you get through the slog of the beginning and start the career though, WRC Generations starts looking up. WRC features 21 rally locations, 13 of which were in WRC’s official rally in 2022, then it also throws in 8 extra rallies. Some fans of the earlier games will realize that some of the stages are from previous games in the series, but I feel that this was a design choice to have this be a proper send-off of the series updating the older stages so you can play through them again without having to jump across multiple games.

All the stages fit their locale but I feel the Swedish were the best with the snow bouncing off the car and flinging off the tires and slopes of snow on each side of the road. Every map shines in its own way from the sprawling paved mountain roads to the dirt trail in the woods, and they all look excellent at night with the light of street lamps, campfires and your headlights cutting through the streets and trees. Generations brings you all over the world to places like Portugal, Mexico, Japan, Argentina, and more, of which all of these locations fit where they are with the terrain and architecture. WRC Generations also offers two different graphic modes: 1080p/60FPS and 4K/30FPS. While the 4k mode was pretty to look at, it was odd to play with, so I stuck to the 1080p/60FPS and it ran fine with no screen tearing which seemed to be a recurring issue in the WRC series.

The textures were good most of the time although some of the stages did tend to look a little flat. Most of the time this isn't a big issue since there is a good level of detail in each stage or if it's night time the lighting quality makes it look really good regardless.

The driving mostly feels upgraded from the previous entries with asphalt feeling the best since the dirt and snow tracks have a feel of sliding on ice which doesn't help since sometimes trying to readjust for the slide you'll find yourself sideways a lot of the time. Sometimes hitting a small rock appears to sometimes fling your car, sending it into a gravity and physics-defying roll with your car flipping and bouncing. The aftermath of crashes are not that satisfying since the damage models are quite forgiving, especially for the bigger crashes with it seeming to be only paint chips and a slightly crumpled car.

The co-driver also has some notable issues like saying “Cut” when there is not always a safe way or apparent way to cut, and sometimes they won't mention a hazard ahead in the track which can cause crashes and potential failure. Other than the aforementioned, the driving overall feels really good with the tire gripping the road on each turn and feeling like you could be on the verge of losing control at any moment, or hitting the turn just right with the handbrake which transitions your car into a smooth drift around the corner.

This year's WRC Generations offers a detailed career mode with the option of joining an existing team or making your own private team, a good balance between managing your team and racing. You can switch sponsors and hire your own staff, all while trying to not exhaust them. It also offers 85 different cars to rally in including classic rally legends to newer hybrid cars. The hybrid cars offer a new system to the WRC series which mixes up the gameplay a bit with worrying about the battery level and at high enough rev’s, the hybrid would kick in.

The audio helps kick the immersion level up a ton with the screaming engines, the tires screeching around each turn along with the graphics helping bring together the game.

You can also up the immersion and realism by changing your settings to permacrash and even set the other difficulty options to something more realistic, making penalties and crashes even more detrimental. This of course means you only have one shot on each stage, and if your crash is bad enough it'll cause you to retire. This for me was the most entertaining way to play, forcing you to listen to your co-driver more and pay more attention to the interchanging weather between stages. Even though the game sometimes has those absurd crashes or resets you after a minor spin out which could end the run on that stage.

Overall, WRC Generations is a well-put-together farewell game for everyone new or enthusiast of the series who've been there since the beginning. It may have some issues but they can hopefully be patched out in the future. WRC Generations may not have many major changes to the series, but it still is a good game nonetheless.

**WRC Generations - The FIA WRC Official Game was provided by the publisher and reviewed on an Xbox Series S**

Overall: 7.5 / 10
Gameplay: 8.0 / 10
Visuals: 7.0 / 10
Sound: 8.5 / 10


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