The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
A lot of racing fans look to Codemasters and its Dirt series
for their off-road or rally needs, but that's not the only game in town. WRC 3
FIA World Rally Championship focuses solely on rally racing. While this game's
attention is not divided and it covers the expected bases, it also falls short
of being a definitive experience.
WRC'3 nominal career mode makes you mainly compete in
special stage, super special stage, and multistage rally races to move up the
ranks, upgrade your car, and unlock more events. None of the races or the
overall structure are dramatically different from what you've experienced
before, although I did like the Gate Contest events. Here you must break
through green blocks on the track (and avoid the red ones) as their color is
revealed at the last second.
Despite the uninspired nature of the career format, Italian
developer Milestone was wise to change up the racing surfaces you encounter as
well as the car you use from race to race (a mix of classic and current rally
cars). While this may be disorientating during the first few turns in your new
car, it at least highlights their differences and how you must approach driving
them (particularly as you upgrade their parts), as well as the precise throttle
and brake inputs required in order to put down a good time. That said, the
driving experience is not perfect. There are times when the cars feel like they
swivel on a pivot, and contact with objects on the side of the road can produce
If you don't feel like marching through the lengthy career
mode, you can also jump into an official WRC Championship season or take your
talents online. While the latter offers the majority of the race types of the
single-player (you can also post your best times when playing by yourself) the
matchmaking seems flawed in that it puts players who have played wildly varying
amounts of matches together. All in all, online play is perfectly sufficient – a characteristic that describes the rest of the game.
It's commendable that WRC 3 aims to give a full rally
experience – complete with the need to repair cars between stages - and
not dilute it with other forms of off-road racing. Despite this commitment to
the sport and the fact that the game has some fun moments, its middling
execution only goes so far.
Email the author Matthew Kato, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.