WRC 10 Review (Xbox)
There’s little more thrilling in a rally game than coming up the crest of a hill near the end of a stage, knowing that you’ve got to hit the last few turns perfectly in order to win the event. At their best, rally games give the player the white-knuckled thrill of driving fast through unfamiliar terrain, trying to get the best time.
Written by Seth Roy.
WRC 10 — much like its recent predecessors — really nails the gameplay. Driving feels great on the controller and the game runs smoothly and looks great. I’m playing the Xbox One version on the Series X, and the environment and cars still shine.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the most competitive driver. My co-driver, a lovely English gal, frequently sounds exasperated and like she’s not quite enjoying all the bumps and bashes along the course. By the end of a run, my car is frequently beat up. I love the strategy of deciding what to repair between stages, and you can really tell the difference between a car that is 100% and one that has had some wear-and-tear.
The variety of cars available from different eras also each feel different. WRC 10 nails the differences between driving a variety of cars on different surfaces. Whipping around a tight corner requires a different approach with fresh tires on asphalt versus old tires on gravel.
Started at the bottom, now we’re here
The WRC games’ stellar career mode returns this year, and it’s as deep as ever. Many options are similar to past years, if refined and expanded — more team members and skill trees, calendar enhancements, new sponsors and more.
Every new career must start in either the WRC Junior or WRC 3 series, rather than letting you jump straight into the main championship. While this is a slight annoyance, you can always opt to jump into season mode instead. The game also lets you create a new private team, but locks the option behind completing the exceptionally difficult Anniversary mode.
Regardless, WRC 10 provides a ton of satisfaction through the career mode. There is a lot of strategy both in the garage and out on the course.
The 50th anniversary of the World Rally Championship is technically next year, but WRC 10 is decked out with classic rallies and cars like the Audi Quattro and Toyota Celica. The core mode provides a peek into the history of the league, and is a great way to learn about past WRC events.
Progressing through the mode, however, can feel nigh impossible. Even when I felt like I was nailing my run, I was still as much as a minute or two off the pace needed for progression. While it’s definitely a me thing, and I can hopefully get better, this means that one of the coolest additions to this year’s game is largely inaccessible to me.
Menus and overall presentation could use a bit of an overhaul. I actually completed a classic rally in exhibition mode before I realized that I wasn’t in the actually Anniversary mode.
The general presentation of the game feels largely similar to WRC 9. While this isn’t a huge issue, the game can feel slightly stale if you are a veteran of the series.
WRC 10 is a worthy entry into the series, and absolutely worth playing for anyone interested in rally. Especially if you’ve not played the series in a few years, you will find a lot to like in this year’s entry.
The Xbox One version of WRC 10 was provided by the publisher, and was played on an Xbox Series X.