REVIEW – After many years, Nacon and Kylotonn have released their last WRC game, which, as expected, is not lacking in content and features hybrid engines running in the 2022 rally cars. It makes the timing interesting, but the farewell is still relatively neutral: we have seen fair WRC games from Kylotonn in the past, but this one is not at the top of their list, as it could be said there is not much new on the must-have list…
Rise to all the challenges of the most comprehensive, realistic, and demanding rally simulation ever developed. Dive into the heart of the action and drive the cars from the 2022 WRC championship, including the new hybrid models.
Let’s start with what’s happening on PlayStation 5. The Performance mode runs at 60 FPS, while the Quality mode limits the frame rate to 30. However, it does so at 4K resolution. On the DualSense controller, you can feel when you’re driving over what terrain, and when you switch from one surface to another (for example, from asphalt to gravel), it’s also felt. With the adaptive triggers’ resistance, you can learn the right amount of throttle usage, which seems like a good solution. The elaboration of the vehicles and the environment seems good (the backgrounds aren’t as restrained as in WRC 10 on the Nintendo Switch…). However, the paint jobs on the cars aren’t 100% authentic everywhere. Licensing has again become a problem. If you can get over that, you can prepare for the worst because the weather is dynamic, and the times of day don’t stay the same.
The weather is impressive, and you can feel a track slowly getting dirty from rain, and it’s not bad to see the sun’s rays filtering through the forest. Of course, it only means something if you have good handling. Thankfully, it’s not unpredictable, so you can focus on getting through the stages quickly, even with the hybrid cars, which allow you to fine-tune the boost you want. You recharge the power by braking, and you can use that extra kick during acceleration. If you’ve played any F1 game since 2017, you’ll have a similar experience as with those games. Compared to the smaller category cars, the driving experience will be different. We’ll feel it on the longer tracks. In the meantime, we should always keep an eye on our co-driver, who is good at dictating the bends and hazards ahead, but they also tend to get a bit upset if we don’t stick to the provided pace notes. It feels reasonable and realistic. The headquarters we’ve seen in previous episodes is back. Here we can adjust development plans and take time to please manufacturers by turning up at events. The historical rallies are good (you can play these outside of the career, too), but there were perhaps few maintenance events. Guess that’s the game’s way of trying to get us to drive well…
Content-wise, WRC Generations seems decadent, but that’s trickery when the old cars that were previously set as DLC are now there for the taking. In addition to the 2022 season, seven other rallies are represented in WRC Generations, giving us variety. Still, that only seems reasonable, as the career mode has mostly stayed the same from the previous installment. It also applies to online offerings. Okay, there’s the eSport-focused Leagues mode, which keeps you constantly challenged, and it’s good that there’s the cooperative career mode, where you can take to the road with a friend as your navigator.
You can also give your cars a custom paint job, which helps to bridge the not-quite-authentic look, but if you take a step back from the game, you’ll quickly notice that the presentation is dry and lifeless. The same can be said of many sports games released yearly (MotoGP and Madden NFL are two good or perhaps bad examples). Nacon and Kylotonn should have done better than this. True, you can get behind the wheel of a car in 21 countries to drive it, but the game felt more like a must-do job and then quickly forgotten product than a title made with passion. If it weren’t for the hybrid, Rally1 cars, it wouldn’t be a stretch to call the WRC finale of Kylotonn and Nacon WRC 10.1…
It does not seem appropriate to rate WRC Generations higher than a 6.5 out of 10 due to not being much more than a mild update over WRC 10. The game is OK, as it has decent controls and isn’t lacking in content, but the French could have let go of the reins and made something genuinely creative (WRC 3 from Milestone in 2012 was like that, although it made the career mode more arcadey, it still managed to get the player in front of the screen!). Let’s give the game credit because Electronic Arts and Codemasters may not make a memorable game next time. (DiRT Rally from Codemasters is still a reference; the second part, not so much.) Hopefully, it won’t be some idiotic WRC and F1 Ultimate Team, but knowing the publisher, that’s a possibility… So WRC Generations is not bad, but it could have been stronger. It delivered what it needed to, but not much more. Therefore, it can only be a points scorer at best.
Thanks to Magnew Ltd. for the review code!
+ Good to drive
+ Audiovisually suitable
+ Our navigator is not completely lifeless
– The content could have been even better
– Almost zero innovation
– He pretty much only brought the minimum
Style: official game adaptation of the World Rally Championship
Release: November 3, 2022.