WRC Generations preview: towards a grand finale!

WRC Generations preview: towards a grand finale!

During a video game launch, every marketing department serves the same old salad, based on superlative formulas like “the most realistic simulation, the most complete game” Where “best dive ever seen”. This also applies to sports and car games, with the aim of baiting the barge, sometimes rightly so, as with the Assetto Corsa series. But, too often, the reality is less flattering than what the creators sell us (bugs, poor optimization, paid content with additional cost, etc.).

So when we received an invitation from KT Racing to visit one of their two development studios in Paris (the second is located in Lyon), a touch of apprehension mixed with the excitement of discovering the backstage of a game. : “WRC Generations is the rally game that offers the most content ever seen in a rally game (with) new even more realistic vehicle physics”. But is the French company up to these announcements?

In order to warm up the invited media, KT Racing (formerly Kylotonn) has prepared a welcome buffet. It’s very good, but you won’t catch me that easily! We will have to play hard. My home game setup is limited to a PlayStation and a controller. I don’t have the skills or knowledge to maximize the potential of a car game with a simulator. However, my entire gaming career has been based around rally games, from Colin McRae Rally 2.0 on my Game Boy Color at the turn of the last century to WRC 10 acquired in 2021. It is precisely this swath of enthusiasts that KT Racing has I have. to attract since it acquired the World Rally Championship license in 2014. In fact, unlike a DiRT Rally, you can have fun without spending a fortune on a gaming seat and steering wheel. This continues to be the case for WRC Generations, as the handling of the cars, while requiring a slight adaptation period, is not insurmountable as long as we understand mass transfers.

READ ALSO > 21 different rallies available in the WRC Generations game

This test run, which took place a month before the scheduled release on November 3rd, suggests that WRC Generations will be a game that marks a milestone in the line of productions of this genre. This is in any case the objective that KT Racing intends. Alain Jarniou, creative director of the studio, takes a moving look at the evolution of the license. “When we developed WRC 5 in 2015, we were only 60 people. In two years we started from scratch and we had to produce one game per season. It’s been a pretty tight work pace, but we like the rallyexplains the one that started in the Dreamcast and that participated in the V-Rally saga of yesteryear. We did our best to never put a lick of paint on the previous game. »

If WRC has gone from a passable game in the middle of the previous decade, to a video game reference work in 2022, this is also the case with KT Racing. Today, KT Racing employs 180 people, including fifty in the WRC game alone. This license was promising for the development of the company, which had the arduous task of restoring the attractiveness of the WRC for the Italian study Milestone between 2010 and 2013. “Until WRC 7 in 2017, we were afraid that real drivers would try the game. acknowledges Alain Jarniou. meThey deviated from the path and enjoyed little, due to lack of realism. We postponed the launch of WRC 8 for a year to correct this big black spot. »

Since then, things have changed. KT Racing even offered a gaming session at Sébastien Loeb’s home, which took place this summer. Another marketing validation? No: with video, the nine-time world champion skilfully plays the Sanremo traps in his hybrid Ford Fiesta. “She spent all day trying it out, and ended up in the Lohan Blanc era (four times eSports WRC champion)which demonstrates the realism of the game », specifies Alain Jarniou. For once, we bow. Other crucial aspects In the eyes of rally enthusiasts, verisimilitude was one of the great works of the year. The new Rally1 hybrids have benefited from 100 million polygon modeling (this means extremely clean rendering).

Designers took 500 photos of these cars on the sidelines of Monte Carlo, and references are taken all the way back to Rally Croatia to stick as closely as possible to evolutions of liveries and aerodynamic appendages. The engine sounds, mocked for their quirkiness in the past, have gained depth, though they don’t seem to match those of DiRT Rally 2.0. Even the “in-game” interface uses the stylistic codes visible during TV broadcasts! You will be able to select one of the three power modes of the hybrid system before each stage, just like in real life.

The 21 rallies offer more than 750 km of specials, including pieces of bravery taken from reality such as the Fafe jump in Portugal. Places absent from the WRC in 2022 such as Turkey, Argentina and the Tour de Corse are established. Sweden has benefited from a complete overhaul: no more snowy highways, now you have to slalom between snowdrifts and even lean on them to better negotiate turns! Finally, nostalgics will “sand” the Historic mode with all the cars that have won at least one Constructors’ title since 1973, when the WRC was created, from the Alpine A110 to the Toyota Yaris.

Leaving the studio, we feel a tinge of regret. What will Codemasters do with the WRC license as of January 1? Will less professional players who are just as passionate about rallying fall for a hardcore simulation side? Will EA, who bought Codemasters and whose business methods don’t suit rally fans, a popular sport by definition, turn the WRC into an ATM? It doesn’t matter what future WRCs become, because WRC Generations has been designed to last through new modes. Players will be able to create and share liveries. “We have a large rally fan base, we are sure they will update the Rally1 colors a few days after Monte Carlo.”specifies Alain Jarniou.

Also, a league system will allow you to face opponents of a similar level online. The frustration of being relegated to 2,391st in the combined ranking will be gone as groups will be broken down into groups of 30 players and refreshed periodically. For KT Racing, it will be time to launch other motorsports-focused projects and perfect Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown, an open-world game set on Hong Kong Island. We will move… by car, of course!

Practical information :

• 750 km of unique stages in 22 countries

• 49 teams from the 2022 season (Rally1 / Rally2 / Junior WRC)

• 37 legendary cars and additional bonuses

• 165 timed stages

Launching on PC, Steam, PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series on November 3. Released on Switch before Christmas. From 39.99 euros.

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