WRC 10 FIA World Rally Championship - PS5 Review

WRC 10 FIA World Rally Championship
by developer KT Racing - Kylotonn and publisher NaconSony PlayStation 5 review written by Pierre-Yves with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Celebrating fifty years of racing, Kylotonn's off road racing simulator WRC 10 is doing a lot more than bringing the latest edition over to the newest generation of gaming hardware. Celebrating fifty years worth of epic driving, this latest version has multiple modes and eras to drive in for everyone from novices like me to pros making me wonder just how they do that.

Now this is something that I've been waiting to see both how it looks and how it handles after the WRC 9 upgrade to the latest consoles. Amazing landscapes, crystal clear sound and in the case of the PS5, haptic feedback though the controller which is what really settled for me which console that I wanted to have this experience on. The change in direction of the haptic feedback over the traditional rumble as well as the adaptive triggers are really two elements that help increase the immersion short of building your own bucket seat with pedals and a steering wheel.

For a comparison on this immersion, I had re-downloaded WRC 9 to see how the controller felt in my hands compared to WRC 10. For the most part, what was done within WRC 9 still relatively applies to WRC 10 with more and more feedback being provided on rougher road conditions. You can feel where the car is struggling and adapt to what part of the road you are driving on. This feeling I found helped me concentrate a lot more on what was coming as I was driving down a treacherous road at 135 km/h if I was going to at least meet the bare minimum of the challenge requirements.

What really inspires some panic though is that there are some turns that you’re going to need to take that you really can’t drift through, you’re going to have to actually hit the brakes and not just pull on the handbrake. This would be fine, but panic may start to set in when you’ve got about 80 km/h to drop down and your trigger is fighting you as you’re trying to brake. It’s nuts but like the haptic feedback, these responses from the controller in your hand eventually start to make everything feel more natural and settled in than ever before because you know through a physical response, just how bad that upcoming tight turn is going to be.

Following the same format as before, there are a few modes to experience depending on your personal playstyles. There’s the single player training to get acquainted with driving off road and the types of situations that you can find yourself in. What I really like about this mode is that it doesn’t just teach you how to get the job done, it challenges you to get the job done. Going through the motions isn’t enough, you actually have target times in order to complete the challenge and with each level of bronze, silver and gold, you unlock more points which unlock more training situations.

The added bonus to these situations is that it gives you a chance to really learn how to maneuver one of these cars without having to worry about stress, cash flow for repairs and the mental state of your staff. You don’t need to stop for breaks or worry about relationships with manufacturers like in the campaign mode. You can simply just drive and learn through small circuit drifting challenges or much longer treacherous situations with a half broken car in the rain, at night, in the middle of nowhere. Those were perhaps the most fun as you REALLY need to be paying attention but at the same time, you also need to go fast and these busted up cars? May or may not respond to you in the same ways that they should depending on what’s been busted for the challenge.

WRC 10 screenshot of drifting a modern car through an off road forest track.

Possibly the most interesting addition is that regardless of the mode from training to campaigns, vintage cars from over the course of the last fifty years have been available for you to drive. What makes these cars so interesting is that they offer a new perspective of driving. These are much older vehicles and just taking them out on the same potentially treacherous tracks makes you wonder, as these cars have nowhere near the same level of responsiveness as today and with some of the tracks that they were driven on, how crazy were these people back then?

Now I found myself with a love-hate relationship when it came to driving vintage cars. I loved the idea, and I loved the look and the realism, and I realize some of these cars are fifty years old and that the technology was completely different, BUT, I sucked when it came to taking those out onto the tracks making me wonder what am I doing wrong “this” time. While I’ve now been playing the series for a few entries, I’m still rather a beginner when it comes to taking these cars offroad and sometimes think I know better (clearly don’t) when I drift around a certain corner only to go right past the road.

So when it comes to these vintage cars, they aren’t as powerful, they don’t glide as well, and from that standpoint it falls squarely into realism because they wouldn't handle like brand new cars designed today. My issue though is that for a novice like me, throwing those kinds of cars into both the training sessions as well as your career mode is like asking a brand new person to the Souls series to ace it on their first try. It’s going to be a rough ride and it can cause some frustration. This is especially the case after taking out a manufacturer’s new model in which with just a light touch of the controls has you going from 0-100 in seconds instead of wondering when the trigger is all of the way down why you’re barely breaking 70km/h.

WRC 10 screenshot of drifting a vintage car through an off road mountain track.

Otherwise, everything else is as I've come to expect of the WRC series. The courses are gorgeous to look at, treacherous to drive on and you have to pay so much attention to what you’re doing as well as what you need to do. Whether working with your partner calling out what types of twists and turns are coming up or finding out for yourself through a variety of challenges, the cars, busted or in pristine condition, are responsive and can potentially make you wonder about trying this out yourself one day. Maybe one day… on a closed circuit… with plenty of experts on hand!

Top to bottom though, Kylotonn's latest in the WRC series is worth picking especially if you were on the fence coming over from WRC 9. There’s more content to be found within WRC 10 and the addition of the vintage cars from the offroading history adds an extra layer of challenge to something that’s already challenging enough. It’s fun, it’s gorgeous to look at and the responsiveness from the PlayStation 5 controller from the haptic feedback and the adaptive triggers just increase the immersion all from the safety of your living room.

Score: 9 / 10