Depending on your region and platform, WRC 9 will likely be available right now. Save for console users in North America, who have to wait until September 8, players will already be getting to grips (or lack of grips) with the latest in Kylotonn’s annual rally sim series.
We rather enjoyed WRC 8 when it arrived last September. Our previous editor Kyle was impressed with the stage design and physics, and rated it as a close contender to DIRT Rally 2.0. Our rating of 3.6 pretty closely tallied with the broader industry median score for the title.
WRC 9 appears to have launched to similar, if slightly higher, praise. Averaging some five points higher than its predecessor, many outlets are highlighting how the game has moved on in the last 12 months:
- Xbox Achievements (8/10):
WRC 9 is not only the most definitive rally game that KT Racing has made to date, but a hugely accomplished racing game deserving of a place in your collection. Past WRC titles have either been uninviting or slightly too impenetrable, but this latest entry embraces all comers with an enormously rewarding and complete rally experience.
- PushSquare (8/10):
WRC 9 continues the series’ hot run of form with another year of keen improvements to handling, lighting, and layout design. With tons of content across a variety of multiplayer modes and timed challenges, it offers plenty to keep you returning for more. However, WRC 9 is at its finest as a single player rally game, offering the best rally career mode available.
Our biggest criticism of WRC 8 was the relatively undeveloped online offering. For WRC 9, KT Racing has introduced a new Clubs system to address that issue, and there’s an esports championship that gets underway and the end of this year too. This features in other reviews:
- GameSpew (9/10):
With the addition of the new Clubs mode, this is the most competitive entry in the series yet, and it’s also the biggest thanks to the three new rallies that have been introduced. But more importantly, it’s the best-playing WRC game to date, going toe-to-toe with the DiRT Rally series.
If there is a complaint about WRC 9 it is how similar it is to its predecessor. KT seems to have taken the approach of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” very literally, to the point of a lot of the single player being identical to WRC 8. As Jimmy Broadbent points out while hunting through menus in his stream, “it’s kind of the same as last year, I’m not going to lie”.
GTPlanet user Scaff, a self-confessed rally fan, has been putting the Deluxe Edition of WRC 9 through its paces and has shared his review. Scaff notes that the game offers enough for him over last year’s release to be worth the money, including “a series of small but significant improvements in the physics engine”. You can catch his review below:
In general it appears that Kylotonn has refined WRC 8 and addressed enough of the shortcomings to make for a pretty compelling offering. If you’ve picked up WRC 9 already, let us know what you think in our forums.