The next EA Sports WRC update is due on December 14, including the new Central European Rally. We had the chance to get a preview for the new location – which comes with a bit of a geographical surprise.
The penultimate round of the 2023 World Rally Championship calendar featured an all-new event. Drivers and teams headed to the “Dreiländereck” (literally three-country corner, meaning the border region) of Germany, Czechia and Austria. Stages took place in all three countries, all of them on tarmac.
For EA Sports WRC, Codemasters had to pick one of the countries, however. As usual, one long stage got split up into multiple shorter ones with some variation to create 12 stages in total. CER in EA Sports WRC is based in Czechia, though it is not quite clear where exactly.
Central European Rally in EA Sports WRC Going Eastward?
Due to the location of the real event, the Czech stages took place in the West of the country. However, the in-game stage names are those of towns in the East of the country, not too far from the Slovakian border. Coincidentally, the Barum Czech Rally Zlin, which is part of the European Rally Championship calendar, has been held there. A Reddit thread suggests that these stages could have been used as a base, though with variations.
Meanwhile, Game Designer and real-life rally racer Jon Armstrong claims in the SPIN Rally Podcast that the location the developers chose “is actually based in the Czech Republic in the region where the rally was in that country.” It is possible that the visuals match the real location more closely than the names – and stage routes – possibly suggest.
Where Are We, Then?
Either way, Armstrong is happy with the result. According to the Northern Irishman, who actually competed in the Barum Czech Rally Zlin, CER in EA Sports WRC captures the real World Championship event well.
I’m really pleased what we chose to represent is exactly what you see in real life. Gives you that same feeling and experience. It’s a 32-kilometer stretch of stages in forward and reverse direction. It’s a location that has jumps on tarmac, which is something we don’t really have in other locations.Jon Armstrong, EA Sports WRC Game Designer and real-life rally driver
Despite this, with two of the hosting countries being German-speaking, there are some interesting signs to be found at the stages. For one, the bus stop signs inside towns and villages read “Bushaltestelle”. And in addition to that, some German road signs point to Austrian locations – so where exactly are we?
Wondering about the location aside, the new rally in EA Sports WRC actually turned out quite well. Its tarmac roads wind their way through the landscape, passing through small towns and villages on the way. Make no mistake, though, the Central European Rally is certainly no tight and twisty affair. Instead, you will often find your car exceeding 200 kph while hanging on for dear life inside a forest – in a Rally1 car, that is.
Running the rally in autumn and with wet conditions comes relatively close to the real event. Colorful trees, leaves on the road, barns to crash into – they are all there. Similarly to other locations, however, it does not seem like the leaves actually have an impact on the car’s handling. There are still enough treacherous things like bumps, jumps, and ditches to catch drivers out.
EA Sports WRC Central European Rally Stage List
- Rouské – 32.36 km (100% Tarmac)
- Lukoveček – 32.34 km (100% Tarmac)
- Raztoka – 15.40 km (100% Tarmac)
- Žabárna – 15.42 km (100% Tarmac)
- Provodovice – 16.99 km (100% Tarmac)
- Chvalčov – 16.94 km (100% Tarmac)
- Vítová – 8.77 km (100% Tarmac)
- Brusné – 8.77 km (100% Tarmac)
- Libosváry – 14.73 km (100% Tarmac)
- Rusava – 14.64 km (100% Tarmac)
- Osíčko – 8.94 km (100% Tarmac)
- Příkazy – 8.65 km (100% Tarmac)
Central European Rally: Fast, Flowing & Massively Enjoyable
While the two long stages are amongst the longest in EA Sports WRC at over 32 kilometers each, they tend to fly by. Only Chile’s 34+ kilometer stages are longer. In one of our test runs, it took less than 18 minutes to finish one of the long CER stages. Turns are often faster than they seem just from the pace notes, so expect a lot of full-throttle running.
As a result, opting for a much longer gear ration compared to the default setup is advisable to maximize top speed. Additionally, an aggressive throttle setting for hybrid deployment will help to make the most of the available boost.
Update Brings More Fixes, Season 2 Starts December 19
The update to v1.4.0 not only contains the new location, but also further performance fixes. EA Sports WRC did run at higher framerates than before in the preview version even without turning down some graphics settings. Meanwhile, the stuttering when running a location for the first time were still present, however.
As part of the update, bugs regarding saved setups and control schemes have been fixed. Ahead of its December 14 launch, EA and Codemasters had announced that this would reset all setups and control bindings, so make sure to screenshot or write down yours before you update EA Sports WRC.
More patience is needed for further unlockables becoming available. Season 2 of the Rally Pass will start on December 19, promising further decals, livery designs, and moments to complete.
What do you think about the Central European Rally in EA Sports WRC? Let us know on Twitter @OverTake_gg or in the comments below!