The addition of the new asphalt rally completes the 2023 World Rally Championship roster for EA and Codemasters’ official WRC title.
When EA SPORTS WRC launched last month, it featured 17 locations – five fictional venues and then 12 of 13 from the 2023 FIA World Rally Championship season. Central European Rally was the missing event, as it happened in the real world for the first time just a week before the game’s launch.
Now that is set to change, with Electronic Arts previewing the new event today, 11th December 2023, ahead of a release on 14th December. It will be free for all owners across PC, PlayStation and Xbox.
The asphalt event was unique for the WRC, simultaneously held across three nations – Austria, Czech Republic and Germany, with a base in Bavaria’s Passau. When we test the new environment in a few days times, we’re keen to see if the Southam-based development team has captured the essence of each nation.
Notably, however, the trailer and provided information only makes specific mention of the Czech Republic. The area will be broken down into 12 stages across 32 kilometres of roads.
The first running of the event was won by Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville and Martijn Wydaeghe amidst rain-affected conditions. It was also pivotal in deciding the world championship, as contenders Elfyn Evans and Scott Martin slipped off the road, hitting a building. Their retirement handed the crown to Toyota team-mates Kalle Rovanperä and Jonne Halttunen.
“Our vision with Central Europe is to dare our players to push the limits of control and take calculated risks as they race through small villages, forests and open farmland,” said Matthew Battison, Creative Director at Codemasters.
“This is just the beginning of a series of exciting updates that we have planned for EA SPORTS WRC, and we look forward to sharing more in the coming months.”
Fresh Rally Pass Unlocks
Alongside the clubs, online, time trail and career modes is a rally-based version of the Formula 1 game’s Podium Pass system where you can earn XP and unlock cosmetic customisation items.
This spans 20 levels and includes crash helmets, gloves, racing suits and decals for use within the livery editor.
The ‘Rally Pass’ continues for a second season, starting 19th December. Of the designs previewed, the paid-for VIP reward at level 2 (‘3D’) reminded us slightly of a Ken Block style. Nice, but the new stages and potential bug fixes remain the priority.
Changelog Expected Later This Week
While the new content is, on paper, a welcome addition, performance hitches and bugs remain prevalent within EA SPORTS WRC. This significant update is expected to also quash some of these complaints.
To that end, the development team recently issued a statement requesting that all custom setups and control schemes be saved ahead of the deployment. Social Media Channels and Content Manager for the title, PJ Tierney, also hinted that “there is a lot in the patch.”
Challenges within the Moments mode will also continue to roll out, 60 across ‘Season 2’, with the expectation that these will now include the Central European Rally.
Will you be booting EA SPORTS WRC again to try the new stages? Let us know on X, @OverTake_gg, or in the comments below.