EA Sports WRC Review: A Rally Fan's Dream?

Cons: It's a simcade , not a "dirt rally 3"
It's a simcade , not a "dirt rally 3"
Pros: Long Stages.
WRC license.
Decent car list.
Cons: Sound downgrade from DR2.0 for many cars.
No UDP Telemetry.
No VR.
Rain/Snow effects are bad.
Watersplash effect bad.
Incredible grip everywhere.
Weather effects meh.
Cars still rotate about the center.
Lack of road texture variation.
Career is poorly executed, WRC:G did better at building a team.
Graphics pop in in real time & replays.
Lack of Liveries.
AI is a joke, Maxed out and all assists off they're 1minute behind on most stages.
Been playing for 20 hours now. Played every dirt/WRC/CMR game for decades.
Is it the DR2.0+WRC we wanted? No. Overall there is a big lack of features that already existed in both WRC and DR franchises. And if anything I feel it lands more on the WRC style of game than where codies have previously taken us.
Some fidelity and polish has been lost along the way with the switch to unreal engine.
It's clear the title has been built to bring monetization in for livers/builder/customization etc etc.
The physics seems a step backwards towards a "fun" arcade handling model with huge grip everywhere. Even with a Group B RWD car its hard to hold a slide for any extended period on wet gravel.
I have not had much performance related drama but its clear many have.
The long stages, the reason for the engine switch are great if you have time, but the overall lack of variation in their surfaces/textures/assets is distracting and the difference between countries has been toned down when it comes to surfaces.
I think the game has a lot of potential but it will depend if the Devs are ready to turn it in to a love project (like Dirt Rally was) or just another copy paste yearly release where things don't get fixed until the next version. I feel they need a good 6 months to polish everything and add back stuff that's missing. Time will tell.
Pros: - Overall gameplay is very satisfying
- I like graphics (maxed out)
- No irritating songs...
- FFB
Cons: - performance (which is fixed now 5/11) - 100fps 4K maxed with DLSS balance or 85-90 with quality... something like that - Still some stutters and "reflections" issue (looks like ****)
- NO UDP - can't believe...
- No VR - i can believe.... that's ok
I generally agree with bad comments but FFB for me is actually great after proper settings. Regarding rally drivers experiences and more experienced pl than me it should be like drifting everywhere. RBR is exaggerated from what I understand so there is a little to much grip. It is not like a glued cars. Fix your FFB first because it makes huge difference in every sim/game.
Pros: An Excellent mix of Cars and stages.
Beautiful graphics.
90% of the cars sound great.
Great Physics.
Feels alot like the Dirt series with offical cars and stages.
Cons: Has Crashed 3 times in 17 hours of play.
Very occational stutters
Has a great mix of cars and tracks, the graphics look really nice.
The whole "sim" feels alot like the dirt series (personally I like this)
Performance for me has been pretty good, I had 3 crashes in a row trying to load my championship but it seemed to resolve itself. I do have occational frame drops (maybe once or twice over a stage) but reading the recent post from the developers this should be addressed in the next patch.
I dont usually buy DLC but I think I will if its decent (UK stages please!)
Overall I think EA have hit the mark and have a great base to build upon (hopefully they dont get greedy! lol!)
I think EA and Codemasters have delivered exactly what they promised in advance. The price is fair and the content is extensive. Anyone who expected sophisticated new driving physics is simply naive. Codemasters is the epitome of Simcade titles (see also the F1 series). And that's just the way it is. The only thing that bothers me about the game is the lack of FPS. The ratio between appearance and performance just doesn't fit. For example, there are too few trees and yet no FPS. In a racing game, I expect at least 120hz with WQHD. I have a i7 and a 3080ti and need DLSS (balanced) and GFX settings med to high (forget about Ultra) to run it smoothly.
That is simply a joke.
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Pros: Overall, it's fun, similar to how Forza horizon 5 is fun and forgiving.
Good content
Good sounds
Looks good, after you have raced a stage once, I've found the stuttering to be less and performance to slightly improve.
Good career mode with many other race modes to keep you busy.
Luckily, there is a profile for Thrustmaster TX along with a TM Sparco rally rim profile, so that helps navigate the menus better.
Builder mode, looks interesting.
Cons: Performance issues
Graphical bugs
Menus and setting up your rig is a bit confusing
AI is not very competitive under 80% difficulty
FFB...tarmac hardly feels any better than Dirt 2.0 just the rear feels slightly better connected.
Physics...I am mixed, I thought Dirt 2.0 was pretty bad. WRC has improved the ridiculous floaty rear that felt weightless from Dirt 2. It feels better, but with no aids on I feel the grip is insane which makes you feel like a rally god...which I am not lol
So maybe that is a pro?

I'll revisit my review if EA/Codies tackle the current bugs and continue to improve aspects before jumping to WRC 24
Too many issues ATM, but has the base there to turn it into a good title.

Reviewed on EA Play/Xbox game pass on PC

i5 9600kf
1660ti
Thrustmaster TX Sparco rally rim
2560x1080 144hrz HDR10
Graphics Medium preset setting.
60-85fps
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Pros: + Good Physics
It carries much of the physics goodies from DR2.0, and there are indeed some slight improvements. The default setups are more drivable from the get go and the grip levels are improved. The physics and driving feeling itself will blow away any WRC games from Nacon/Kylotonn and Milestone era. That said, the suspension travel in the first Dirt Rally is still better than this and gives more enjoyment. And the tyre wear and strategy in WRC Generations are actually better since you are assigned some set of tyres which you can mix and match (like having softer tyres up front and harder tyres in the rears), but this feature is currently absent in EA WRC. The feedback on gamepad is a bit stronger than the one in DR2, though still pretty lacking even on 150 vibrations level. It does feel nice on both wheel and gamepad, thankfully.
+ Top Notch Sound Design as usual, and great vibes from the music as well
Dirt Rally Series have long been known for their greatness in terms of audio design and this one doesn't disappoint on the most part. Some cars are still not good like the Galant VR4, but it's already way better than WRCG! EA also has nice selection of music, but you have to be careful if you're planning to stream, better just turn the music volume down.
+ Long and beautiful stages with various weather
The stages looks beautiful on high settings, complete with various weather. I'm still unsure if there's Dynamic Weather system, but at least you can change the season to winter and that place could have snow. In DR2 the grip levels difference between snowy asphalt were more pronounced, but then again on that game the snow tries to kill you too much. Fortunately in this game the snow is more logical but I could hardly tell the difference of the grip between a snowy asphalt and just heavy rain like if you try it on Monte Carlo (Full snow map like in Sweden compared to a Fully rained asphalt or gravel map still feels different btw). The length of the stages are quite massive as well with the full stages reaches up to 33 kms which could take upwards of +-20 minutes of gameplay depending on your skill and car selection. The typical stages are twice as long as the one in DR2, so maybe can be a bit overwhelming to those who have shorter attention spans and prefer shorter stages.
+ Harsh Penalty and Damage Wear
The penalty given for things like corner cutting, going out of track is harsher than DR2, and probably a bit harsher than DR1 as well. Which is very much welcomed! Sometimes the penalty detection on cutting corners are still questionable but i like that the consequences of reckless driving are more punished in terms of penalty and damage wears on the car, meaning you have to drive within a fine line of staying fast and safe at the same time. This however, might not sit well with one who are used to casual penalties on the previous WRC series but they gotta learn...
+ Rally Driving Lesson
Like in Dirt 4 and WRC Generations, there is a Rally Driving Lesson tutorial where you are given example on how to do rallying and have to performed it on a short closed stages. I still feel like the explanations given on the first Dirt Rally is a bit more thorough, but in this WRC it is still very nice since you're required to apply your knowledge right away.
+ New Regularity Rally Feature
Regularity Rally is different than traditional Rally Racing, since it puts emphasis on consistency rather than outright speed. The addition of this Rally mode is welcoming and refreshing, as this sport is quite popular especially on grassroots level in Europe where they often run this type of rally with Historic Cars.
+ Vast selection of Cars
There are lots of cars, most of it were already present at Dirt Rally 2.0 but this time they added the current WRC crops + Some more additional rally cars as well like the Super 1600 and Super 2000 class. Historic Cars are plenty for nostalgic fans, and there are plenty of niche cars like the Hillman Avenger, Talbot Sunbeam and SEAT Cordoba. There are Builder Cars as well for WRC, WRC2 and WRC3 class, which thankfully you can use them outside of career modes. These builder cars are a car that you can pretty much select and mix and match the parts together, although the looks is like a generic knockoff of the current cars. The builder cars are supposed to have the same performance level as its class.
+ The comeback of Online Telemetry via Racenet
They used to have this feature on the first Dirt Rally, where you could look at your telemetry in time trials and compared them to the leaderboard via the racenet. At early access, they haven't opened external telemetry tools yet but this feature is already very much welcomed.
+ Upscaling Technology
Upscaling Technology are present in this game with NVIDIA DLSS or AMD FSR included. This could help prolong old GPU that may be long in the tooth. With AMD FSR Quality and low preset (Shaders to Medium and Textures to High) I could still get upwards of 50 FPS on a good day with my plucky 1050Ti, which is actually below the minimum requirements. It does go down to just 30 on heavy scenario like rainy nights, but it's still on that borderline playable.
+ No Origin or EA App
The game doesn't require you to download Origin or EA App like some NFS game, which are cumbersome. You'd still need to sign up for racenet to race in clubs but the setup pretty much the same with the previous Dirt Rally series. You can also run this game offline, so it might be great for steam deck as well.
+ Seemingly Good Monetization Route
At present, it doesn't matter if you don't have the season pass because season pass only includes cosmetic gimmicks like your driver racing suits. The cars and tracks are fully covered in the standard edition. Basically, this doesn't feel like your typical extorting EA. It's also unknown if they plan this game to release yearly like F1 series or they would just add DLC to the existing game like the sims because of the title. But I personally do hope it's the latter.
Cons: - Like a Typical Codemasters Release, This game feels released at a beta stage
The reason why I advise against buying this at full price on a release date is because the state of which the game is released now isn't justified as a fully released game. As much as I am impressed with the gameplay, they still need to address so many things. This includes poor performance filled with stutters and frame drops (admittedly my system isn't up to par as well, but many with higher end systems also reported same issue), Many Graphical Bugs and Glitches, CTD after events, and many other bugs which you can find plenty of them in the EA forum. This is the first time they're using Unreal Engine, which means teething issues are to be expected, but I think this game would be in a far better condition had it been released some time from now as they need to iron out the kinks of UE4. ACC was also a mess at launch, but the price was cheap at early stage. DR2 on release was also a mess, but it wasn't this much messy, and it took them some time to fix as well. Give it some months and some performance patches, and I think this game will be amazing. I'm really hoping that they could manage to find solution for the graphics issue because having to run while looking worse and performs worse than DR2 is kind of embarassing.
- Notable lack of features at launch
My biggest gripes is lack of dedicated Daily, Weekly and Monthly system like you have on Dirt Rally series. They still have official clubs and moments to compensate, but I prefer having them dedicated separately like in Dirt Rally or WRCG. There is also no VR at launch, no proper triple screen support, and the UDP is gimped at launch, some popular wheels like Moza aren't properly supported and you kind of have to do some workarounds.
- Omitted Cars and No More Rallycross
I'm actually sad that they doesn't have the Celica, which were present at WRCG. I really have no idea what's the beef between EA and Toyota because even Nacon could have them. The Datsun 240Z and Citroen DS21 was no more, and Rally GT cars are gone as well. Shame because I actually enjoy these cars on DR2. The 2017 WRC Class also lacking with only Ford and VW (even VW doesn't actually compete that season), when I think they could've had the Hyundai, Citroen and Toyota as well. There is also no more Rallycross, which I think is quite logical given the name but I do hope they could add them in some ways because these were the bread and butter in Dirt Rally series.
- Lacklustre Livery Selection and Livery Editor
Most of the historic cars only have one livery by default. The Livery editor is actually almost like WRCG or Forza in terms of how you make the livery, but at present it lacks alphabet and the ability to share livery.
- Co-driver and Language Support are currently subpar
One of the fatal aspect with the current co-driver is sometimes they call the important and critical turn too late, even when you already set this at earliest setting. The other aspect is not as critical but I miss the expressive Co-drivers from Dirt series especially the way they deliver the pacenotes depends on your speed and they would also respond to your crashes, this one is quite boring, even sometimes a bit more boring than the WRCG. At least they doesn't sound as too robotic as in WRCG. They also lost some language support, like there is no Japanese at present for example, which could hamper some countries who are struggling to understand english.
- Some things you had in WRCG but you don't have it anymore here
Split Screen, this was nice feature to play together in WRCG but they don't have it in this game. I get the excuse of performance probably because this is leaning towards simulator-alike, but even Gran Turismo just released an update where you could do Split Screen up to FOUR players.
1 v 1 Arena Rally was also present in WRCG, where there are some stages that is run inside a circuit loop and you do a versus against the other player in a 1 v 1 setting. Both are starting at different locations, so it's more or less equal footing. This was fun and actually also exists in real life, and also back when they still had Colin McRae. I think this should be easier to have than a split screen.
Team Leaderboards, where you are creating a team and the teams will be ranked on competitive settings. This is fun as you're also depending on your team's skill rather than just individual skills, making rallying more fun together.
Co-driver mode, where you're playing as the co-driver instead of driver. As gimmicky as this is, I think it was a great idea and rallying isn't all about the driving, but your partner also matters.
- Denuvo DRM Anti-Tamper Protection
Denuvo has been known to reduce performance and it turns out that this game has Denuvo. Which may explain the performance hit people are experiencing.
I was going to review this game on steam, but for some reason I had trouble posting. Contrary to review by Overtake, I don't get paid by EA to try this and I only had the three days of early access because I ended up refunding the game. I spent about 18 hours (yes I enjoyed it that much) in EA Sports WRC during this early access and I previously had 1500+ hours combined across Dirt Rally series and about 75 hours on WRC Generations, so those are the main point of comparison. I still reccommend this game due to its potential when it runs great, but during the 3 days early access given to anyone who preordered, the game is plagued with performance issues and many other bugs which made me had to refund this game. I am convinced, however, that codemasters/EA will eventually fix the issues in the upcoming patches and probably add more content to it as well, as is already planned. I will definitely pick this game on another time when it comes on sale. Good game, 7.7/10 on release but i'll give it 9.5/10 if they could fix everything!
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Pros: cars/stages looking like their real world counterparts
Cons: everything else
The fact that the WRC license is wasted on an arcade game aside, physics and performance issues are the main reason to avoid it.
OverTake
Premium
Pros: - Well made cars from the 60s to modern WRC / Rally1 with their different characteristics
- Snappy handling, ~10% more grip than DR2.0 - good out of the box wheel feel
- Locations, a lot of variety in stages with great flow
- Racenet Clubs
- Custom Championships
- Overall visuals and audio
Cons: - Performance issues, especially on certain stages in Monte Carlo or Croatia
- Inconsistent AI times, sometimes killing the immersion in career
- No Arenas or Super Special Stages - bummer
- Handling is rather easy, tyres make a difference (e.g. Winter tyres have a longer braking distance then Softs @ Monte Carlo) but there is no good feeling for tyre wear or even brake fading effects -> simcade
- No VR, no proper Triples support, no Telemetry support
Tendency for a 4.5/5 in case Codemasters fixes the AI times, stuttering and add more functionality for simracers.
The good feeling for cars especially on gravel make it super enjoyable for me though.
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I know it's not a simulation when I have to learn how to drive a car, which is not the case in assetto corsa, rfactor 2, rbr
the behavior of the car on the asphalt is funny, especially the front-wheel drive
the driving feeling is simply not natural
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