With the release of EA Sports WRC just around the corner, a debate about its physics has emerged. Do the cars have a single pivot point or not? And does it even matter?
Note (October 21st): The article previously stated that the YouTuber who created the physics analysis video had access to the preview build of the game. However, the EA Sports WRC footage in their video is not from that version. The article has been corrected accordingly.
Arguments about the accuracy of physics models in sim racing are probably as old as the genre itself. As a result, it should come as no surprise that even ahead of EA Sports WRC‘s release, a debate has broken out about this very element. Mind you, this is without most sim racers even having gotten their hands on the title, as a preview version was made available only to influencers and media outlets thus far.
EA Sports WRC Physics: Central Pivot Point?
So, what is the matter with it? Put simply, YouTuber mrelwood games has released a video looking into the physics of DiRT Rally 2.0 and EA Sports WRC. Their video is based on clips from DiRT Rally 2.0 and official gameplay preview clips of EA Sports WRC. Allegedly, EA Sports WRC, just like DiRT Rally 2, has cars rotate around a single, central pivot point, instead of their tires actually slipping.
Interestingly, most of the evidence in the video comes from tarmac stages and from third-person view. This is where I have an issue with it: It may look like the pivot point theory is correct from that point of view, but the camera tends to swing around a bit in this view. Could this add to the perceived effect? It is a possibility.
Basically, the theory states that this central pivot point would be a “cheap” way to make the car feel like it is sliding at all times, but not out of control. Numerous comments on YouTube seem to prove mrelwood games right.
However, voices stating the opposite also started appearing. A Reddit post aims to disprove the theory, stating that if the car would pivot around a central point, the rear wheels should hit a close-by wall when trying to steer away from it. This appears not to be the case in their video clips.
The pivot point theory may explain the “off feeling” they get from DiRT Rally 2.0‘s physics for some. Others argue that there is no evidence to support this. Either way, it does not really matter if you look a the core aspect of EA Sports WRC: It is fun.
Now, the die-hard sim racers may crucify me for this opinion, but in the end, it is all that counts. Would we spend thousands of bucks on sim racing equipment if it was not fun to us? Of course, this definition is always subjective. But the majority of reviewers who have tried EA Sports WRC ahead of release seem to agree that it is immensely enjoyable. Pivot point or not.
Focus On What Is Fun
The title is still satisfying to play as a sim racer. It may be forgiving here and there, but the driving feel is far from the dreaded “arcade”. However, a number of assists ensure that as many players as possible can enjoy it. This includes those on a controller, as well as beginners and novices.
And while that may not be as hardcore as many people would like, it is enjoyable for a lot of players. Tarmac handling may still not be perfect, but it did feel nice in the preview version. The cars were more agile than in DR2.0, inspired confidence to push, and felt absolutely rapid. That sounds like a recipe for a good time to me.
EA Sports WRC Pivot Point Theory: It Does Not Matter
Whether or not the pivot point theory is correct, this article will not judge. The essential takeaway from it is something that often feels like it is missing for many sim racers: Go and enjoy driving virtual race cars! If you are having fun out there, you likely will not be thinking about physics quirks.
EA Sports WRC launches on November 3rd. The game will be available on PC, Xbox Series X|S, and PlayStation 5.
What is your take on the EA Sports WRC debate? Let us know on Twitter @OverTake_gg or in the comments below!