If rumours are to be believed, the next EA rally game is just around the corner. Here are 4 features we want to see in WRC 23.
For 2023, the task of putting together the next official WRC game moves from Kylotonn to EA. With help from Codemasters, the team behind the F1 game franchise is set to release the so-called WRC 23 at some point this year.
If one believes the rumours that have been floating around for the past few months, the game’s release could come sooner than we all thought. Back in February and March, whispers suggested that a Spring-time launch was on the cards. Well, it’s coming up to Summer now and there’s still no word. But the community is still adamant that release is just around the corner.
If that truly is the case, it may be time to start dreaming about what this next rally game could include. Here is our wish list for features we want to see in WRC 23.
1. Recce and Pace Notes
Earlier in the year, we took a look back at a title many dub the best rally game of all time. Richard Burns Rally may be closing in on its 20th anniversary. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t still a revolutionary racing game.
One feature that often catches the interest of online leagues in particular is the game’s custom pace notes. In fact, players can rewrite the pace notes of stages on the fly to better suit their style and needs.
When it comes to online competitions, this adds another level of realism to rallies. Before events, players often conduct recce runs of each stage in order to perfect their pace notes. Whilst time consuming, it removes any sense of doubt for those that really want to push. If, however, you don’t fancy crawling round each stage, you can use the game’s default pace notes.
This is one of many features that would set WRC 23 apart from other modern rally sims. The F1 games see players complete practice sessions and warm-up laps on their way to the grid. Perhaps this is the rallying equivalent.
2. F1-Style Career Mode in WRC 23
Speaking of the F1 games, it’s obvious that many World Rally fans are sceptical about Codemasters and EA taking over the series’ license. The games focusing on the pinnacle of motorsport are typically subject of complaints concerning their handling physics.
However, there is one thing the F1 franchise of games does excellently that we would love to see reproduced in the next rally game. In recent years, the My Team feature in F1 games has revolutionised career modes in racing simulators. Perhaps an adaptation on this mode is just what WRC 23 needs.
Whereas the F1 game My Team sees the player take charge of not only driving but also developing their team’s car. A rallying take on this would be a career mode in which the driver must manage their team’s finances. Buying cars, employing staff and competing in rallies is an expensive task. But getting the right car and the most experienced staff can help you to win rallies.
An in-depth career mode is one of many features that WRC 23 needs if it wants to match the popularity of the upcoming F1 23.
3. Classic Content
Thanks to its many eras and class regulations, rallying is perhaps the motorsport discipline with the most diverse history. Today, we see powerful all-wheel drive hatchbacks fight it out on stages. But in the past, we’ve seen front-wheel drive kit cars take on Japanese super saloons. Even the odd supercar has taken to the WRC competition, namely in the Group B days.
It’s this rich history that Codemasters’ Dirt franchise captured so well and WRC 23 has to meet that bar. The most recent WRC game by Kylotonn Games did feature the odd classic racer. But, they featured incorrect historical details like poor sounds and odd driving behaviours, it was clearly a sloppy job. WRC Generations was evidently all about the top class of cars with even WRC 2 machinery lacking detail and accuracy.
WRC 23 must not fall into this same trap. A full, diverse and accurate catalogue of classic rally racers will immediately place this next game above Generations in the charts. In fact, with a greater selection of cars, EA will exponentially improve the game’s long-term playability, something studios are keen to do in the modern age of gaming.
4. A new Physics Engine for WRC 23
One of the main reasons Richard Burns Rally is still seen as the best in class when it comes to rallying simulators is its physics. Despite releasing in 2004, no game has matched the level of detail and the challenge of driving in RBR.
If EA wants to kick off its next era of producing the official WRC game right, a new physics engine is the perfect way to do this. In fact, the Dirt Rally 2.0 handling model was astounding on loose surfaces like gravel and snow. But when it came to tarmac, the cars seemed to lack grip and any sense of feeling. A totally new set of physics would fix this.
In fact, if this new game can match DR 2.0 on gravel and snow all whilst providing a circuit racing feel on tarmac, it is sure to go down in history books as one of the best. However, with very little time to develop a new engine, it’s unlikely that we’ll see a major change in feel between Codemasters’ two rally titles.
What features do you want to see in WRC 23? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!