New Zealand? Tick. Japan? Yep. Safari? Absolutely. The full 13-round calendar? Oh yes.
In an uncertain world, the World Rally Championship has delivered the best possible news for the sport’s gaming community. It’s called WRC 9, and it’s ready to break new ground.
Not only does it include close to 250 actual (OK, virtually actual) miles of competition from the 13 rounds of this year’s series – including some stunning Kiwi camber-surfing action, elephants and giraffes in Kenya and the most charismatic fans around some of the best roads in Japan – but it will also be the first rally game offered for the new-generation Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 platforms.
Before then, it will be available from September on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC from the Epic Games Store and, at a later date, Nintendo Switch.
Beyond the current range of Rally1 (World Rally Cars), there’s Rally2 (R5) and Rally4 (Junior WRC cars) available along with 15 machines from days past in the WRC.
Among the stages of choice will be the Col de Turini (Monte Carlo), Ruuhimäki (Rally Finland) and the tightest, twistiest and most technical of all – Argentina’s legendary El Condor test.
More than 50 drivers are available to drive in full 2020 liveries, with Mads Østberg heading up the WRC 2 and WRC 3 support categories.
WRC Promoter has also confirmed WRC 10 and WRC 11 will be made, after extending its agreement with game publisher Nacon and development studio KT Racing until 2022.
WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla said: “WRC 9 will capture the adventure and challenges posed by the real-life FIA World Rally Championship in an ever-more realistic fashion, thanks to significant upgrades by Nacon and KT Racing.
“It also paves the way for further ground-breaking development in WRC 10 and WRC 11 over the next two seasons as we continue to provide the opportunity for gamers to step into their heroes’ shoes.”
The game’s developers have worked hard on the cars’ suspension, braking and weight transfer to further improve the feel for responsiveness across the WRC’s wide range of surfaces.
The career mode has also been enhanced in terms of gameplay mechanics, new opportunities to upgrade gamers’ teams, a wider variety of events and a stronger link to what real-world WRC teams are doing throughout the season.