Next-gen launches are usually an exciting time with at least a few games highlighting the new console’s power. Super Mario 64 for N64, Sonic Adventure for Dreamcast, and Halo: Combat Evolved for the original Xbox come to mind.
PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are somewhat unique in that they did not really have stand-out exclusive launch titles. Needless to say, I have been hankering for a next-gen racing fix since last November. As great as Forza Horizon 4 runs on Xbox Series X, it wasn’t built specifically for the system. (Forza Horizon 5 comes out November 9.)
WRC 10 looked like it had the potential to be the game that I was looking for. Unfortunately, it’s not. While this is solid enough, it’s not the marquee next-gen racing game that these platforms desperately need. Still, fans of sim-style rally racing should consider this as it’s the best option on either PS5 and Xbox Series X at the moment.
WRC 10 is a continuation of the rally racing series rather than a spectacular reinvention. Depending on your perspective, that’s either a good thing or a bad thing. Considering it already had a fairly strong foundation in terms of gameplay, that’s a plus. On the other hand, there’s not a lot here that differentiates this from past games.
The game is stacked with game modes. As far as single-player modes go, you have Career, Quick Play, Season, Training, and Challenges. Career is for gear heads who want to manage their own crew. Personally, I don’t enjoy this very much. Instead, I would recommend the Season mode which focuses on racing instead of behind-the-scenes back office management. The Test Area lets you drive around freely while adjusting your car’s setup.
New to this year’s game is an anniversary mode and the livery editor. Let’s start with the new livery editor. It lets you customize your vehicles’ appearance with an impressive level of detail. The editor allows you to fine-tune your appearance with a wide range of colors, logos, and decals.
The anniversary mode is a nice touch. It (prematurely) celebrates the 50th anniversary of the World Rally Championship. WRC’s inaugural season kicked off in January 1973. So we’re still over a year away from the actual half-century anniversary.
Regardless, this mode lets you relive the glory of past races while driving classic cars. It is formatted as a time trial, so it is somewhat limited in terms of the gameplay approach here. You can race really well and still fall short of the target time. So that is somewhat annoying, but it’s also understandable since your goal is to replicate historic races.
Finally, there are several multiplayer options. Create a quick game or join a lobby. There’s the option for split-screen too. So whether you prefer to play with someone online on the other side of the world or you enjoy the game with a friend on the couch, you have those options.
My biggest complaint with WRC 10 is in the graphics department. Simply put, this game does not look next-gen. That is a huge disappointment for me since as I previously mentioned, there are not a lot of standout exclusives on either PS5 or Xbox Series X at the moment.
The main problem here is texture quality. I played this on Xbox Series X connected to my 75-inch Sony 4K television. WRC 10 also suffers from pop-in where things like trees only pop into view as you get close to them. Lastly, there are occasional performance issues with a drop in the framerate. It’s not awful, but it is noticeable.
Apparently, we’ll have to wait until Forza Horizon 5 to get wowed.
WRC 10 is a pretty hardcore rally racing sim. The graphics on next-gen consoles are disappointing, but the gameplay more than makes up for it if you’re into this type of game.
Game Freaks 365 received a review copy.