Review of the WRC 10: For 50 years of the WRC, KT Racing has put together an impressive and enjoyable package. Note from the editor: Hello there! On this page, we’ll be evaluating games that were out in 2021 but that we weren’t able to cover at the time due to a variety of factors. This series is called “Games That Got Away.”
Check out the Games That Got Away page for more catch-up reviews like this one, where all our pieces from the series are gathered together. Enjoy!
Baffling that KT Racing appears to have misjudged its timing in a sport where the stopwatch is king. A sport that began in 1973 is celebrating its 50th anniversary in WRC 10, a game that builds on the positive momentum that has been established since the French company took control of the series in 2015. Codemasters’ acquisition of the WRC license in 2023 may be an attempt to spoil another party, but I’m willing to overlook the oddity in light of the delicious rally game that has arisen as a result.
With the 50th anniversary looming large over this comprehensive bundle, new stages provide a nice tour of the series’ rich history. Even though rally games have long featured iconic cars, the addition of stages that showcase them in their best light is refreshing. In fact, seeing the likes of Michèle Mouton in her brutish Quattro or Didier Auriol in his Castrol-liveried Celica as you’re invited to weave your way through reckless crowds of spectators is reminiscent of the classic racing sim Grand Prix Legends.
The pictures of lairy vehicles slicing through spectators exemplify the madness and allure of rallies, and WRC 10 does not disappoint in this regard. There’s something about chucking an old Abarth around the dusty heights of the classic Acropolis rally that’s quicker to raise your pulse – underpinned, of course, by handling dynamics that are up there with Dirt Rally 2.0 and dare I say it, Richard Burns Rally in being some of the very best we’ve ever seen in this particular subset of the racing genre.
Among the cars in WRC 10, the low-horsepower, rear-engined, and plainly pendulous old Alpine A110 stands out, as does the blisteringly fast WRC Yaris, which appears to teleport from one point to the next while expertly rounding turns. WRC 10’s handling is clear and responsive on a gamepad despite the lack of wheel compatibility, which is unusual given the prevalence of Fanatec emblems in the game.
The stages, which are rich in detail and enhanced by dynamic conditions and time of day, stand out as a particular area where WRC 10 excels above the rest. Stages like the Kenyan safari’s wide open roads and Monte Carlo’s renowned switchbacks have an unequaled faithfulness to the stages on offer here, and it’s such stages that provide the sport’s core challenge and reward.
For those of you who aren’t already sold on WRC 10, here’s an interpretation of the sport that’s full of authenticity; it’s a joy to control; and it’s packed with stages from the official calendar, including some new additions. Classics from Estonia and Croatia are joined by an assortment of the most appealing rally cars I’ve ever seen in a modern game. For sports historians, it’s a dream come true.
In spite of this, KT Racing’s efforts have been undercut by some of the sloppiness and cutting corners that have doomed the championship. It’s a shame that there’s no way to adjust the difficulty of the historical events in the 50th Anniversary mode, and there’s no way to see if you’re meeting the required time to complete any particular event while you’re doing it.
While WRC 10 has a lot to offer outside of the epic stages, I enjoy the challenges that offer bite-sized servings of the rally, the perfect counterpoint to the epic stages that demand an outrageous amount of concentration to see through to the end, it can suffer from the same inconsistency as those epic stages. Although the career mode returns, you must start from the bottom again, which can be a bit of a grind if you’ve previously played one of KT Racing’s games, but it’s well worth the effort. Everything is a bit of a jumble.
It’s true that how much you get out of WRC 10 is primarily dependent on how much time and effort you’ve invested in the series in the past. This is a rehash of WRC 9, perhaps the series’ pinnacle, with many of the same issues and many of the same thrills. It’s possible you’d had enough by then, and there aren’t many reasons to return.
Maybe you didn’t have the time to play WRC 9 as much as I did, so WRC 10’s enhancements aren’t as big of a problem for you. For this review, we were a little late getting to WRC 10 – the addition of Belgium and current Greek stages, and a few other tweaks, have made this the best rally game for modern hardware, in our opinion. Even if it’s only marginally better than what came before, that’s not a trivial feat given the occasional blunders of WRC 10.