For those that are familiar with racing games, and rally titles in particular, you’ll know that the WRC series have been a little hit and miss in terms of replicating the sport of rally cross in virtual form. At E3 2016, I had the privilege of sitting down with a member of the dev team at Kylotonn (the team developing WRC 6) and not only learn about the new features and improvements within the game, but to test them out as well.
During my appointment and before I sat down with the Xbox One version of the game with a standard control setup, I had an opportunity to test out the Oculus Rift version of the game on a fully constructed hydraulic car-rig. Not only was it great just from a racing game perspective, but to play it through a VR headset was one of the most engaging and engrossing experiences I have had with any VR experience as of yet. It just felt right. Everything about it made me feel like I was an actual rally car driver and in turn, made me realise that the future of racing games on VR platforms is very bright if this is anything to go by. While it had a slight learning curve to adjust to (due to the fact that it felt so different to just using a normal controller setup), after a short period of getting your bearings right and adjusting to the VR itself, everything clicked into place and made the whole experience a fantastic one.
Ive never felt anything as good as this in VR as of yet and its a huge credit to the guys at Kylotonn. My only small negative with the game is that after finishing with the VR version and taking off the VR headset, I felt a little dizzy but hopefully with a few tweaks here and there, this can be eradicated for the final release on VR. For those that have an interest in VR and WRC 6 (but don’t fancy chucking down a bucket load of cash for an Oculus) you’ll be pleased to hear that the title will be coming to the PlayStation VR a few months after the Oculus Rift launch according to Kylotonn.
Once I had finished with the VR version, I sat down with someone from Kylotonn that talked about the improvements that have been made to WRC 6 over its predecessor, WRC 5. Not only does the game look nicer from a graphical standpoint, but from a gameplay viewpoint, its improved massively as well. The handling feels a lot better now with the cars feeling as though they now have some weight behind them and not feeling as twitchy as a unicycle on an ice rink like they did in Kylotonn’s previous instalment in the series, WRC 5. Also, after feedback from players that had issues with the last title, things have been improved within the core environments as well. Tracks now feel a lot more narrow than they previously were (like real-life rally courses) and bumps and ditches also making up the terrain throughout the tracks as well to give each track a more unpredictable, yet realistic feel just like the tracks from the real-world of rally does. The tracks have been completely reworked with stages now longer than before and make them more challenging.
During our time with the game, we had the chance to try out a new offline ‘split-screen’ mode which isn’t a race of sorts, but is a time-trial style mode that has a ghost car of the player you’re playing against and had you duelling to beat your opponents time on the same course. Also added this year (which we tried during our time with the split-screen mode) were new ‘special tracks” that had been created for WRC 6. These “fun” tracks with various track obstructions and super sharp turns awaited us during our playtime and although my time with these were brief, they were fun and added a different take on rally if you wanted to step away from the real-life tracks that feature WRC and focuses more on something that was a little more lighthearted.
Overall, my time with WRC 6 was a very positive one. It seems as though developer Kylotonn has listened to feedback since its previous incarnation and offered something that is not only catered to the hardcore simulation rally enthusiast, but also accessible to beginners as well with huge improvements across the board. Add that together with a immersive VR version and you have a game that ticks all the right boxes.