Following the initial reveal trailer followed by an overview of the gameplay mechanics and stage design, now it’s time to be enlightened about EA SPORTS WRC’s game modes.
There’s plenty to discuss, as this seemingly isn’t a bare-bones first attempt at an official World Rally Championship game by the Codemasters team.
Regularity Rally is an additional ruleset
Typically, a rally is all about time, where cars run across each stage individually and the winner is the driver and co-driver who complete the route in the shortest, i.e. quickest, time.
That’s still the case within EA SPORTS WRC, but there’s an additional complimentary game mode that mixes up that approach called Regularity Rally.
Here, you must arrive at specific points of a stage at a set time. Arrive too early and you receive penalty points. Arrive late, and you also receive penalty points. Instead of going for the outright fastest time, you aim for a specific average time. Such a format is often used for events using classic rally cars in the real world
The return of clubs
During the various lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic, mean leagues, esports team, rally squads and drivers set up their own events using DiRT Rally 2.0’s clubs system.
Thankfully, this returns for EA SPORTS WRC, organised by the Racenet app and website.
Here, the organiser can set up an event – from the car class to the stages and the weather, for example – plus the entry start and end dates (up to one calendar year in length). Players then compete in asynchronous multiplayer rallies, which was compelling in the team’s previous games.
Not all competitors have to be online at the same time, but as it’s still network-connected, there’s no way of cheating – if you crash and break the suspension, there’s no restart option for you.
Now we’re really looking forward to the return of the Jersey eRally.
Now, the Dirt Rally titles aren’t necessarily well known for their single-player career modes, in fact, the first didn’t really have one. Codemasters’ Birmingham studio – not involved with the WRC game – has however created the genre-defining My Team.
So, imagine a rally game with hints of that? Sounds good to us, although we must state that at this stage EA SPORTS WRC’s career doesn’t sound quite as in-depth as the F1 games so far.
Here, you will create your own team as you progress through a calendar-based progression with the main rallies and smaller invitational side events in between plus personnel and budget management.
You’ll be able to hire a team-mate too, although much like your squad, these are from a fictional roster. Junior WRC, WRC2 and the main WRC categories are selectable, either working your way up from the bottom or jumping straight into the upper class.
“In the future, we want to look at how you can sign up-and-coming stars from the real side of the sport, but for now you sign a fictional team-mate and take them with you,” said Ross Gowing, Senior Creative Director at Codemasters.
Builder cars can be used in a variety of game modes
The previously announced builder mode, which allows you to create your own fictional rally car across WRC3, WRC2 and WRC classes with performance parity, has also been touched upon with greater detail.
From selecting chassis and body shells to customising the interior and exterior, each part is said to have its own traits. These include bumpers, wings, wheel rims, body pins, lights and air intakes. The unique creations can then be used across career, time trial, clubs and ‘more’.
Somewhat understandably, to try and make the game more approachable without dulling down the physics, as previously discussed there has been a suite of driving assists and a second pacenote type added to the game compared to prior DiRT Rally releases.
However, there’s also a rally school for new players, with 10 lessons for each surface type plus a timed challenge at the end of each segment.
No, before you ask, for fans of the original Colin McRae Rally (also by Codemasters), it’s not in a Škoda Felicia but a car created using the aforementioned builder mode.
Further Moments Mode details
An additional game mode is ‘Moments’, previously announced as a scenario-based set of challenges. A new one will appear in the game every 24 hours, and they will stay in the game so if you miss one it’s there to replay.
Each comes with a 20-30-second video using real WRC archive footage from the 2023 season or yesteryear. Failing that, it will be created in the game’s engine. They will be a mix of recreating actual rally events or studio-curated events and that every-alluring pull of an online leaderboard.
EA SPORTS WRC will be released for PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S on 3rd November 2023.