Over the weekend, I tortured myself by reviewing what has quickly cemented itself as one of the worst retail racing games I’ve ever had the opportunity to play – WRC 5 by Kylotonn Games. Many of us knew the game would be atrocious based on the initial previews, and this concern was validated upon checking out the developer’s back catalog. This is a team whose claim to fame were a line of fitness games, and Speedball 2 on the Xbox Live Arcade. To say the least, it was extremely worrying that these guys had somehow obtained the official WRC license; almost as if those in charge of the WRC’s marketing department believed video games were nothing more than event souvenirs like a hoodie or ball cap. It didn’t matter who the developer was, or why having a good developer in charge of creating your video game is important, as long as the end result was something people could spend money on with the WRC logo adorning the package that would play in a PS4.
If you haven’t read our lengthy review on the title yet, I’ll do my best to forego the critical analysis and bring y’all up to speed : I can’t recommend this game to anybody.
Before I’d really gotten to try out the game for any length of time, the application either crashed to the desktop, screwed up the resolution at random, or exhibited framerate issues that are unacceptable. ATI Catalyst Control Center sorcery was needed to get the program into a stable state, and when I was finally able to put some laps down, I was transported back in time by an entire decade. The game’s poor graphics, remarkably bad engines sounds, and an incompetent co-driver only served to enhance the game’s most prominent flaws: extremely easy stages, scripted artificial intelligence, and unresponsive, muddy driving physics.
Had this game been released on Sony’s Playstation 2 during the height of Codemasters’ dominance with the Colin McRae Series, WRC 5 would struggle to establish itself as an alternative to the competition.
- Colin McRae Rally 2005 had almost 80 stages and a more diverse list of cars.
- WRC: Rally Evolved had fairly realistic stage layouts and was compatible with high-end Logitech wheels.
- V-Rally 3 had a better career mode.
- RalliSport Challenge 2 had first-party Xbox Live support, as well as rallycross.
- Richard Burns Rally had better physics and could be modded.
The purpose of WRC 5’s existence is purely to be a virtual souvenir. Unable to stack up against games from a decade ago, and certainly not a threat to either DiRT Rally or Sebastien Loeb Rally Evo, WRC 5 is a title that will live in infamy. People won’t play this game for any meaningful length of time, but rather discuss it’s launch as the beginning of a dark age for officially licensed WRC console games. As a brand operating in a time where video games have surpassed movies as the biggest entertainment medium in the world, this is not what you want.
And Kylotonn were well aware of this. In interviews leading up to the release of WRC 5, the marketing director for the game explicitly said the game is not intended to be a racing sim, but a lighthearted racing game designed for mass appeal. Given that the aforementioned games exist, and the current state of WRC 5, in hindsight it was probably best to shoot for a little more than that.
Anyways, in my travels to learn more about the small community surrounding WRC 5, I eventually found myself in the Steam forums, and came across a thread started by a guy named Ivanushka Grid, or “Ivan”, with over 100 replies.
In what appears to be a post translated directly from Russian to English, Ivan claims our forum (as if he was affiliated with the game somehow) has been invaded by DiRT Rally elitists, and spends much longer than the average length of a PRC.net article claiming DiRT Rally is an arcade game, and WRC 5 is a true rally simulator.
While the grammar is surprisingly coherent, the arguments and figures of speech simply do not translate properly to English, turning Ivan’s lengthy rant about his personal grievances with DiRT Rally into the most obscure piece of comedy gold you’ll ever find on this website, laced with absurd terms and nonsensical comparisons. Fans of Codemasters latest PC rally sim are deemed “DiRT Rally masturbs”, the cars are now “cranes”, and the game’s handling is referred to as “railway arcade”, before the author starts lecturing the readers on black holes and some experiment performed by a Russian instructor at a university in Paris.
- “Our Forum” is filled with DiRT Rally elitists shitting on WRC 5 and praising their “squalid railway arcade.”
- “Dirt” is not a serious title for a rally simulator because I said so, and also stands for “FAKE”, because I said so.
- DiRT Rally aims to be a spiritual successor to Richard Burns Rally, but it’s not a rally game at all.
- I used to be bad at Richard Burns Rally, but then I got good at it and realized it was a masterpiece.
- The physics in older DiRT titles are like railway driving.
- An entire paragraph full of train analogies.
- DiRT Rally is not a simulator, stop calling it one!
- My driving style of constantly sending the car into a drift and abusing the tires doesn’t work in DiRT Rally, so it’s not a real simulator and WRC 5 is better.
- I can’t powerslide in the 1970’s cars, therefore DiRT Rally is not a simulator.
- The cars in DiRT Rally drive like a rail-laying crane.
- The Monte Carlo stages in DiRT Rally can only be passed with precise driving skills, ones not possessed by women and gays.
- I can’t powerslide at all in DiRT Rally.
- The 1995 Subaru Impreza has a rocket engine, extremely grippy tires, and I didn’t win a few online events because of cheaters. I promise I’m good though.
- DiRT Rally players are snobbish towards the official WRC games because they win their first stage and say the game is too easy.
- Flashbacks ruin the game.
- Being able to adjust your car setup in DiRT Rally is wrong.
- A lecture on black holes.
- He complains about track limits for a bit.
- Even though the stages are authentic, I don’t like them because one of the Greece stages has a rock in the DiRT Rally version that isn’t in the real version.
- If you drive off the side of a cliff, the game retires you from the whole rally, and that bothers me.
- You have to play career mode to unlock cars, upgrades, and mechanics to work on your car, and it’s unfair because I said so.
- A couple paragraphs rambling on the different audiences Codemasters has pandered to over the years.
- A lecture on some Russian teacher from a university in Paris that performed an experiment on his students.
- DiRT Rally isn’t a real rally game because I said so.
- Railway Drivers cannot understand how good WRC 5 is.
Of course, the rest of the users browsing the forum reacted in a collective what the fuck?
Ivan defends his views that DiRT Rally is not a rally game by saying some random rally driver endorsed WRC 5, and that means Kylotonn’s newest release is a racing simulator, despite the developers clearly stating in pre-release interviews that it’s not. The community promptly laughs at him.
After several pages of shitposting, one user questions why Ivan hasn’t been removed from the forums yet, and another comments that moderators had deleted several posts in an effort to protect Ivan. This only fueled the beliefs that Ivan might be somehow involved with Kylotonn Games.
Of course, it wasn’t long before Ivan found his way over to PRC.net, and stumbled upon our harsh review of WRC 5.