After a disastrous launch which saw a vast majority of PC sim racers completely unable to dive into what Milestone’s Sebastien Loeb Rally Evo had to offer, the team over in Italy have proceeded to push forward and announce the first of many post release patches – albeit for the Playstation 4 version of the title. Intended to fix the intrusive input lag, lack of support for multiple USB devices, and allegedly improving the shader model to increase the overall framerate, Milestone intends patch #2 for Rally Evo to rectify glaring issues in a rally sim that on-paper had the potential to be absolutely glorious.
Those already satisfied with the gameplay experience in Rally Evo will obviously be pleased to learn that the handling model will be refined to an extent on-par with PC sims, but in my opinion the extremely small list of patch notes raises more questions than it does answers. Sebastien Loeb Rally Evo was delayed for nearly a year due to quality concerns, and through these patch notes, Milestone have essentially admitted the game shipped with crippling performance issues, controller functionality problems, and a handling model suffering from tangible input lag. Through numerous trailers, press events, and other miscellaneous previews, Milestone had been willingly pushing a broken game on the already small audience of sim racing enthusiasts, who spent 2015 dealing with half-finished tripe such as Project CARS and Assetto Corsa. On the Steam Community forums – basically the only place to discuss Rally Evo online – even the diehard fanboys who once defended Milestone were quickly forced to change their tune due to how awful the release of Rally Evo ended up being.
The Steam Forums are filled to the brim with glitch reports encompassing all aspects of Rally Evo, backing up our review of the title where we mentioned the constant array of technical issues overshadowed what appeared to be a surprisingly good rally simulator underneath. From the game failing to save progress, to brand-new toy steering wheels simply not being recognized by the executable, a whole bunch of people bought Rally Evo and basically couldn’t play the game. Others have written off Milestone’s future involvement in the game’s post-release lifespan altogether.
It’s beyond frustrating to see a team like Milestone – who somehow acquired the rights to Sebastien Loeb’s likeness – promote and then eventually release a game where key elements didn’t work as advertised. The problems in Rally Evo didn’t boil down to Loeb’s Citroen Xsara being the wrong shade of red, and sim racers aren’t slamming this game because they feel it’s a threat to the legacy of SCi’s Richard Burns Rally; Milestone sold a game that demonstrably needed more time in development than the extra year provided, and then admitted through patch notes that it was still broken once it hit the shelves.
If you’re fixing input lag, adding support for multiple USB inputs, and chasing framerate problems after some of us have shelled out $100 on what we expected to be a functional product, you really fucked up. These are problems that shouldn’t have been there once consumers got their hands on the title, and Milestone had all the time in the world to rectify these nagging issues. Yet somehow, an entire game development studio didn’t seem to think input lag in a racing game would be a problem until message boards ignited with complaints, nor did they think the shoddy framerate would affect gameplay until literally everyone who bought the game voiced their widespread dismay. It’s absolutely shocking that any sort of large company would be this detached from reality, and owners of Rally Evo have every right to be upset over the product they’ve received.