This is more of a public service announcement than a proper review, but if you’re considering checking out Kylotonn’s WRC 6, which just launched yesterday, here’s a tip: Don’t. These guys should not be making video games, you should not be giving them your money, and hopefully the World Rally Championship will award the license to someone else in the near future. Now obviously we all know based on the history of the developer, as well as their previous outing in the genre, that maybe this isn’t going to live up to the standards of Richard Burns Rally, but will otherwise be a fun diversion for console owners and casual rally fans.
This is simply not the case. WRC 6 didn’t work for me, it isn’t working for a host of other people on the Steam forums, those who can play it are running into rather amateurish technical problems, and as a whole the product is yet another shining example of why there should be consumer advocate groups pushing for a base set of standards for all modern video games. This game is a scam, a rip-off, a waste of a license, and above all, a product that isn’t worth the $39.99 purchase, the fifteen gigabytes of space it takes up on your hard drive, or the one-hour download time.
I have attached hardcore DiRT Rally enthusiast Daniel Perry’s video of the game in action, to give people a non-obstructed example of how this game might look with a semi-talented driver at the wheel. Perry notes WRC 6 “should be a beta”, with the cockpit view not even centered with the steering wheel, stuttering occasionally disrupting the action, and an experience Perry notes to be a “good premise, but the release execution was terrible.” Beginning at the 2:30 mark, Perry goes on to describe some of his own personal grievances with the game; elements that simply should not have made it into the retail release.
I purchased WRC 6 because this is my role here on PRC.net; to evaluate new racing games that have come out and give our readers a brutally honest take on products that are sometimes dishonestly represented by mainstream driving game outlets. Earlier this morning, I had the pleasure of reading an article by Red Bull Gaming describing how WRC 6 is the best World Rally Championship game yet. I wish articles this misleading could be reported to someone who watched over this sort of thing, and the marketing practices fueling them could land the companies who spearhead these campaigns in hot water. My experience with WRC 6 simply does not mirror what Red Bull have written about this game in the slightest. It is my own personal opinion that Kylotonn have paid off this publication to write a positive piece on their product.
It took three tries to start WRC 6; the first occasion I was rewarded with a small dialogue box stating DirectX Has Failed to Initialize, the second attempt opened the application in windowed mode before outright crashing, whereas the third successfully booted the game. Framerate problems, in which the application failed to surpass 19 FPS, were present beginning with the introduction video – which is literally just a video file and not rendered in-game. The menu chugged along to the tune of 15 FPS despite rendering a rather basic scene of a Citroen DS3 sitting in an empty garage, and immediately whisked me away to take part in the tutorial race. While the game was nice enough to ask me whether I’d like to calibrate and configure all of my shit before running the sample stage in the Volkswagen WRC car, I quickly discovered multiple input devices are once again not supported despite basically everybody complaining about it for the better part of a year with WRC 5. If you are any kind of serious sim racer who mixes and matches wheels and pedals to get the most out of your experience, you can’t play this game unless you’ve got an Xbox controller floating around. And with how precise you need to be in the discipline of rally racing regardless of what game you’re playing, an Xbox 360 pad obviously doesn’t cut it.
I have not driven a single foot in WRC 6. The framerate problems are unbearable; present even when navigating menus to get to the stage in the first place, and common sim racing controller configurations aren’t supported. Daniel Perry mentions these issues in his video above, though he was lucky enough for his PC to handle the game where he could complete a stage for his YouTube audience.
So what about the people who have invested time into this game? What do they have to say about WRC 6?
Steam user Oliver outright lost a super special stage, but WRC 6 declared him the winner. Another user by the name of Harry claimed he finished 9th in points after his first career mode season in one of the support classes, but the game glitched and suddenly claimed he had won the championship before giving him a random time penalty for.exceeding the repair time limit.
Many users are reporting framerate issues, with some drawing attention to the fact that these stability concerns were never fixed in WRC 5, essentially making people drop $40 just to see if the new game addressed concerns that had been brought up twelve months ago. It’s despicable to treat your customers like this.
Virtual Reality support for WRC 6 had been advertised during the spring of 2016 at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in California, but Kylotonn have backpedaled on the feature at the eleventh hour, stating that they were not satisfied with the end result and they will explore the possibility of Virtual Reality functionality in the future. There are some people who bought WRC 6 primarily for the VR aspect of the game, and they have essentially found out through a forum post that Virtual Reality support isn’t actually in the retail product.
Richard Burns Rally online championship veteran Hadi writes that power-sliding in WRC 6 is extremely difficult due to the wonky differential behavior, and has even discovered that the R5-spec cars available in WRC 6 have the wrong number of gears. For a company to gain access to the official World Rally Championship license and yet get something as simple as the number of gears in a car completely wrong is nothing short of pathetic.
At this point, it’s easy to write off the Kylotonn series of WRC games as a complete waste of time that should be avoided by virtually anyone who’s even the least bit interested in auto racing, but we can actually take things a step further. Digging into the history of the company and their World Rally Championship licensed efforts, I’ve actually discovered portions of their previous title, WRC 5, were outsourced to students enrolling at Hetic, which is a French game design school. Kylotonn and Big Ben Interactive are literally selling you a school project passed off as an official WRC game.
The articles are difficult to track down thanks to being written in Francais, but the premise is quite simple – segments of WRC 5, and possibly WRC 6 as well, were developed in part by kids sitting in a classroom, and sold to you for $60.
I think it’s fairly easy to see what I’m getting at here. WRC 6 is not a product you should even contemplate purchasing. This is a game that in any other genre would be torn apart by mainstream gaming outlets in a manner similar to No Man’s Sky or Batman: Arkham Knight, but because racing games have been placed firmly off to the side in favor of first person shooters and virtual card collecting sports games, Kylotonn will be able to get away with pushing a broken game via deceptive marketing practices with basically no repercussions. For the length of time these guys are tasked with making officially licensed World Rally Championship products, avoid them like the plague.