All the way back in January of this year, I had the misfortune of wasting $100 CDN on Milestone’s Sebastien Loeb Rally Evo for the PC. While on paper the game looked to be a phenomenal alternative to the already brilliant DiRT Rally, I noted that the game suffered from an abundance of technical issues – as well as a bewildering lack of support for multiple USB inputs – that held it back from being a serious contender in the fight for the right to call itself the best rally simulator since 2004’s Richard Burns Rally. Now even though it was a Milestone product, and most people believed it should have been discarded after an hour of gameplay, at the time I forced myself to dive deep into career mode armed with little more than an Xbox 360 pad, and was delighted to discover that this had the potential to be a really fucking good game once all the bugs were ironed out. It’s got more cars than DiRT Rally, ridiculously difficult stages, and two separate single player campaign modes – both of which are unique in their own right.
It was destined to eat up a lot of my time if Milestone ever released a patch for the damned thing.
Michael Wieczorek of PC Master Race Reality Check begins the above video by stating that “Sebastien Loeb Rally Evo is a pain in the ass on PC”, but over the course of four minutes discovers that there are indeed certain settings you can select via the external launcher which can iron out most of the performance problems before you even boot the application. Milestone finally got off their asses and released a patch to rectify many of the PC performance issues plauging a whole host of users, and I’m happy to report that my game stays locked at a buttery smooth 60 FPS aside from inclement weather stages, though I’ll chalk that up to my own hardware. In short, yes, Sebastien Loeb Rally Evo is no longer a stuttering pile of shit, and if you own the game on Steam yet haven’t touched it in months for this very reason, it’s now safe to do so.
Another element which prevented many PC sim racers from fully diving into what Sebastien Loeb Rally Evo had to offer was the lack of multiple input support. Now I dislike treading over concepts I’ve already explained a thousand times over, but in case you haven’t noticed, a whole bunch of us hardcore guys love to mix and match wheels and pedals for their sim racing setups, meaning it’s more than one USB cable we’re plugging into our PC’s. Sebastien Loeb Rally Evo doesn’t natively support that, and it still doesn’t – ToCA Edit released an easy-to-use plugin for SLRE as a work around that allows multiple input sim racers to bypass the limitations of the application. This release flew well under the radar during Easter Weekend 2016 due to Rally Evo’s horrible initial reception, but given the performance issues found in the retail version have been ironed out, it’s definitely time for us to let you know about this.
I’ve dedicated my Friday afternoon to playing through the Loeb Experience portion of the game, and I’m extremely pleased to report that Sebastien Loeb Rally Evo lives up to the initial review I posted back in January. If you’ve played the ever-loving shit out of DiRT Rally, yet shelved the title because you’re tired of running the same eight stages over and over again, Rally Evo should certainly be your next stop. I don’t want to mislead anybody and claim it features a stunning physics engine or a comprehensive mechanical damage system, but as a complete package I have no problem saying it certainly gives DiRT Rally a run for its money, and finally provides a satisfactory experience without the presence of ominous technical issues.