It’s both the end of an era and the start of a new one. Kylotonn’s final outing under the WRC umbrella has landed, though slightly behind the usual release date cycle the WRC series has had the past couple of years which has allowed for some additional polish on their swan-song before the licence moves onto pastures new. What we’ve ended up with is a game full to the brim of the past seven years worth of experience from this team.
This year introduced hybrid technology into the landscape of WRC, where the cars now call upon the additional power of a 100kW electric motor on top of their 1.6 litre turbocharged petrol engines, making for some frankly insane levels of power under the drivers right foot. Kylotonn have translated these new technologies into the game with aplomb, as the new season cars feel heavier and therefore have a more predictable drive than previous games in the series. This is in part due to the updated physics engine under the hood of WRC Generations, meaning cars from the previous seasons as well as the rest of the 85 strong roster including WRC2 and WRC3 feeder series cars and the legendary and historic cars also benefiting from the added predictability of how the car will respond. Getting round a hairpin can be a bit of a hairy experience when using the handbrake though, as the added weight makes it all too easy to have the back end of the car step out too far into an uncontrollable spin, requiring some practice to get the feeling right.
However, something that hasn’t seen much of an update in Generations is the audio. As has been prevalent with previous entries, cars still sound a little weak, lacking some of the guttural noise that these cars are known for, more so when it comes to some of the legacy cars. It feels a little muted from internal view cameras especially.
Taking a stance of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” though, is the career mode which has remained largely unchanged since its initial appearance in WRC 8, having only minor tweaks to the research and development trees in terms of UI, and that’s more or less it. You’re still picking what you want to do outside of the pre-scheduled rally events. Keeping a balance of driving, resting and team building is important to make sure they’re able to perform to the best of their ability. Whereas the ability to create your own team for career was locked behind some arbitrary goals in WRC 10, Generations allows you to start with your own team from the get go, allowing you to feel more connected as an actual team owner and driver, making it so when you barrel roll your car off track and suffer terminal damage from hitting the base of a tree at 70mph, the feeling stings a little more knowing that it’s your credits going down the pan to fix it.
It’s a shame that Kylotonn didn’t introduce VR support with Generations. Its inclusion in other rally titles really ups the immersion factor for those that enjoy the experience, and feels like a bit of a missed opportunity for their final outing with the licence to show what the development team is capable of, but there may be undisclosed reasons as to why that isn’t a possibility.
Generations really suits being played with a full wheel and pedals setup, given its handling is based more in real world than arcade physics, and getting to use the ‘hoon stick’ around tight hairpins will always be great fun, however, that’s not to say it’s bad on a controller - in fact, quite the contrary. The game plays exceptionally well when paired with a gamepad, you can be just as quick, accurate and nimble with a couple of triggers and a stick. A balance that can be difficult to obtain when dealing with wheel and controller support, Kylotonn has done a great job here.
Overall, Generations is another fine entry into the licenced series of games, and it’ll be interesting to see what Kylotonn does next, after all, they have a very mature game engine sitting there itching for a new IP or licence to use it.
WRC Generations (Reviewed on Windows)
This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.
A great rally game, with an abundance of content from the last few games under Kylotonn’s licensed WRC umbrella, but may adversely suffer from being very similar in presentation to previous entries, however the sheer amount of content available should quell any of those concerns.