Analysis of WRC Generations, the goodbye to the saga that it deserves?

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With the Scandinavian WRC license passing to EA in 2023, WRC Generations may represent the latest official effort developed by KT Racing for now.. WRC Generations, the culmination of seven years of work on the series, combines superb effects and great handling with the most generous selection of rally stages I’ve seen anywhere, and the result is the best and most laudable rally game. of the KT stage. That said, past WRC 10 already held that title last year, and most of Generations’ improvements over it are otherwise largely iterative.

WRC Generations features no fewer than 21 rally locations, including all 13 rounds of this year’s official championship, plus a further eight bonus rallies, i.e. locations that are not on the 2022 calendar but are included because, why not? I’ve played rally games that have come with fewer countries than the Generations bonus locations. It surpasses even the excellent Dirt Rally 2.0, which managed to accumulate 13 locations once its series of DLCs ended.

Veterans of the series will notice that many of the stages are repeats from previous games, but I like having them all here in one package with consistent features. That said, I miss my beloved Australia (last seen in WRC 8) and Poland (last seen in WRC 7), who are conspicuous by their absence. KT Racing has already let fans know that they won’t be added later, which is a shame.although it seems recalcitrant that I complain too much considering the extra number of countries that have been included.

The new Swedish stages are one of the highlights, and are easily among the most beautiful routes in the entire series. Snow, in particular, is incredibly realistic when you drive through it at high speeds. The night aspect is also excellent, and it is a great showcase of the magnificent lighting of WRC Generations, from the glow of campfires to the way headlights cut through the woods. A mix of wide open gusts and incredibly tight channels, Sweden is extremely strong in Generations and is now one of my favorite venues, even though snow rallies like Sweden and Monte Carlo traditionally don’t rank too high on my favorites list.

It’s worth noting that on newer consoles, Generations offers the choice between a 1080p/60fps performance mode and a 4K/30fps graphics mode, and after spending time with both I have opted for the first. Even at a quarter of the resolution, the settings are still rich in detail, and I haven’t noticed any screen tearing, something that has been an occasional problem for this series in the past. As with WRC 10, slowing down to closely examine road elements does feel a bit dark (and I wouldn’t put the cars and their lackluster damage modeling in the same category as Forza, GT or even Dirt), but on the move Generations is otherwise a slick and vibrant racer with strong lighting effects.

“I’ve played rally games that have come with fewer countries than the Generations bonus locations”

WRC Generations control continues to have excellent pace, which has been very good for several installments. Gravel driving is still the best; dancing around corners and feeling the weight of the car on the brink of losing control is brilliant, as is the feeling of the car grabbing at the perfect moment when you throw it sideways at the apex. The handling on tarmac is also a bit less sticky than in years past, making the Generations feel pleasantly less twitchy at times. This makes it easy to operate with a controller, which is good news for those without a steering wheel. It’s still very responsive, but it doesn’t seem to interpret steering wheel movements as aggressively.

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KT Racing’s use of PS5 haptic triggers is also top-notch, especially under hard braking, though it was probably too ambitious to channel so many crash noises through the DualSense’s speaker. Things have a habit of sounding more like a can full of rocks than an actual car crash. The DualSense is a great controller, but it’s a poor substitute for headphones or a real sound system when it comes to the violent tapestry of sounds and racket that a modern racing game requires.

Like WRC 10 and WRC 9 before it, Generations once again forces us to start our careers in the WRC 2 or WRC 3 series. This makes perfect sense from a realism point of view and for anyone taking Generations as their first WRC game, but still doesn’t make sense from the perspective of someone who just did this same thing last year. It seems too strict to force us to be apprentices annually to have a chance to race in the main series. If you’re not going to check my save data, can you at least take my word for it that I know what I’m doing?

However, KT Racing has completely changed their approach with the option that allows you to build your own team and design your own car. In WRC 10, this mode was locked after completing all historical events in its special Anniversary mode, which was crazy. In WRC Generations, fortunately, it is available immediately, and I found that it definitely helped rejuvenate my enthusiasm to fight for more seasons in the minor leagues. With the Generations editor (which works similarly to those available in Forza Horizon 5 and Gran Turismo 7) I was able to design a modern homage to Carlos Sainz’s Repsol Escort from the 90s, and I felt much more in control of the progression of my race in a car that I can call my own.

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I have felt much more ownership of my career progression in a car that I can call my own.

It takes a bit of trial and error in the editor, as you have to make room for WRC Generations to automatically place the official rally logos and competitor details (and if you don’t, things will overlap and look awkward). terrible), but overall it works fine. Best of all, unlike WRC 10, Generations allows us to share designs and download them from other players. Even if you don’t have what it takes to master the artistic tools of the editor (and it’s something that takes patience) you can be sure that rally fans around the world will be churning out perfect historical replicas and new wraps for every car. before you know it. Many of Generations’ historic cars are missing their legacy sponsors, but there’s no way they’ll be missing for long now that fans have the tools to fix and spread them all.

of celebration

WRC 10’s 50th Anniversary mode may have celebrated the saga milestone a year too early, but it still brought with it the most historical content since KT Racing started adding classic cars in WRC 8. While WRC Generations lacks a retro-focused standalone mode, it does keep the real cars.. So it’s very much the same assortment of world championship-winning cars, with a few extras, including worthwhile additions like a 1979 Ford Escort MkII and a 1980 Fiat 131 Abarth. Drivers’ Championship and Constructors’ Championship winner Marcus Grönholm’s 2002 Peugeot 206 is also here, albeit in pre-order DLC limbo.

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Still a very good list though it is disappointing that Generations has not been able to offer more new models in this latest effort. For example, it would have been nice to see a first-gen Focus and a second-gen Impreza. Synergistic, even considering the name of the game and the fact that they would be the big brother and little brother, respectively, of the models here. Dirt Rally 2.0 has these cars and more, and the garage there is still far superior to Generations despite its own disconcerting absence from Toyota.

If you like the new more than the old, you’re in luck too, because the 2022 WRC series has seen the debut of the new Rally1 hybrid WRC cars, all three included in Generations. Now featuring a 100kW hybrid unit mated to the 1.6-litre turbocharged engine that has powered WRC cars for the last decade, Rally1 cars are quite interesting to drive in Generations thanks to their electric boosts. Basically, having hybrid power up your sleeve gives Rally1 cars temporary bursts of 500bhp, with other bursts possible after regenerating power under braking.

Just like in real life, WRC Generations allows us to select between three power allocation modes before a stage: A powerful but short boost, a balanced option, and a less powerful boost that lasts longer. I could definitely feel the extra oomph when it was available, and it’s an engaging challenge to drive this new look of the cars and get that extra power on the road.

When you get down to its guts, WRC Generations is by no means a drastic change from its quality predecessors, though there have been some small but welcome improvements to the career mode and customization tools that have added to my excitement. However, it deserves credit for both the respectable range of relevant rally cars it features, and its sheer mountain of rally locations. With representation from almost every country that has hosted the WRC in the last decade, WRC Generations may be the last KT Racing game in the saga, but it’s no wonder. His philosophy has resulted in a fantastic and extraordinarily generous game for gravel fans, tarmac addicts and mud maniacs alike.