You've got to be classy and stylish to succeed in the world of racing games. Cars are cool and sexy. People who drive sexy cars are cool. Look at Ryan Gosling in Drive. Even we have trouble keeping our bibs dry when he breezes across our screens like a long-faced deity.
WRC 3 lacks any of the style that would, could, make it a sexy racer. It's a competent enough sim, with a host of tracks and cars across a variety of different game modes. But there's an ugly '90s vibe, dragged into today with an over-abundance of obnoxious dubstep. WRC's style pales in comparison to DiRT's slick, modern presentation.
The career mode harks back to classic point-to-point rallying, with mid-stage repairs and a climb-to-the-top career structure, but aside from a few extra challenges there's nothing new here. Courses are lengthy and extensive, varying from the icy mountain roads near Monte Carlo to the arid expanses of Mexico, but WRC 3's locations look lifeless and lack any visual spice to put them anywhere near the likes of Forza.
Outside of career, there are quicker time trial events for shorter attention spans, and more time trials in the serviceable but uninspired multiplayer. With room for up to 16 players, WRC3 has the potential for some fun against-the-clock racing, providing you can get a decent party together. But there's only so long the timing boards will keep you entertained.
Hard to handle
There's simply not enough satisfying driving on offer here to warrant investing time in the overwhelming number of courses, cars and licensed WRC teams. Even hurtling down a mountain path at 90mph as death teases at your rear bumper isn't fun in WRC 3.
Despite the very obvious danger posed by the walls, trees and metal barriers that line almost every course in the game - one wrong flick of the steering wheel and you'll be scraping your fleshy visage off the dashboard - there's absolutely no relationship between car and track, which results in an entirely sterile and feedback-free driving experience.
Without any visible reinvention or revolution, WRC 3 is left looking embarrassingly dated. The WRC license has been recreated with impressive accuracy, and there's a serviceable sim underneath the awkward handling, but the entire package is painfully weak compared to its competition. If this is rally, feel free to count us out.
Fails to rekindle a love for old-school rallying
- Multiplayer's fun for a while
- WRC license is packed full of content
- Looks lifeless
- Unrewarding controls
- Next to nothing new