As they do their final shakedowns before EA Sports WRC is released on 3rd November 2023, Codemasters has opened up a about what will feature within their renewed and officially licensed depiction of the World Rally Championship, and all the authentic details that they’re looking to include.
At launch, the game will feature 17 rallies, including 12 of the 13 rallies from this year’s World Rally championship – the Central European Rally will be added in a free update. There’s over 200 stages in the game, with the longest being over 30km in length, which is double what was possible with the old Dirt Rally 2.0 game engine.
All locations in the game use real roads from the last few years of WRC events for reference. Codemasters has taken satellite and terrain data, combining it with reference material and photography to create the stages found in the game, so Rally Monte Carlo’s Col de Turini has been transposed into the game, there’s Rally México’s El Chocolate, Rally Portugal’s Fafe, and more. In a nice twist, you can tackle rallies across all four seasons, which will add great variety alongside the weather and time of day options.
All of the cars, teams and drivers from the WRC, WRC2 and Junior WRC categories will be included in the game. The top tier Rally1 cars feature a hybrid system that’s replicated in game, with three different deployment modes for the energy that’s harvested during heavy braking, something that you’ll decide on before running a stage.
Alongside this year’s rally cars are a sweeping set of historic vehicles. These are always fan favourites, and will include 68 cars from the H1 FWD cars of the 1960s, through to the Group B cars of the 80s, and then more modern feeling Group A, Rally2 and Rally4, and the most recent technical regulations of the last few years. In total, there’s 78 cars, with the full car list here.
While this new game is built in Unreal Engine, Codemasters have brought across and enhanced the physics and handling model that they’ve used through Dirt Rally and Dirt Rally 2.0 – now enhanced with improved tarmac handling, aerodynamic simulation, drivetrain inertia, progressive braking and more. That will be fantastic to hear for sim racers, but Codemasters are also mindful of trying to make the game a bit more accessible to newcomers with the Dynamic Handling System.
This includes reworked gamepad play which aims to be much more intuitive with the haptic feedback that you feel, but there’s also a suite of driver assists to try and lessen the load on newcomers or less experienced rally drivers, whether on wheel or pad. There’s the usual suspects of traction control and ABS, but there’s also throttle clamping which while help manage more powerful cars as it prevents you from fully planting the throttle.
They’re also looking to lift some of the burden of knowledge by incorporating a simplified pace notes system that switches the more technical numbers and coded notes for plainer, easier to grasp terminology.
All of this sounds great, with Codemasters really chasing the authenticity that they need for this to be considered a WRC rallying sim. Stay tuned next week, as we’ll have more to share about the game’s other gameplay and modes.