There are several racing simulator games now on the Nintendo Switch. You have everything from over the top arcade racers like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe to full on street/circuit racers like Gear.Club 2 Unlimited. If you’re looking for a rally game, look no further than WRC 8 FIA World Rally Championship by BigBen Interactive. This is a full on rally racing sim with a deep and complete solo career mode that mimics the full 2019 season of the FIA World Rally Championship. This is the official game of the series after all.
Rally Racing is unlike circuit racing. It’s much harder. Despite the fact that you aren’t really competing against other drivers head to head, you are competing against their times. The person who puts in the best time on a course, wins. You might think that sounds easy, but it’s not. This is because you have to contend with track conditions which can be quite brutal at times and deadly. Unlike circuit racing, there are barely any guard rails which means any number of things can work against you. You got boulders you can crash into, treacherous mountain roads you can drive off of, and even trees can be your undoing. You have to drive nearly perfectly to make a great time and that’s very difficult unless you put in the time to practice.
So after saying all that, WRC 8 is not an easy game, which is indicative of the genre. Most rally racing games are difficult and require you to drive a lot differently than you would a regular car. Your car usually never goes where you want it to and things you took for granted, like braking and counter steering become immensely important here. Not only that, listening to what you co-driver says is very important because there’s no way to really memorize every turn and nuance of a track here. By listening to your co-driver’s directions, you’re able to know what is coming up ahead and prepare for it accordingly. You do have to learn the lingo however, but it’s not too difficult to pick up what it all means.
Graphically, WRC 8 doesn’t look that bad at all. I honestly don’t expect as much graphics wise on the Nintendo Switch as I do on the PlayStation 4 and if I adjust my expectations accordingly, this version of WRC 8 is probably as good as it’s going to get for the Nintendo Switch. For me, it doesn’t detract away from the gameplay as it still looks pretty good to me.
Now there are a couple issues with this game, but mainly that’s due to the nature of the Nintendo Switch. The Nintendo Switch’s lack of analog triggers makes all driving games a lot less accurate when it comes to acceleration and braking. There’s no real way for you to control the amount of throttle you give or the amount of braking. You’ll suffer through this issue even if you use any official Switch controllers because none of those have analog triggers either. Also, steering with the default Switch joystick can be difficult as well due to their small size and short sticks. Steering is very sensitive and you’ll find yourself over correcting much of the time which will cause you to veer off the road or into a boulder or tree. You can remedy this a little with some joystick extenders or using a controller as well as adjusting the sensitivity in the game. If you stick to the default Joy-Cons, you can still manage. It just takes practice. Other than the control issues, the rest of the game seems near perfect.
Aside from the control issues, WRC 8 is a deep game, especially the Career mode which should occupy a majority of your time. You’ll learn the ins-and-outs of managing a successful rally team, or run it into the ground. There is tons to do and learn so those who want a deep racing sim will probably really like this.
With that said, WRC 8 FIA World Rally Championship is a great rally racer on the Nintendo Switch. It might not be the best looking version compared to other consoles, but for the Nintendo Switch, it looks pretty good. As a racer, you just have to put in the time to get better at it and adjust to the quirks of the controls. Once you do that, you’ll start to really enjoy WRC 8.
WRC 8 FIA World Rally Championship is available now in both physical and digital forms on the Nintendo eShop. There is also a Deluxe Edition that includes a few extras as well as some DLC packs for extra cars.
Received game from developer and/or publisher for coverage purposes.
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