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WRC’s official rally racing game returns after skipping 2018

WRC 8 launches in September on consoles and PC

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

An officially licensed World Rally Championship racing game will return in 2019 after skipping last year. WRC 8 will launch this September for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One.

Publisher Bigben Interactive said in a news release that developer Kylotonn had incorporated feedback from the community and the game’s official esports series to “go above and beyond WRC 7,” which launched in September 2017 to middling-at-best reviews. The statement promised “better graphics, more technical routes, smoother pace notes and a more comprehensive career mode” in WRC 8.

Dynamic weather will also feature in the the races, which will offer 100 stages in 14 countries. The weather conditions will require drivers to adjust their car’s setup and handling, and even manage a relationship with a team of weather spotters.

In addition to the real-world drivers in the FIA World Rally Championship, WRC 8 will offer drivers from the WRC 2 and Junior WRC series. Historic model cars will also join the fleet.

Kylotonn has developed the WRC: World Rally Championship series since 2015’s WRC 5. Bigben has published it since 2010, taking over the license after a five-year hiatus from the days when Sony published a title for PlayStation 2. WRC 7, which launched on PS4, PC and Xbox One, was the highest-rated game in the series that Bigben has published, touching 70 on Metacritic for the first time. Still, it’s been consistently overshadowed by Codemasters’ Dirt franchise (formerly Colin McRae Rally), which most recently included WRC branding and courses, but not the field of drivers, in 2017’s Dirt 4.

Dirt returns at the end of February with Dirt Rally 2.0 on PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One.

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