After months of rumours, WRC 5 has finally been officially announced for release this Autumn on all current-gen and last-gen platforms: that's PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC and PS Vita. This of course marks the WRC game series' first venture onto current-gen consoles following the last four iterations developed by Milestone, who are now working on Sébastien Loeb Rally Evo after BigBen Interactive acquired the license.
Following Milestone, WRC 5 has been handed over to Kylotonn Games, a French developer whose previous releases include Motorcycle Club and Truck Racer.
WRC 5 will run on Kylotonn's in-house Kt Engine HD, which is showcased in a teaser trailer providing a glimpse of some of the new stages that will be featured.
Kt Engine HD is a fully featured latest generation cross-platforms game engine (PC – PlayStation 4 PlayStation 3 – PS Vita – Xbox One – Xbox 360).
This production line includes :
- A high end visual game engine supporting dynamic weather and dynamic day/night cycle, vehicle deformations, dirt, lens flare…
- A level editor to create living, varied and realistic environments, alternating driving surfaces such as asphalt, gravel, snow…
- A particles editor capable of simulating physics of dust volumes, smoke, dirt, water and snow projections…
- A powerful physics engine providing detailed vehicle simulation allowing realistic handling, in any environment and on any driving surface.
- Advanced damage model offering damage levels ranging from mild damage to complete destruction.
- Replays mode with dynamic visualizations inspired by TV broadcasts.
There have been concerns raised about the direction the WRC game series is heading, but Kylotonn affirm that WRC 5 will be a simulation in contrast to the recent mobile release. “Our team of racing enthusiasts is developing new technical tools to offer a true rally simulator from scratch,” explained Alain Jarniou, Game Director at Kylotonn Games. “We are very proud and excited to work on a title dedicated to one of the most challenging and spectacular forms of motor sport.”
2013 FIA WRC 3 champion Sébastien Chardonnet, who is making his debut in the top level WRC league at this year's Monte Carlo rally, has also been appointed as one of WRC 5's ambassadors, who worked with Kylotonn during the concept and planning for WRC 5. “It’s exciting to help Kylotonn to make the best WRC game ever seen. Combining my driver and gamer experience with their technical point of view is something interesting when you are trying to do the most realistic game possible,” he said.
As for WRC 5's game features, very little has been disclosed other than the fact it will feature brand new stages, new game modes and "new levels of realism." Visually, it still looks a bit last-gen which could be the result of its cross platform development, but we'll reserve judgement until we see how the car models fare. The jury's still out on the physics, too, but it will be interesting to see how a new developer will handle the WRC series starting from scratch, particularly when you compare how Milestone's WRC series progressed over the course of its four iterations.
So that's WRC 5 and Sébastien Loeb Rally Evo officially announced – it's over to you now, Codemasters. But whatever happens, this year certainly promises to be an eventful year for rally game fans.