Fans of WRC3 will doubtlessly be anticipating what Milestone will do to evolve the series in 2013 as we hope to see a direct sequel, but it looks like we're about to receive an early treat in the form of WRC Powerslide, a topdown arcade spin-off that will be released as a digital download on PSN and XBLA in early 2013.
Unlike WRC3 which catered for hardcore fans of the motorsport, WRC Powerslide has its headlights beaming brightly towards the arcade crowd that WRC3's Road to Glory mode arguably attempted to appease, with "frenetic" driving physics, a new overhead camera and collectible powerups that can either speed up your car or slow down competitors. Deprived US fans will also be pleased to know that WRC Powerslide will be granted a US release. When questioned over the possibility of WRC3 also being made available, Milestone hinted that news on the matter will be announced soon.
12 licensed cars from WRC, Class 2 and Class 3 will be included and eight of WRC3's rally locations will be available with 24 stages in total, with three main gameplay modes available: Quick Race, WRC Tournaments and online multiplayer for up to four players.
We managed to catch an early glimpse of WRC Powerslide during our visit to Milestone in Milan. While we couldn't get a hands-on, it looked like a fun and accessible slice of arcade action and a welcome diversion from the relentless challenge of WRC3. Graphically, it seemed to retain all of the detail from WRC3's Spike Engine, giving you a new perspective of the course designs thanks to the isometric camera – like F1 Online: The Game, which utilised F1 2011's engine that led Codemasters having to model the roofs of buildings, we suspect Milestone had to make similar modifications to the course designs to allow for the new viewpoint.
When we saw WRC Powerslide it was known as 'WRC Arcade' however, which reminded me of the forgotten PS1 game of the same name. Turns out the developers were unaware of the 10 year old title, which could explain the new title – does this mean I can take credit for the name change?