Career mode is consistently one of the most popular, and contentious, modes of any sports game. Where developers like EA Sports have often left career modes to rot, though FIFA 20's may be a breath of fresh air, others use each new game as a chance to expand the experience for players.
That's what Bigben and the development studio KT Racing have done with WRC 8, the official video game of the FIA World Rally Championship.
WRC 8 trying to live up to expectations
2019 has been a strong year for motorsport gaming. both F1 2019 and MotoGP 19 have both received high praise, mostly for the strength of their career modes and the improvements they have made over previous versions.
After discussions with the community, the WRC 8 development team have strived to offer content that meets fans' expectations with a deep and varied game mode.
Benoit Gomes, WRC 8's Lead Game Designer, has taken fans through what they can expect from the new game and its reimagined career mode.
The new Career Mode in WRC 8 mimics the real world and allows players to become a driver for a WRC team for the first time. Players must progress from season to season to compete in the WRC category and ultimately become world champion. By following several teams in different rallies, the developers managed to capture the key aspects of a successful season. Players must excel in three major areas that have been included in the game:
- Planning the calendar to decide which events to do in between rallies: training, manufacturer challenges, rest, classic events, etc.
- Managing a whole crew comprising six different and interconnected job roles. Players must consider each of their unique characteristics and use them strategically in each rally.
- Upgrading the crew through R&D and a skill tree, which evolves depending on player choices. Every decision has an impact on progression and on the morale of the crew (performance, reliability, etc.).
The statistics available at the end of each rally also help players to refine their strategy, compare themselves to competitors and adjust their set-ups as necessary to climb the rankings, upgrade their car and recruit the right people for their team.
These are some bold and potentially-revolutionary changes. It seems to bring together the best bits of multiple games, with the long road to the top of MotoGP, the R&D trees of F1, and the staffing decisions of Motorsport Manager.
It's an ambitious attempt that could create one of the most immersive and playable career modes of any sports game, nevermind of motorsport.
What else is new?
WRC 8 has promised new off-road physics for all surfaces on top of the completely redesigned career mode. New extreme weather conditions as well as a dynamic weather system will create changable conditions for racers to battle. There will be 52 teams, 14 countries, and over 100 special stages to race on along with weekly challenges and an esports mode.
It is set to be the most intense and in-depth WRC game yet.
Release date & cost
WRC 8 will release in September 2019 on PlayStation®4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch™ and PC, priced at £49.99 on console.