WRC 9 (PlayStation 5) Review

By Renan Fontes 25.02.2021

Review for WRC 9 on PlayStation 5

Originally released for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC earlier this year, WRC 9 has seen a next gen upgrade for the PlayStation 5. While it's not unusual for modern home consoles to launch with remasters, they're not always a draw for consumers, especially in the case of the PS5 which has launched with quite a few first party titles. That said, WRC 9 is more than just a graphical update to a months old game. Specifically playing off the DualSense controller's unique feedback, the remaster seeks to add another layer of immersion to auto racing.

The ultimate goal of any sim is to offer players a deep level of immersion. In the case of World Rally Championship, this is adhered to by featuring real world courses, real life drivers, and their real cars. The intent is to blur the line between reality and simulation through gameplay, which the series does generally succeed at, but there's little a racing sim can do to account for the actual feeling of being behind the wheel and on the road - until now, that is.

Beyond the PS5 layering the rally racer in a fresh new coat of paint, WRC 9 is done a world of good by the DualSense controller. The DualShock's successor, the DualSense utilizes haptic feedback to give the art of driving a realistic game feel. Players will feel the DualSense rumble over terrain, react to traction, and actually respond to damage. Subtle sensations will flow through the controller when braking, and vibrations help to signal when shifting on- or off-road. Coupled with fantastic visuals & lighting, the DualSense's feedback genuinely does add a deeper sense of immersion to racing that transcends what was codified by the Nintendo 64's Rumble Pak.

This isn't Mario Kart, how hard buttons are pressed down matters and the DualSense's adaptive triggers allow for subtle changes in speed at any time. When gameplay is as natural as it is with the PS5's controller, newcomers will want to take the time to master the controls just to keep playing. Driving feels incredible when getting in the zone, and that feeling is more than just something nebulous - it's a part of the PlayStation 5's actual design. WRC 9 is a fantastic display of what the DualSense controller can offer gaming as a medium: deeper immersion.

Screenshot for WRC 9 on PlayStation 5

On the whole, gameplay isn't as demanding as other racing sims. Controls are plenty fluid and have enough of an arcade-esque quality where newcomers can jump right into gameplay while all the racing nuances will prevent veterans from being alienated. There are also entry points designed for players of varying experience levels. Anyone familiar with the franchise can comfortably jump into the WRC 3 championship, while beginners have access to Junior WRC: an easier championship with lower gameplay stakes.

Alternative game modes include online multiplayer with its own set of online events and rallies which alternate after a few real life days, encouraging an active community, with split screen available for anyone who prefers local multiplayer. Single player is also split into two distinct campaigns: Career, which features crew management, and Season, which omits the mechanic in favour of pure racing. There are also copious customisation options in the menu, allowing players to completely rebind their controls, disable motion blur, toggle the HUD, and turn on colour-blind mode.

WRC 9's performance on the PS5 is also worth noting, as gameplay comfortably sits at 60 fps (a necessity for any good racing sim,) which Performance Mode pushes to 120 fps on compatible televisions. A stable framerate highlights the detailed course design all the more, while fast load times make it easy to indulge in a quickly addictive gameplay loop. Best of all, handling is as fluid as it can possibly be on the DualSense, arguably making the PlayStation 5 the definitive console to rally on.

Screenshot for WRC 9 on PlayStation 5

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

A fantastic rally sim for newcomers and veterans alike, WRC 9 has only gotten better in its transition to the PlayStation 5. The next-gen console brings with it obvious visual and performance enhancements - pushing gameplay anywhere between 60 & 120 fps - but the real star here is haptic feedback. WRC 9 use of the DualSense controller is outstanding, utilizing sensations and vibrations to add another layer of immersion to racing. Players will feel the road underneath them, the weight of their brakes, and the subtlest shifts in terrain. A mix of addictive arcade gameplay and deeply immersive feedback, WRC 9 exceeds expectations.

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C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date None   


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