With less than a month until the early access release, EA has shared fresh gameplay footage of EA Sports WRC in action. While previous deep dives have shown short snippets of gameplay, this is our first look at raw EA Sports WRC gameplay.
So, strap in as game designer and real-life rally driver Jon Armstrong takes us on a white-knuckle ride tackling three of the game’s locations.
First look at EA Sports WRC gameplay
Shown from multiple viewpoints including the cockpit, bonnet, and chase cameras, the gameplay video starts at Rally Estonia with Armstrong tackling the Vahessaare stage during a heavy morning snowfall with low visibility. We then switch to a narrow forest stage in the rain during the afternoon, highlighting the changeable times of day and weather conditions.
We then head to Rally Japan’s Lake Mikawa tarmac stage, which is tight and technical. Speaking of tarmac, the asphalt driving physics seems to be vastly improved over DiRT Rally 2.0.
The gameplay video also highlights EA Sports WRC’s changeable seasons. For the first time in a rally game, EA Sports WRC lets you tackle every non-snow rally across all four seasons – Rally Japan has a noticeably different ambience when switching from winter to summer.
Finally, the gameplay video ends with Armstrong showing off his snow-driving skills on Rally Sweden’s Lauksjoen stage.
From the gameplay video, EA Sports WRC looks promising. The tarmac physics seems to be a significant step up from DiRT Rally 2.0, the stage designs are realistic and narrow, and the car audio sounds sublime, particularly in the cockpit camera. Our only gripe is the visuals look a tad underwhelming for a current-gen-only game.
Codemasters has replaced its in-house EGO engine with Unreal. Despite this, the environments look sterile in the gameplay footage.
EA Sports WRC’s stages are significantly longer, with each location featuring 35km (21 miles) of unique roads. This may explain why the visuals appear to be downgraded in favour of optimising the game.
Switching to Unreal Engine has enabled Codemasters to craft over 600km of unique roads across 17 locations, with Central European Rally introduced in the 2023 championship joining the stage roster in a free update after launch.
If you need a reminder of the release date, EA Sports WRC slides onto PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S on 31 October, so there’s not long to wait. Those who pre-order will get early access from 3 November.
You can also check out our interview with Codemasters' senior creative director Ross Gowing to find out how EA Sports WRC is reinventing the rally game.
For more articles like this, take a look at our WRC page.