WRC 23: Codemasters take over the Rally series

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WRC 23 brings the start of a new era for the World Rally Championship game.

Codemasters and EA will be releasing their first ever WRC game later this year and we're excited to see where they take the series.

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WRC 23

Kylotonn had developed every World Rally Championship game since WRC 5 in 2015. It's a changing of the guards for the WRC games, as Codemasters expand their portfolio of titles in 2023.

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Codies are very experienced developers, making both the official Formula 1 game since 2009 and other rally titles such as Dirt 5 and DiRT Rally. So, it's fair to say that WRC is in good hands going forward.

Historic content

One of the coolest features of recent WRC games has been its historic content. In addition to the full 2023 WRC line-up, classic cars were also included in Generations.

There included the 1979 Ford Escort MkII, 1980 Fiat 131 Abarth, and 2002 Peugeot 206 WRC.

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So, what could WRC 23 have in terms of historic content? We're not sure right now, but given that Codies used to have classic Formula 1 cars in their F1 game, it's definitely possible.

Build your own rally car

One of the popular rumours going around at the moment is that you'll be able to design and create your own rally car in WRC 23's Career Mode. This isn't just a cosmetic mechanic either, it's from the ground up.

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You'll reportedly start with choosing a drivetrain and engine position before choosing your gearbox, clutch, radiator, suspension, brakes and exhaust.

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Not all parts are created equal either, as you'll need to stick to your budget and might have to rely on used components to stay financially secure. Everything on the car will be available to customise, right down to the mudflaps.

You'll even be able to test your ride before letting it hit the stage. This is to make sure it looks as good drifting around a corner as it does in the garage.

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This sounds similar to the F1 My Team creation system but appears to be far more in-depth than the one we've seen in F1 22.

Teams and Drivers

With this being the official game of the 2023 WRC season, all of the teams and drivers we'll see in the real-world series will be in the video game too. At the time of writing, there are ten two-man crews currently contracted for the 2023 season.

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Some of the highlights of the drivers include Toyota's Kalle Rovanperä, the current world champion. There's also eight-time champion Sebastian Ogier, also for Toyota and Ott Tanak, who drives for Ford.

Calendar

There are 13 rallies on the 2023 calendar. These take us to five continents and across every surface from frozen snowy roads to the heat of the desert gravel.

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Several changes have been made, with Chile and Mexico returning and a new Central European rally joining the calendar. Rally New Zealand, Catalunya and Belgium all leave the roster for 2023.

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In terms of content, we don't know how many stages are taking place at each rally. However, if 2022 is anything to go by, there could be around the tally of 165 special stages, which is a record.

Release date

We don't have to look far back to WRC Generations' release date, as it came out in November 2022. Despite this though, it's been heavily suggested that WRC 23 will launch in Spring 2023.

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According to these rumours, Geoff Smith, who oversaw both the Dirt and Grid series at Codemasters, will be “overseeing EA's WRC game until the spring (when the game is due to launch)."

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Even if that's a May release, it's far earlier than any of Kylotonn's entries. The soonest they have released has been September.