If you’ve ever had the fortunate (or in my case unfortunate) experience of driving a fully loaded rally car then you’ll know what a different kettle of fish rally driving is. Taking the helm of such a slippery powerful beast is a relentless experience and very different from your shiny NFS supercar drive. When WRC3 hit the PS Vita last year it was a dry time for a decent gearbox thrasher, but thankfully WRC4 comes hurtling onto the small screen at break neck speed. In previous releases Milestone have given the Vita rallying and motor biking, and without this love from Milestone it would have been a bare racing time on our handhelds.
The improvements in WRC4 are pretty staggering – where do I start? First off we have been given the full PS3 version and judging by the speed of your chosen Rally car, Milestone have upped the tempo considerably. That’s if you forget the junior rally of course, these rally cars are slow and could have been avoided. Pushing the turtle waxed rally cars up to the red line is just the start, you’ll then need to apply a good degree of driving skill to master the route ahead. The immediate feel and control of the car on the track seems bang on and even careering into your first hairpin bend and exiting the car alive conveys the Vita is doing what you tell it to. The added cockpit views are great as well and convey Milestone’s intent of wanting to deliver the whole package to the Vita. Having the option of editing drivers names and bringing some bling to your number plate just add to the polished feel. Not forgetting a tutorial has also been added this time around, again something that WRC3 never had.
Copying the fine Moto GP 13 menu style is a blessing. Here checking emails and entering the racing calendar can all be accessed with ease. Whether you want to jump into a Championship, head out Online or enter Career Mode, it’s all delivered with a touch of style. The subtle reflections bouncing off car bonnets and more touches like these really create a visually pleasing experience. Not on the scale of Grid2 (if only), but still pleasing all the same. Also general lighting that depicts different times in the day add more realism to the race ahead. Car damage is pretty aggressive, but a lack of mud splattered over the bodywork is still a flaw. Crossing the line beat up and covered in mud would have been a good touch and would have further added that missing element of realism…maybe next year. A good mix of different road surfaces are thrown at you throughout and the tracks looks beautiful. Your trophy list will thank you as well because like WRC3, we have another walk in the park Platinum Vita game here. This time around though the ride is far more enjoyable.
Reading last year’s reviews of WRC3, it was just us and The Vita Lounge that showed love for the handheld’s first rally game. This time around though every aspect of the game has had a much needed overhaul. WRC4 is a powerhouse, crammed with content it lacked from its predecessor. A fast, dirty, sexy, rally experience that Vita gamers deserve.
Lizard rating: 8/10