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WRC 10 debuts new anniversary mode celebrating 50 years of rallying

WRC 10 lands on PlayStation, Xbox and PC in September just in time to celebrate the most legendary courses and cars of the World Rally Championship's history.

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50th Anniversary mode looks super cool.
Nancon/KT Racing

WRC 10, the latest iteration of the official racing simulation game based on the World Rally Championship, hits the road later this year. The new game was officially previewed Tuesday, packing improved physics, updated visuals and new modes, including a new 50th anniversary setting that celebrates and recreates great moments in WRC history dating back to the championship's inception in 1973.

Developed by French studio KT Racing (the company also responsible for the previous five generations of official WRC games), WRC 10 continues to use the proprietary KT game engine, which also sees use in the TT Isle of Man motorcycle racing games.

Cars and courses

WRC 10 debuts four brand new rally locations -- Belgium, Croatia, Estonia and Spain -- bringing the total to 19 countries and environments to choose from. Thirteen of those are WRC 2021 calendar locations you'll encounter in the career mode; the remaining six are historical locations for the new Anniversary mode. The new locations are divided into about 40 new built-from-scratch rally stages, bringing the total to just over 120 unique stages to master and perfect.

WRC 10 introduces improvements to the rendering of foliage and new, more varied road textures that improve the look and feel of each course. Dynamic and static weather and customizable time of day should help add variety to the game's course list.

The stars of the show are the 22 historical cars from Mitsubishi, Peugeot, Subaru, Toyota and more. KT Racing tells me that it focused on finding and recreating the most famous rally cars dating back to 1973.

22 legendary cars for WRC 10 (bold are new)

  • 1973 Ford Escort Mk 2
  • 1980 Fiat 131 Abarth
  • 1981 Audi Quattro A1
  • 1984 Audi Quattro A2
  • 1987 Lancia Delta Integrale 4WD
  • 1997 Subaru Impreza WRC
  • 1999 Toyota Corolla
  • 2005 Citroen Xsara WRC
  • 2011 Citroen DS3 WRC
  • 2017 Ford Fiesta WRC
  • 2017 Toyota Yaris WRC
  • Alpine A110
  • Lancia Delta Integrale Evo
  • Lancia Fulvia
  • Lancia Rally 037
  • Lancia Stratos
  • Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V
  • Peugeot 205 T16 Evo 1 and Evo 2
  • Porsche 911 GT3 RGT
  • Proton Iriz R5
  • Toyota Celica Turbo GT4

New suspension modeling and improved aerodynamic simulation now includes ground effects and should make for more realistic and precise handling and vehicle performance. The KT Engine also features improvements to engine, chassis and differential management. Meanwhile, revised assist features can be activated to help ease newcomers into the franchise, all of which can be disabled by seasoned vets for more realistic simulation.

KT Racing says that it's improved the sounds for almost all car models in the game -- even the historic models -- with more realistic engine, brake and collision reproduction. Lazy sound design is a pet peeve of mine in racing games and sims, so I'm particularly interested in hearing how unique each vehicle sounds. On the PS5, WRC 10 will also support haptic feedback, allowing players to, for example, feel the brake pressure on the DualSense controller.

New 50th anniversary mode

Starting back in 1973, the World Rally Championship is rapidly approaching its fifth decade of existence. To celebrate, WRC 10 -- celebrating a 10th anniversary of its own -- is debuting a new 50th anniversary mode, highlighting the classic cars, legendary drivers and historical locations of the WRC's 50-year journey. Anniversary mode will feature 20-plus challenges, split between five categories that will recreate the conditions of memorable moments in WRC's history. Each Anniversary stage will include historically accurate spectators, sponsors, barriers, vehicle cladding and the drivers that made the cars and courses famous. You'll be able to see Colin McRae in his Subaru Impreza WRC or Tommi Makinen's Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.

A total of 12 historical rallies are included -- seven available at launch with five more being added via free post-launch updates -- starting with a location from the very first 1973 WRC, the Acropolis in Greece. Three versions of Sanremo, Italy (1981, 1997 and 1998) and New Zealand will also be included from the get-go. Post-launch additions will include historic locations in Argentina, Germany and Mexico.

More than 20 anniversary challenges will be split into different categories (First Years, Groupe B, Groupe A, WRC, Modern WRC), replicating the conditions of legendary moments in WRC's history. 

Nancon/KT Racing

Career mode updates

Meanwhile, WRC 10 will also include the main career mode that follows the official 2021 WRC calendar. Players will be able to create their own team or start any of the 52 existing 2021 teams representing WRC, WRC 2, WRC 3 and Junior WRC. During the season, players will manage their calendar, sponsorship and team members and, of course, there's the racing itself. An enhanced skill tree unlocks new abilities and upgrades to the team and its headquarters along the way.

There's also a new livery editor that allows players to customize their vehicles with colors, shapes, stickers and brands. A new sticker editor allows the creation of complex shapes and designs that can be showcased in the career mode, photo mode, the vehicle showroom, quick races and online challenges.

Training mode, local challenges and the test area return to help players sharpen their skills as well as a new coach mode, that I hope to learn more about closer to launch. There are also new shakedown stages -- short one- to two-minute-long rally stages designed to help players quickly test their vehicle setups and tunes without having to run a full length stage, or for players just looking for a shorter challenge.

Speaking of online, WRC 10 brings over the clubs and online lobbies from its predecessor, as well as the co-driver co-op mode, which I believe is unique to the series. Players can also complete daily and weekly challenges online or compete locally with split screen mode.

Launching in September

WRC 10 launches in September 2021 on Xbox One and Series X/S consoles, PS4 and PS5 and on PC in the Steam and Epic Games stores. A Nintendo Switch port will also join the lineup at a later, yet undisclosed date. PC players will be able to get an early taste of the WRC action via a downloadable demo that will be playable as part of the Steam Festival from June 16 to 22.