WRC: FIA World Rally Championship

Mud-caked time trials are speeding toward your PSP

Is sliding around on drab, dusty/rainy/gravelly rally courses your idea of a good time? Are you really into European indie music? Awesome! Then WRC: FIA World Rally Championship is for you.

To be fair to the game, rally racing - where a lone driver battles the clock on a winding course - is a little drab by definition, and it doesn't help that the sport is especially popular on the mud-drenched backroads of rural Europe. So far, though, WRC does a bang-up job bringing rallies to the PSP, packing in 36 real-world drivers, 64 stages scattered around 16 different countries and an assortment of compact, licensed supercars.

Actual gameplay is pretty simple: slam on the gas and try to follow your on-board computer's spoken directions as you weave through each course's hairpin turns as fast as possible. It's entertaining enough, although it might be more entertaining if the %26uuml;ber-touchy controls didn't send you constantly skidding off-course and into walls. Hopefully, that's something that will be fixed in the final version of the game.

But while the version of WRC we played was unfinished, it at least looks great on the PSP. Sure, a lot of the courses are grayer than Moscow in a thunderstorm, but there's a ton of detailed scenery in each one (much of which can be sent flying if you hit it just right), and the sunnier stages are actually kind of pretty. The cars look sharp as well, lending some color to the races with clearly legible logos from Ford, Peugeot, Mitsubishi and a handful of other manufacturers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.
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