America's love affair with motor sports does not extend to the world of rally racing, at least if you go by television ratings. Across the pond, however, it's absolutely huge. Namco Bandai's WRC: FIA World Rally Championship for the PSP looks to shine a spotlight on the circuit by immersing virtual daredevils into the thick of the sport, challenging them to win championships while battling world-class competitors and Mother Nature (not necessarily in that order).
WRC offers an authentic experience in almost every nook and cranny, while at the same time allowing for the age-old "I drove my car off a 50-foot cliff but it magically reappeared 5 seconds later" paradigm that we all know and love so dearly. On the realism front, it sports the FIA license and a lot of true-life cars, courses, teams and tons of advertisements on the vehicles and surrounding signposts. WRC is not a press-the-gas-and-turn-the-wheel kind of a racer. Rather, it takes course recognition, nuanced acceleration/deceleration/braking and desperately maintaining control to win races - or at least stay on the course.
Evidently, there are at least 32 poor souls who perform rally racing for a living, all of whom are represented in the game. Accompanying every driver is a navigator, who does a damn good British robot impersonation. He's also an invaluable tool in preventing the destruction of your car at every turn. What's most impressive is his ability to stay cool even as you're hurtling over a jump at 140 miles an hour and clearly about to smash into a large rock formation. Just once, it would be great to hear him break character and go from "Long easy left over jump" to "Good lord, we're going to die and it's all your fault!" You know that's what he's thinking.