Sebastien Loeb Rally Evo review
Experience a rally game that is more arcade than simulation – but tries to be both at the same time.
Sébastien Loeb Rally Evo is developed and published by Milestone and distributed by Bandai Namco. The game was released for PC, Playstation 4, and Xbox One on january 29 2016.
The game offers a career experience, but hardcore rally fans will be disappointed – the career consist of groups with a few races, and while many of these is just the plain original setup – be the fastest to reach the goal on courses placed around the world with checkpoints, you will be surprised to meet eliminations races, three round races with a joke route, and other good stuff. All this is fun for the gamer that aren’t serious about rally besides experiencing the challenge – and the story behind interesting. For the gamer that is hardcore fan of the sport and have played numerous earlier rally titles, this game will lack a lot – including a season mode which this game does not have.
What will please most hardcore fans will be the experience of Sébastien Loebs career. This is split up just like career mode – groups that includes a different number of races. The groups within Loeb Experience is split up in years, and each group has a video where Loeb talks about his career and experiences. After this, the task is to beat some challenges that relates to his story. This input is enough to add a whole lot to the title – I think it is extremely interesting to get some documentary and personal experience directly from the person that names the game.
It is incredibly disappointing to see a rally game without the option to play against friends locally – the setup of rally with single starts is perfect for the “pass the controller” gameplay. Obviously a lot of players do not play this mode when it is possible, but it is hard to measure as you can play this without being connected to the internet. I would had loved to see this option including house rules for the race. It does not require much extra work in the development, and it would please a lot of players… even I that does not play many rally games.
The graphics are impressive – especially in presentations scenes. These can easily be compared to other big racing titles such as Forza and Gran Turismo. This is of course dubbed down when in gameplay mode, but it still looks pretty decent. The cars are varied and licenced, so the game as a whole looks serious and it is on many occasions – but you’ve been deceived. When you start to play you will quickly feel that the game doesn’t act like a simulation, but more arcadey, both in menu layout, modes and handing. Don’t get me started on the physics.
I got to admit that this is the first time that i experience a roadside that truly obstruct my driving – I don’t have space enough on the road. But this is exactly the only point where this game really shines in the simulation department. You feel it immediately when one of your tires hits another type of pavement, dirt, stones etc, and even more if there’s an edge like a kerb, or a ditch.
If you end up in an accident, the experience of the game will also end up in the ditch. The physics affects the accidents in a really bad way. This affects a seemingly pretty good damage model which I of course can be mistaken about because the reaction within the collision is so off.
I’ve played car games – not my favourite genre – but I enjoy those I play. But Sébastien Loeb Rally Evo was just frustrating – and early in the game. It is an arcade racer that tries to be a simulation, and this is where it goes wrong. Some type of cars combined with some types of roads makes it really hard to keep the car on the road if not impossible – even if several aids is turned on.
In general, I really did enjoy Sébastien Loeb Rally Evo for what it is – there is a bunch of disheartening experiences where the physics are godawful to a point where I haven’t been able to keep my car on the road, despite aids (racing line). Physics is not in place, and this ruins the experience, but not the game. The game requires a certain amount of getting used to and training, and offers a bunch of unexpected difficulty spikes. What makes it even harder is that the game makes you switch cars pretty often, and you need to get used to a new car and how it handles.
Miss; Physics doesn’t feel right.
Need; Season mode and local multiplayer.