Sébastien Loeb Rally EVO is a new racing game brought to PS4, Xbox One, and PC users alike by the folks over at Milestone Studios.
Milestone is no slouch when it comes to racing games, as they have plenty of rally and motocross games under their belt as it is. Most notably they have had a hand in the WRC and SBK series.
Sébastien Loeb Rally EVO is chuck full of content. There’s plenty of different racing leagues, tracks, and car models. The game starts you out in a rookie league with a relatively standard, not too good rally car. From there, you have to climb your way up by earning various placing and medals so that you can buy new cars. Progress is handled in a way that I’m not entirely used to. You are able to participate in any league if you have a car that is eligible instead of slowly working your way to the top and then graduating from a league. This means that you could theoretically jump from the lowest league to the highest league if you save enough money. The player is also given the ability to rent cars if they would like to try out another league. The most optimal way to climb up may very well be to just buy new cars and slowly climb up each league, but having the option to go about it however you want is pretty nice.
The cars in the game handle pretty well and have relatively realistic damage modules that affect the way the car performs in the way that they should. The cars also respond well to the various different types of track that are in the game (i.e Dry Asphalt, Snow, Dirt, etc). The tracks in the game are designed well enough, and, graphically, everything is pretty appealing. I would say that my main gripe with this game is that I feel as though the amount of events where it is just a time trial are more abundant than actually racing against any other vehicles. Like I said, there isn’t anything fundamentally wrong with the tracks, it’s just that when you are racing against the clock and not other drivers, everything can start to feel incredibly tedious after a while. Overall, the gameplay is relatively solid, but it’s nothing that hasn’t been done before. Except for a rewind mechanic that exists so when you mess up a turn or something of that nature you can rewind and try it again. This mechanic has a cool down and can be used up to six times per race. The mechanic makes the game more forgiving and much easier to novice rally drivers, such as myself. There are also a couple of noticeable issues with the physics engine, but I didn’t feel as if it detracted anything from the game for me, but for seasoned players of the genre, it could possibly be a problem.
I mentioned earlier that, graphically, the tracks in this game are pretty appealing; so are the cars. Every car has a very crisp look to it, and the models were clearly made with a lot of skill and care. The environments look lush and expansive, while the cars look streamlined and clean. The humans aren’t exactly the best looking, but they aren’t the main focus, and at the same time they are by no means bad. Some of the human animations can be a bit wonky, but again they aren’t the main focus, so it’s not a huge deal. However, there were times (particularly in snow levels) where I noticed that the car appeared to be floating slightly above the ground, be it caused by an effect or if the car was actually above the ground, I’m not completely sure; but it did detract a tad from the overall experience. While on the topic of things that detracted a tad from the experience, the game lacked music while driving. The music probably isn’t there to create a sense of a immersion of being an actual rally driver, but an option to have music on or off would be incredibly appreciated. Plus, the music that does exist in the game seems to be one song that is present in the menus and loading. A tad more variety would go a long way, as hearing the same song over and over can get a bit annoying.
Overall, Sébastien Loeb Rally EVO doesn’t do anything that really blows me away. It’s a decent racing game for sure, but at the same time, it’s incredibly average. At the end of the day, this game didn’t give me anything that racing games I’ve played before haven’t. If you’re really into rally racing, this game is more than likely worth a buy, but if you’re a novice like I, I’d recommend trying it and seeing how you feel about it. Personally, I don’t see myself going back to the game anytime soon.