WRC 3 director talks realism and fantasy in Vita rally racer
Plus, new tech, sports star input, and multiplayer details
For a handheld that has so much horsepower waiting to be unleashed, it's a little puzzling why so few Vita game developers have attempted a look you could call 'realistic'.
It's largely been left to Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Resistance: Burning Skies, and a few sports games to show off just how well Sony's newest portable console can display ultra-realistic environments and characters.
But, just around the corner (in a cloud of dust, of course) comes Milestone's WRC 3, which should up the high-end graphics ante somewhat.
It's not only the first dedicated rally game to race onto the Vita, but it's also shaping up to be one of the most impressive-looking titles on the platform.
Pocket Gamer caught up with Sebastien Pellicano, game director at Milestone, to talk about the pursuit of realism in his studio's new game.Start your engines...
The first thing that strikes you about WRC 3 is its visual fidelity, so, naturally, we begin there.
"Thanks to the new video card developed by Milestone, WRC 3 has shading effects that create quality details never seen before in a rally game," Pellicano explains.
"The new high-definition texture engine allowed us to reproduce all of the official championship race tracks with incredible accuracy. Throughout development, we focused on graphics, detailed 3D models, weather conditions, and accurate recreations of each vehicle in the game."Hit the throttle...
Every nut and bolt in WRC 3 sure looks in the right place to us, but there's definitely still an element of 'fantasy' present and apparent throughout. Though perhaps it's one that only petrolheads will come to fully appreciate.
"WRC 3 is based on the official championship of the 2012 season. However, players will still have access to WRC's classic cars - from the '60s to current models - throughout their career," Pellicano confirms.
"Career mode is WRC 3's nerve centre, and players have to adapt to each of the geographical areas in which the different WRC stages take place. Gameplay consists of classic stages and several challenges that are unlocked throughout the game. In fact, several challenges were developed to push the fun to the max and require the players to be very quick.
"Our priority was to ensure that players enjoy themselves throughout the game. Certainly, the level of simulation achieved in WRC 3 will thrill racing fans, though many driving aids have been included so that less experienced players could have fun behind the wheel of a rally car."Go, go, go!
This grounding in the real, coupled with a selection of cars and courses from down the ages, will be music to the ears of every rally enthusiast. Pellicano is keen to stress WRC 3's authenticity to those people, and to allay any fears they might have about the game not being worthy of the World Rally Championship name.
"The physics engine was a focus so that we could provide the player with a unique simulation experience. The handling of the cars was improved by working closely with some of the best drivers on the circuit (such as Sébastien Loeb, Jari-Matti Latvala, and Armindo Araujo). Pit crew members also contributed technical information.
"WRC 3 on PS Vita will, of course, have a six-player online mode, and, in addition, the FIA has given us access to WRC.com to organise online tournaments. This site will allow us to advertise the competitions ahead of time, and to post the results from each gaming platform afterwards."
Suffice it to say, we can't wait for WRC 3 to speed onto Vita on October 12th. Look out for our review around that time. Oh, and check out the WRC 3 trailer below while you're waiting.