WRC: FIA World Rally Championship 3

Okay, troops: the PS Vita is in dire need of some great games for the Christmas period. The kind of games that will make teenagers and adults alike want to stick the fledging handheld on their list to Santa.

In other words, games that are unlike WRC: FIA World Rally Championship 3. This won't be featuring on any regular wishlists, let alone a Christmas one.

It's a hollow shell of a racing game, serving as the perfect example of what happens when a rally title thinks that it can get by on driving mechanics alone.

Well, Really Crap

WRC 3 attempts to woo you with official cars, drivers, and courses, and at first glance it looks like it might just work.

The racing action is fairly in-depth, with plenty of options to fiddle around with and courses that look pretty swish. The car handling, while far from perfect, is solid - it really feels like the kind of game you can master if you stick with it.

But you won't want to stick at it, because there's nothing to WRC 3 at all. Where you'd usually expect some kind of Career mode, there are simply several empty shell modes that are each the equivalent to the racing genre's Quick Race, but on different scales.

Whether you choose to do a single race, a single rally, or a single championship, it all feels the same, with no discernible way to progress through the game.

For this reason, WRC 3 is an incredibly dull and monotone experience. Compared to the console version (which itself isn't great), this is a cut-down port with no love injected into it at all.

What a load of Red Bull

Even if you can look past this and find meaning in WRC 3, there are plenty of other areas of the game that will continue to bring the experience down.

There's no tutorial or explanation at all, so we spent a good while trying to work out how the hell to not come last. There's just no easy way into the game, and in the end you'll find yourself going in the options and turning all the assists on.

The car damage modelling works well, and rewinding time to avoid crashes is a nice feature - even if it proves incredibly laggy. But none of this means very much, since you can repair the majority of damage at the end of each race.

Throw in sound effects that appear to have been recorded in a baked beans can (including a strange popping noise that occurs throughout play) and a soundtrack that's as generic as they come, and WRC 3 really isn't a package you'll want to pick up.

If you really want a racing game for Vita, pick up the far superior Need for Speed: Most Wanted. If you want a realistic racing game, F1 2011 is your man. WRC 3 is not the racer you're looking for.

WRC: FIA World Rally Championship 3

WRC 3 is roughly thrown together, and lacks any of the basic requirements of fun
Mike Rose
Mike Rose
An expert in the indie games scene, Mike comes to Pocket Gamer as our handheld gaming correspondent. He is the author of 250 Indie Games You Must Play.