Review: Sebastien Loeb Rally Evo
After losing the world championship license in favor of KT Racing Games, Italian based Milestone Studio (MotoGP, Ride which we reviewed previously, WRC 4) decided to develop a game with a more “personal” touch, centered around French rally driver Sebastien Loeb. The athlete, who needs no introduction, is perfect considering that the French loves racing games, especially the Gran Turismo series. So does the hype hold in this new game?
Ignoring the serious aspect of the world of Rally championships, Sebastien Loeb Rally EVO remains a simulation for the least demanding. When I started the game, there’s been a very confusing moment at the start as it the cars are very difficult to handle. But is a good or bad thing? While there are those who consider that this is a conduct of difficulty reflecting the realism of the sport, I think myself that it’s to the point of being absurd. If i’m right or not, no one really knows, since when it comes with simulation games, it’s all about taste. Nevertheless, Sébastien Loeb Rally EVO depends on the expectations of the players, who can choose according to their level, one of the following three controlling options: Beginner, Semi-Pro, Pro. In my case, I opted for the first choice, with an easy AI, to better understand the circuits and hopefully finish on the podium. It is without shame that I will admit putting every single driving assist because I’m more of an arcade racer myself, preferring games like Forza Horizon 2 then Forza Motorsports.
Sebastien Loeb Rally EVO is a good surprise in comparison to previous Milestone Studio productions: the sensation of speed is present and in most cases, the engine noises is satisfying, knowing that it adapts according to the selected camera. Similarly, damage management is honest, though not extremely successful. Unfortunately, this game still doesn’t have the perfect collision engine, with your vehicles rolling or fly – literally – too fast at the slightest bump. The ridicule side of motorsport simulation game.
Compared with its announcement last year, Sébastien Loeb Rally EVO also improved with graphical environments and visual effects. But the running game remains in its entirety – to our regret – below of what the next-generation console is capable, with some outdated textures like grass and spectators. From a technical standpoint, the title displays a resolution up to 1080p but locked at 30fps on consoles when its counterpart on PC reaches the 60fps. At least no slowdown was reported on my side, but some small clipping (sudden appearance of elements) was noticeable on some tracks.
After entering the name of your driver and team, several game modes are available to you. You obviously start a career mode that consists in linking running tests to climb the ladder in the world rankings and attract the attention of Sebastien Loeb in person. These tests, organized according to the type of your vehicle, of course, consist of rally where you have to make the best time, drifts, faces to faces and eliminations challenges. We also note the presence of rallycross (races in closed circuits) which are quite entertaining at first, but the career eventually becomes repetitive especially because of the disproportionate number of events relative to the total of available circuits (8 rally, 5 Pikes Peak and 4 which are all taken from other tracks).
Fans of the multi-world champion will be more interested in the Loeb Experience mode, which provides exclusive interviews of the driver, and relive the greatest success of his career from 1998 to 2013. Captivating, these interviews allow to understand more the motor sport and possibly have the competition grow on you. Once initiated, videos are played to relive the most important events of Sebastien Loeb’s career and his iconic vehicles like the Citroen C4 WRC DS3 and more recently, the Pikes Peak Peugeot 208 T16.
Finally, There’s an online multiplayer mode as one would expect of modern game. Unfortunately, the latter is poorly optimized, insofar as it is necessary to leave the lobby to change car classes. Speaking of cars, no less than 73 models – excluding DLC - are unlockable or available for purchase (or lease in the career mode). It’s a very wide selection of vehicles includes both old and recent wheels, and you’ll have the chance to drive the 1964 Mini Cooper S, or a more recent 2014 Ford Fiesta R5; a delight undoubtedly to all racing fans.
Sebastien Loeb Rally Evo was reviewed using an Xbox One copy of the game provided by Milestones Studios. The game is also available on PlayStation 4 and PC. We don’t discuss review scores with publishers or developers prior to the review being published
• Quite rich in content
• A great roster of cars
• Good speed sensation
• Loeb fan service
• Draft and steering is too difficult to my liking
• Quite outdated graphically
• Very random realization
• Circuit events are uninteresting
• Some small bugs