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Sebastian Loeb Rally Review

Rally driving is tough and therefore I'm not sure why I was tasked with reviewing Sebastian Loeb Rally. I can drive in real life, in fact I'm a very experienced driver and would feel fairly confident on a race track, but when it comes to the virtual world of video game racing, that's where my skills stop.

Entering the world of Sebastian Loeb Rally, I knew I was in for a long and tiring ride and so it turned out as I creeped my way around ever corner, even with all the assist on and the game's difficulty firmly set to rookie. I admit to being terrible at these games and that's the way it turned out to be. That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it though, after all, like most things in life, gaming often throws up a curveball, however if you stick with something long enough, eventually you'll start to get to grips with it.

Luckily, this game does seem to take you by the hand from the beginning, first by allowing you to choose your team names, nationalities, the decal on your helmet and even the colour of your racing threads. You're then lead into a tutorial mode, which has you driving around a traffic cone filled tarmac track, which then surprisingly opens up to allow you to explore the area a little more in order to perfect your driving skills. This is a great touch and I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised by this, even this early in the game.

It was always going to take more than a tutorial for me to get any good at the game, so I jumped into a few of the quick races on offer and while I fared pretty terribly, half the battle with racers is getting used to the tracks, so I was at least learning something other than it was like to drive around a rally track with sparks lighting up my car's rear left axel.

Anyway, it's fair to say that Sebastian Loeb Rally is as an authentic a Rally game as most out there. Having previously played WRC Rally for review, I would likely consider that title a little more polished in a graphical sense, however there is still plenty here to keep even the most hardcore rally fan occupied, with all manner of cars, tweaks for said cars, game modes and locations on offer.

As mentioned, the first mode I tried out was Quick Mode. Here you get fast access to a full Rally and Rallycross, Time Trials, and the Pikes Peak mode. Flicking through the menus, perhaps the most interesting mode on offer is the Loeb Experience, where you get to take part in the events that helped shape Sebastien Loeb’s career, although let's just say I won't be following in his footsteps anytime soon because that mode is hard as nails.

Career mode is likely to be the mode that most people jump into, which luckily comes with a debut mode for those of us who are beginning our rally career. In career mode your will gain both credits, which allow you to unlock vehicles and reputation, which will allow you to jump into any events that you may wish to try out. Half the fun of racing games is jumping into the races, building up your credits and unlocking as many cars as possible, although winning a few races is always fun too. In that respect, the number of races and events you can take part in for the debut section alone will keep you busy for quite some time.

Races in career mode do vary quite a bit, you have single stages and rally where you race to the finish line in the hope that your time will beat that of your AI opponents, of course you never see these opponents as these take the guise of a time trial style race, so your opponent is essentially the clock. If you'd prefer to race against real cars, then there is a 'last man standing' elimination round and also a pretty fun Rallycross race, which offers a lot of chaotic fun.

As briefly mentioned, there's plenty of room for customisation too, whether you want to mess around with your brakes, suspension, transmission or whatever else floats your boat. To be honest, I left it all well alone, I struggle changing the spark plugs in my real life car, so I wasn't going to start messing around with the breaks on a rally car. Don't they have people that do stuff like that for them? Honestly.

Perhaps my favourite part of Sebastian Loeb Rally is the rewind button. It's always great to press a button and rewind your mistakes, so the inclusion of the rewind mechanic made me quite happy and helped me get through a fair few races with minimal damage.

I'm terrible at racing games, I've already admitted that, but I can see the value in Sebastian Loeb Rally. There's an almost unlimited amount of options to play around with in this game and like I say, the Debut option in Career mode alone provides hours of gameplay and that's not even taking into account everything that comes after it. Sure the game isn't perhaps as polished as some other racers out there, but it does have depth and the driving does seems to provide the sort of experience that you'll have come to expect from other rally racers out there.

If you're a fan of rally then Sebastian Loeb is definitely a game you should consider.

Words by Joe Anderson
Twitter: @_wotta | PSN/XBLA: wotta

(Version Tested: PS4)


+ Plenty of options 
+ Hours of gameplay
+ Great tutorial


- Not quite as polished as other racers

Edited On 28 Jan, 2016

( 2 )
SilverShane's avatar
SilverShane 12 months ago
I tried the demo as I like rally games seemed pretty good but I never find these types of games to be worth £40 - £50 will wait for the price to drop
sackdemajick's avatar
sackdemajick 12 months ago
I would get this but I'm just waiting for dirt rally!

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