V-Rally 4

A 90s throwback that's too clumsy for its own good.

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I hate waiting around in racing games. Waiting for races to load. Waiting for a voiceover artist to explain the deeper intricacies of racing disciplines you’ve played countless times before. Waiting to be shown how the garage systems and upgrade paths work, or how to access new contract offers, or whatever else the developers have cooked up as manufactured excuses to keep you off the track. Waiting, waiting, waiting.

As racing games have progressed – become more complex and complicated, as well as become full to the brim with 100-car rosters – the level of waiting has increased too. At least, in some games though, the waiting is worth it. Not in many, mind. The pacing of Forza Horizon and how it so deftly dishes out cars, races and spectacular showcase events is the best example of it in recent racers.

V-Rally 4 is not such a game. While you do occasionally see the sparks of great racer DNA emerge from beneath its bonnet, it’s mostly a scrappy, inconsistent rally game that never reaches, let alone surpasses, its older contemporaries.