After several consecutive years taking care of the WRC license, Milestone decided that for the new generation of consoles it would make sense to launch a new game based on the rallies with the soul of the WRC. To the detriment of maintaining the license, the Italian producer chose to hire the driver with the highest number of trophies won in the world rally championship. From next fall, Sébastien Loeb will have his rally game and will be a key figure in promoting Milestone’s new production, which takes advantage of this entry in the new generation to improve a series of game components: from physics to light, passing through cars and scenarios, everything was and is being improved in order to create a more authentic experience.
After experiencing a demonstration at the Level Up event (you can read the preview here, organized by Bandai Namco in Madrid, we talked to Daniele Caso, PR manager at Milestone, about Sébastien Loeb Rally Evo.
Eurogamer PT: I know Milestone games well. Twenty years ago they launched the Screamer Rally game, which I really enjoyed, however they made other rally games, based on the official WRC license, but this Sébastien Loeb Rally Evo seems to be different.
Daniele Case: It is completely different from games previously developed, such as those in the WRC series. We wanted something different and so we followed another path. We involve the iconic figure of Sébastien Loeb, both in the game and in the development phase in order to convey to the player the exact feeling he has when he is behind the wheel of a rally car.
Sébastien Loeb is now active in the WTCC, in the Citroen team, but fans know him from the nine titles he won in the WRC, stresses Daniele Caso, even though he occasionally rallies and mountains.
Eurogamer PT: Will there be any way Sébastien Loeb?
Daniele Case: I can’t say much about the game modes and how players will experience the connection with Sébastien Loeb, but we want to convey a different experience, although it is something very important for WRC players. There is a lot of rally, ricross and lots of challenges, so players will have a lot to be involved in.
Eurogamer PT: Are you connected to Citroen, as one of the car manufacturers and the brand associated with the Loeb titles?
Daniele Case: It is related to sports teams because it is not a licensed game, it is directly related to the iconic figure of Sébastien Loeb, hence we have 14 car manufacturers, the legendary brands, which will lead the player to try more than 50 cars since the 1950s to the present day, the time of the WRC.
Eurogamer PT: Which rallies will be included and will there be special qualifiers?
Daniele Case: I can’t say much about it, the information available is restricted but we will reveal more about them in the coming months, through images and for that reason we invite players to follow our information channels, but for now we show qualifiers from Sweden, Australia and Wales .
Eurogamer PT: I recently tried the demonstration and noticed major improvements in terms of light effects and details of the ratings. This is also a game for a new generation platform.
Daniele Case: Yes, the game is only for the new generation: PS4, Xbox One and will also come out on PC and Steam. When we talk about the new generation, we are referring to a new level of physics, luminosity and the whole particle effect determined by the driving style. We start with specials at dawn but also at the end of the day and at night and this affects the player’s experience. In Australia and during the night it is not exactly the same as running during the day
Eurogamer PT: This is an unofficial game in terms of license, how will it be in terms of opponents and names of these drivers?
Daniele Case: We worked with the manufacturers and reached an agreement with them to include the real names of the vehicles. There will be no teams and pairs directly related to the WRC, because the game is not linked to the WRC license, but there will be manufacturer-specific cars and models.
Still in development, Milestone hopes to further investigate some elements of the game. Pikes Peak will be in the game.
Eurogamer PT: Will there be career mode?
Daniele Case: Yes, there will be a career mode, in which we concentrate all the experience of the previous games. He will be properly oriented around Sébastien Loeb.
Eurogamer PT: As for the structure of the game, I said earlier that there will be rallies and ralicross. Anything else in these challenges?
Daniele Case: There will be specials in the form of ralicross, rally.
Eurogamer PT: Based on real events?
Daniele Case: Yes, there will be real events, although not entirely official and therefore based only on those events.
Eurogamer PT: About the physics and control of the car. It is a crucial element in an experience of this kind. Did you develop this aspect in a simulation aspect? In the demonstration I felt that timely braking is essential, it is not enough to brake on top and get out of the corner quickly.
Daniele Case: The game has this simulation component. We worked with Sébastien Loeb and he gave us all of his knowledge which allowed us to channel information and feedback into the game. However the game is still in development and some things could be changed until the release date, which is scheduled for autumn. The physics will be different, of course there is a simulation component, but we want the game to be available to the audience that prefers car games. It will be possible to adjust the degree of difficulty
Talking about physics and driving forces, as well as the effects of driving in the rain, Loeb gave us a lot of information and feedback on how it works. He drove all the cars and that will allow us to see huge differences from previous games.
Eurogamer PT: What was it like working with “the champion”, as they said in the presentation, nine times world champion?
Daniele Case: It was great to work with him. The game conveys a strong image of him, he came to our offices many times, so his presence was very important. Of course, he was a nine-time world champion.
Eurogamer PT: He now drives to Citroen, at the WTCC, don’t you think that misleading the audience for the car games?
Daniele Case: Well, Sébastien Loeb was nine times world champion and it is something that you do not easily forget, even though you are competing in another category.
Eurogamer PT: In terms of multiplayer, will it be available? Can you give us some information?
Daniele Case: Yes, there will be multiplayer, both online and offline. But in the coming months we will be giving more information about the new modes.
Eurogamer PT: What differentiates Sébastien Loeb Rally from other car games?
Daniele Case: I think the whole soul of the WRC. It is a very dusty sport, with a great physics feeling, very different from Formula 1 and other racing games. And we have Sébastian Loeb in the game, which will make a difference. I also feel that when the player tries the game he will notice the difference in relation to other titles.
Eurogamer PT: Is there an involvement of Sébastien Loeb in terms of videos and driving guides as a champion?
Daniele Case: He is very involved in the game. Their presence is very large.