WRC 2010 is the first official and close-to-detail game to be licensed by the FIA and also the first PC version of the series. Appart from the Playstation 2 versions, there were no other games that had featured the WRC (the COlin McRae Series had features some stages and liveries, but it wasn't contrated or made for the WRC or FIA specifically).
First seeing this game back in 2010 was quite interesting. The trailer had me on edge, as now have a PC version to actually get my hands on. When I got it I was not disappointed...too much. For the beef of it, it is a good game. It brings out the elements of the WRC and it was based on the current season (WRC 2010 Season).
First on everyon's lips is the graphics. It was fresh and crisp, and having a good graphic card would show all the goodies. This was welcoming for me, as the game does not feel cartoony. This is good as it now gives me a chance to understand what is it like to be in a World Rally Car and fight against the big boys.
Gameplay is good as well, as now you have the option of going straight into the action of the WRC or starting your own career in the "Road to the WRC". This makes things quite interesting, as building up my team where the goal is to be recognised by the WRC as a true contender is ideal and you can get a general feel of how the genuine boys go up the ranks. It may be bit sad that you have to leave your initial team of engineers and managers to take up the WRC ones, but that aside it would be understood that decisions must be made. Handling is good here too (although at times you have serious understeer...)
Playing online is nice as well. I had the honor of driving against the Legendary Sebastien Loeb in one of the races...and lost, BADLY! The online multiplayer mode is quite unique, for he first time were we able to drive against live WRC opponents in live stages. It gives you that sense of being there, that sense that you raced in the WRC and that glorious feeling of beating people (I actually came 12th in the rally).
However, there are the odd bits. First, the codriver sounds like a "Speak and Spell". He or She is not fluid or flowing. They stop at each word to tell you the turns. In the Colin McRae Series (from 3 to 2005) Nicky Grist and Derek Ringer read the notes fluidly and with a certain attitude, instead of just a generic monotone. The codriver in WRC 2010 was way too robotic, though I do like the bits of encouragement, or warning.
The stages are only half of what they said it would be. On the official WRC 2010 site, they said that you would be racing in 13 countries, totalling 78 stages. However, (apart from the super specials) you only race in 39 of those, since the other 39 are reverse orders of each other. That kills the fun, because I wanted to race in different places, and not race in the same place twice because I went forward and back...
WRC 2010 is a game worth getting. And if you can get past the generic codriver and too many reverse stages, you would have some fun with it. Give it a go, and see how you like it