Hi – I’m Jon Armstrong, rally driver and games designer here at Codemasters. I’ve got some news to share. Today, I want to talk about using the power of Playstation 5 to give you the most immersive experience in EA Sports WRC, launching November 3.
Q: How does EA Sports WRC leverage the power and capabilities of the PS5 to enhance the realism of the rally racing experience?
A: We have leveraged the capabilities of the PlayStation 5 to enhance EA Sports WRC in multiple ways. Firstly, we take advantage of the SSD to significantly reduce loading times, allowing players to jump into the action swiftly. Additionally, the DualSense wireless controller of the PlayStation 5 enables players to truly feel the car’s movements, providing an enhanced sense of control and a deeper connection to the driving experience.
Q: Can you provide examples of how the game takes advantage of the PS5’s hardware, such as ray tracing, to create more immersive and visually stunning environments?
The PS5’s powerful GPU enables us to create complex shaders which layer together many different materials to a level we’ve not been able to achieve before, simulating varied and detailed surfaces throughout the environments, with tiled textures efficiently streamed on demand thanks to the PS5’s high speed drive.
With the correct set up, the PlayStation 5 specific depth buffer optimisations enable us to handle foliage far more efficiently than before, something that is crucial throughout all of our environments to help achieve that constant sixty frames-per-second. We’re now able to render really long dust trails which enhance the realism and create some spectacular scenes – great for photo-mode!
Q: How does the game utilize the PS5’s DualSense controller features, such as haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, to simulate the feel of driving a rally car and blur the lines between real-life and gameplay?
A: The PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller utilizes data from physics and audio to enhance players’ connection with the car. By incorporating directional information related to collisions with the environment, suspension and tyres, the controller provides a heightened sense of immersion during gameplay and this lets the player sense what the car is doing and intuitively respond to the car’s behaviors to what is happening.
Furthermore we take advantage of the adaptive triggers by providing the feeling of loss of traction which naturally lets players balance their brake and throttle.
Q: How does the increased processing power of the PS5 contribute to more realistic physics and handling mechanics in the World Rally Championship?
With the ability to stream data from the hard drive so rapidly, we’re able to layer textures on the track as it degrades and have those impact the track’s physical geometry per vertex and physical surface you drive on per-triangle. So based on your running order in a rally, you may face a track with a fresh un-driven surface, swept bed-rock or even deep muddy ruts – just as you would expect any rally driver to encounter.
Q: Are there any plans to utilize the PS5’s 3D audio capabilities to enhance the player’s immersion in the game, such as accurately replicating the sound of the engines or the surrounding environment?
A: What really sets Rally apart from other motorsports is the wide variety of locations and surfaces you drive on. With the power of 3D audio we can enhance the immersion by using 3rd order ambisonics for environmental sounds, dynamic positional data for reflections and crowd sounds, and surround virtualization for accurate positional information in the sound mix. These efforts aim to create a highly realistic and engaging soundscape for players, enhancing the overall rally game experience.
One thing we know a lot of the community love is to drive using the internal cameras. As such we ensured that we made use of ambisonics within the car as well. We achieved this by having a convolution reverb for the internal camera views that also makes use of ambisonics, creating a rich and lifelike audio experience for those using internal cameras who would not hear all the environment sounds outside of the car.
Q: How does the PS5 version of World Rally Championship take advantage of the console’s advanced memory and storage architecture to deliver larger and more detailed rally tracks, further enhancing the realism of the game?
With the PlayStations 5’s incredible read speeds, we’re able to stream our tracks faster than you can drive it and generate the data we’d normally have relied on the loading screen to hide, like track degradation, without compromising on the density and complexity of the environment while maintaining a smooth frame-rate.
Get behind the wheel when EA Sports WRC hits PS5 on November 3.