We have to be honest: we had our previewing tasers set to 'mediocre' when SBK devs Milestone's latest racing epic revved its way through GM's letterbox.
So imagine our surprise when it turned out that WRC is actually (gulp) muddy good fun.
The restrictions of the official WRC licence means that there's nowt but rallies waiting for you in this package, but the breadth of racing surfaces on offer ensure that the action's never allowed to get familiar.
Our four-stage demo provided a good cross section of the tracks you can expect to see across the full racing calendar.
One minute we were teetering atop a rickety mountain edge in the sweltering heat of the Jordan desert, the next we were chilling in snow-capped Sweden. If you can call 'swerving uncontrollably through a snaking, iced-up chicane' chilling.
SUBARU THINK YOU ARE?
The handling is predictably rock-solid - we'd expect no less from Milestone - and throwing your car around the tight corners has a real physicality to it, particularly if you're using a force feedback steering wheel.
The lack of wheel-to-wheel thrills limits its appeal to rally enthusiasts (casual fans would be advised to seek out Codemaster's Dirt 2, which offers a more well-rounded package).
But this is a strong return to form for a sub-genre of racing that we thought had died out with the PS2s. Reset tasers to 'pleasantly surprised'
Subscribe to GamesMaster here and have it delivered straight to your door.