Thursday, 21 May 2015

Ride

As a reviewer I'm always open to every game that needs to be reviewed. I mean, I have to be because that's my job. Coming to reviews with a preconceived notion of a game or genre is generally a bad idea, as at the end of the day I want to give you guys and gals an unbiased perspective of a game. I'm not here to screw you around, and whether and game is great or complete shit, I'll let you know about it. Sure there are certain genres I don't really enjoy, but I always do my best to play those types of games with an open my. If you've read some of my past reviews you'll know I'm not a huge fan of racing games. Like, at all. When this latest title came up for review I avoided it, ultimately thinking that I'd rather leave it to one of our other writers who enjoy the genre. Alas, that didn't happen, and hating the fact that it was going to go un-reviewed, I thought I'd give it a go. So yes, I generally don't like these types of games, but I came to Ride with a completely open mind. That's a good thing too, especially considering I may have just completely rethought my stance on racing games entirely because, simply put, Ride is f*cking awesome.


Developed by Milestone S.r.l. and out now on Playstation 4, Playstation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC comes Ride, a racing game this non-racing game fan actually kinda loved. Personally, the closet I've previously come to loving a racing type of game was Skitchin' and Road Rash on the Mega Drive. I'm sure some of you remember them. Skitchin' was an awesome roller-blading game, while Road Rash had you booting down the highway, escaping the police and using the likes of chains, bats and poles to beat the crap out of other riders. They were awesome, but compared to those antics, Ride takes a very realistic approach to gameplay. Effectively, Ride tries to offer the ultimate motorbiking experience to date, and attempts to achieve this with a whole truckload of bikes, tracks and, most importantly, delicious bike handling. 


When it comes down to it, racing bikes in Ride is genuinely stunning. Though this is the first time Milestone S.r.l has created a racing series without basing it on a popular brand name, Ride does contain a lot of well known manufacturers. There are 14 well known manufacturers in Ride, which include the likes of MV Agusta Honda, Triumph, Ducati, Kawasaki, Lightning ,Yamaha and  Suzuki. Each bike looks exactly like its real-life counterpart, are highly customizable (apart from changing their paint job for some weird reason!) and very much each feel unique in their handling. Ride shines once you've made your way into a race. Whether you're going up against many other riders or simply going one-to-one with someone, Ride feels incredibly authentic. From taking tight corners, gently overtaking another rider, getting bottlenecked with other riders at a messy turn, to those final moments of trying to fend off pole position, it just plays so incredibly slick. Then again, some of the best moments from Ride come about when you're just on your own, with nothing but the revving of your engine and the hum of the tarmac to keep you company. Needless to say, it all comes together to offer a racing mechanic that feels wonderfully executed and perfectly designed.

The same kind of praise goes for the graphics and presentation too. Ride contains a total of 31 tracks spread across 15 locations. From Japan, America, Spain, Argentina to the UK, there's a vast array of diverse locales for you to test your skills in. From sun ravaged places, white snowy vistas to a typical rainy track in the UK, the game does a good job at offering choice to the player. Each one of these locations, as well as the bikes and whatnot, look bloody beautiful. The only downside is the fact that some locations that contain foliage look a little dated, as if the game was solely made for the last generation. It doesn't take away from what the game achieves, but it kind of takes you out of the experience when some sloppy graphics rear their head.


Ride is a racing game I enjoyed, and I generally don't really like them. The graphics are impressive, the game uses real-world motor-sport brands and such, but at its heart it's just a racing game that has a pretty awesome racing mechanic. If you're a racing fan you'll no doubt sink 30+ hours into the main campaign mode, as you work your way towards faster and more well known bikes. However, if you're not a racing fan like me, give it a shot, you may be surprised!

Ride rides off into the sunset with a 4/5.

★★★★☆

Denis Murphy


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