RIDE 2 PS4 Review
Publisher: Milestone Developer: Milestone Genre: Racing Players: 1-8
Age Rating: 3+ Other console/handheld formats: Xbox One
Compared to simulation racing games that involve racing cars, simulation games that feature motorcycles are a different thing entirely. Being good at car racing simulations doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going to be good at motorcycle simulations, as you really do have to alter your mindset.
I must admit that I haven’t played many motorcycle racing simulation games over the year, so I certainly found myself having to alter my mindset when playing RIDE 2, remembering that I’m on a powerful bike as opposed to in a racing car. On a bike, turning is completely different in comparison to a car, and I did find myself tumbling off my machine time and time again at first, an event that can be as funny as it is frustrating.
To be fair to the game, it does try to be welcoming to new players who are still wet behind the ears, well in the way that it offers assists it does, in any case. There are a lot of settings to alter, which includes toggling brake assist on and off, deciding if you want a single button to operate both brakes or two buttons for added realism, with a different button for each individual brake. There’s also a rewind feature, which is handy for when you, say, botch a turn and crash into a barrier or fall off your bike after a collision with an opponent. Turn off all these options if you dare, as the game does then turn into a simulation that truly tests your skills.
With all assists turned off, RIDE 2 does have excellent handling if you can tame its many bikes though. It really does feel as if you are in complete control of your vehicle at all times, and Milestone have obviously put a lot of effort into how the game handles. With a superb sensation of speed, RIDE 2 could definitely be called a thrill ride as well, particularly with the faster bikes.
It’s just a shame that there’s no proper tutorial mode. Yes, the game informs you of the controls when you first boot it up, but other than that, there’s no actual explanation as to how to get the best out of riding your bike. This definitely makes the game seem all the less welcoming to newcomers, and the lack of instructions might even be enough to turn some players away. The game definitely needed to tutor you better about the more technical side of motorcycle racing.
The AI are also a bunch of cheats, and this is where the game falters the most. I don’t know how many times I was speeding along straights, and then all of a sudden a pack of bikes would fly by me. It can be a frustrating enough game to get to grips with without the superhuman AI also adding to the problems that you have to deal with. The game really does need a patch to sort this out.
Returning to better things, the number of many things in the game has been considerably bumped up over the original game. Firstly, if you are a fan of motorbikes, with 174 of them included in the game, RIDE 2 has an exhaustive number of them. There’s also over 30 tracks and 11 gameplay modes, which means that this is a game that offers fantastic value for money, if nothing else.
With over 300 events, the World Tour mode is also huge. Events are split into four different categories, and you’ll also be upgrading your bikes with your prize money. Progression through the World Tour will also unlock Invitational events as well as championships, which makes the game feel very rewarding. The World Tour mode is definitely going to have many players racing for a long time.
Multiplayer options allow you to play in both split screen as well as online. Sadly, the online mode seems to have a very small community right now, and despite a number of attempts, I was unable to find any games. Hopefully the community will grow over time. As for the split screen option, it’s great to see such an option in the game, as this is one that is regularly ignored in this day and age.
The visuals of the game are also excellent, particularly with the detailed bike models, which will have motorcycle fans drooling over them. The backdrops aren’t quite as detailed, although they still look more than decent enough as you race through them at terrifying speeds.
RIDE 2 is an impressive but flawed sequel that has quite a lot going for it, although it’s also a tough simulation that only glosses over the basic controls as opposed to being more thorough with how a motorbike should be handled during different situations, and this is at odds with the amount of assists that can be tinkered with in the game’s options. The AI of the game is also annoyingly good, which makes racing against them frustrating at times, and you’ll feel cheated time and time again. With how the bikes handle, this is definitely an excellent simulation, and one with a comprehensive amount of options, but it’s also a game that requires plenty of practice and patience to get the most out of it. Many will find it difficult to look past the game’s flaws though.