Motorsport fans and bikers will love Ride 2.
Back in 2015, Ride was a biker’s dream of a game. It had the technical realism that most petrol-heads crave, but was also highly playable. Exactly what you would want.
As any flight simulator gamer will know, combining realism and playability can be a challenge. If it’s too realistic and you end up crashing and burning every time; if it’s too playable you can get frustrated with how you can get away with some very questionable manoeuvres (it’s pretty easy to 360 flip, right?).
Remember that scene in Goldeneye where James Bond escapes the dam by recovering from the nosedive of all nosedives? Petrol-heads crave realism.
James Bond flying away from those types of nosedives doesn’t work for them.
Ride 2 is very realistic
Its commitment to a realistic motorcycling experience is superb, and the playability and enjoyment of the game doesn’t suffer for it.
The graphics are also gorgeous in Ride 2, particularly the lighting effects throughout. The shimmers of light off the helmets and panels are beautiful, and the environments around the track are exquisite, ranging from mountains to city circuits. This level of detail is present in the game’s menu as well. Here you can learn a tonne about the bikes, simply by scrolling through them.
There are a lot of really bad puns I could have driven straight into this article, but this game really does go the extra couple of miles bike enthusiasts are after – which includes the real world tracks being recreated with an obvious passion.
The racing experience
To go into a little more detail about the actual racing experience, in the game you naturally have to slow right down for corners, brake carefully, be patient, and actually race rather than just be your arcade style speedster. This will separate the adults from the kids. Those looking for a Need for Speed style experience should obviously stay in the pit-stop.
All this detail and realism however does make the game hard to follow. For anyone not experienced in the Ride menus and settings may find the game difficult to navigate, not to mention may also find the bike controls hard to work out. The game really suffers from the lack of a training section, which would be useful to grasp some of the features that are crucial to utilise when driving.
There are a few different options for you to trial, including quick race, time trials and split screen for those who want a quick race. But for anyone wanting a full experience you should go for the World Tour Events. This is where you ‘earn your stripes’, ‘build your career’, ‘build you bike’ and ‘become the best’.
There’s plenty of variety in this mode, and it avoids getting repetitive, which is often my biggest gripe about racing games. The developments you go through (building your bike, etc, etc) keep things funky fresh, so that each time you go around the same track it feels a little different.
To avoid repetition even further, Milestone are offering you the chance to build an online team in Ride 2, where you can challenge other teams or take part in weekly challenges, which is a good extension to the main game.
Ride 2 does have a few problems though.
I was a little frustrated at the presence of the rewind feature, which allows you to go back a few seconds and correct your mistake. This feels pretty contradictory to the mantra of the game. Remember where I said this game separates the adults from the kids? Well, this lets the kids back in.
The setting really jars with the realistic nature of the game, as does the auto-slow feature, which for some bloody reason slows your bike down when turning into corners. Why? Let me fail, and let me learn – don’t take the controls away from me.
In summary: Petrol-heads will love it, the general gamer will also enjoy it, but may find it a little difficult to get into initially. Recommended.