Presenting my in depth RIDE Playstation 4 Review. Ride will be available here in the states in late June and retail for about $60.00. Its available now in Europe and it’s also available through Steam here in the states on the PC for $39.99.
It’s developed on just about every other platform as well. PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360.
Here’s a quick box cover overview if you’re not familiar with this title.
RIDE is a unique motorcycle experience designed for bike lovers who live and breathe the world of motorcycling.
Thanks to the involvement of so many manufacturers you can customize your bike to an unprecedented degree: take your pick from the abundance of parts, components and accessories available.
Travel around the globe on 15 different tracks that offer a world of thrills and challenges, whatever your own riding style.
Participate in unique international events on the various tracks, and take on other players from around the world in the all-new online multiplayer modes.
With realistic artificial intelligence, adjustable bike physics, realistic animations, slipstream, and improved damage system, this is most advanced bike racing game ever.
I mentioned in my first look video that this game is like Forza or Gran Turismo for bikes and that’s exactly what it is. Or if you remember Tourist Trophy from the PS2, its very similar to that. Matter of fact, stay tuned till the end of the show and I will do a quick comparison of the two.
So is it a Sim, Simcade or arcade.. I would put this in the simcade category. Simulation style handling and physics with arcade career style elements.
There are a ton of bikes to choose from. Just about every manufacturer is represented here. Aprillia, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and more. Then you can get everything from naked street bikes up to full blown GP style race bikes both new and Historic.
There’s 15 tracks, some fantasy, some real and all modeled nicely. A lot of them have up to three different configurations too so it’s actually more than 15 different layouts.
The tracks included are:
GP TRACKS: 7
COUNTRY TRACKS: 5
CITY TRACKS: 2
EXTRA TRACKS: 1 – The extra track is the salt flats where you do drag races on a 2000 meter track
Once you have configured your rider and picked your first bike, at the main menu you have the option of World Tour, Quick Mode, Online, My Rider and Options. From the Options menu you can remap controls, reconfigure your HUD, Adjust gamma and sounds, auto sync options and the credits.
First thing I did was go to sounds and adjusted race music to 0 and menu music as well.
I am using the default controls
Quick Mode can put you right into the action at any track with a handful of rental bikes if you want to try a variety. You can run up to 10 lap races. You can also run with any of your purchased bikes. In most of the events there’s 15 AI riders to race against. The exception is the drag races and the track day head to head challenges.
You can also time trial here or do some split screen racing against 4 AI riders or go back to the tutorial if you are new to bike racing games.
Back to the main menu, World Tour offers 8 different options. World Tour Events, Elite Trophies, My Bikes, Customize Bike, Dealership, My Rider and Teammates.
You can fully customize your bike and rider down to the knee sliders and yes I picked a female as she’s easier on the eyes 🙂
Online you will need a playstation plus account. You can do a free two day trial or purchase a membership.
Online lobbies had quite a bit of action and lots of options to customize your race. If you don’t own a bike for a particular race, they let your rent one. Online races are limited to 12 competitors and you can fill out the field with AI riders as well.
Back to the World Tour Events.
You have 8 options – Naked Bikes Middleweight, Naked Heavy weight, supersports, Historic, Modern Superbikes, Pro Circuit, Premium Events and Open
Then in each category you have sub options. For instance in the first one that you can race, Naked Bikes Middleweight there’s under 700cc, over 700cc, 2 cylinder, 3 cylinder, 4 cylinder, and World Naked Bikes. Within each of these sub categories you have 5 to 7 events. All of the races are 3 laps except the endurance series under the Pro tab that has 8 lap races. There’s also Time attack events, head to head at track days, team races where you pick an AI rider to be your teammate and score points together and Championships that include multiple races for points.
For each event you can gain reputation and credits depending on where you finish. Reputation allows you to advance through the game and unlock areas like Elite Trophies as an example and credits allow you to buy new bikes or customize the one you are riding as well as your gear
For the Elite trophy events, the first one is riding a naked middleweight bike. You then can win a bike and get more reputation and credits. There’s 8 total that that you can unlock as you rise in reputation
I have to say, loading times are atrocious. You can change a card that has a variety of specs and stats on the bike to pass the time, then after over a minute of loading, you get a confirm button that makes you wait even longer. After a few times with the same bike, it gets a little old. Tourist Trophy on the PS2 had quicker loading times.
Now to some specifics ..
Starting with Physics:
Lots of options to choose from to enhance your experience. If you want a full hardcore racing experience with a huge learning curve, you can turn everything off, put it to pro and hold on !
You can change things like traction control, anti wheelies, braking assist, joint brakes, Tuck in to manual or auto, Driving line and manual semi automatic or automatic transmission. You can also tune your bike in the garage before every race via sliders. Depending on the bike you have and the upgrades you’ve purchased will depend on how much you can adjust,
I’d say they are fairly realistic. I know it’s hard to code physics and tire models and on a bike with the whole leaning factor it’s probably even harder and I feel Milestone does a good job here. Could they be better, sure. But I think they are good enough and have an enough options to fit just about anyone’s needs. The naked bikes where you start are a lot easier to ride than say the full blown GP bikes
I think they look pretty good.. As good as Drive Club, no.. But I think Milestone has done a good job with keeping the frame rate at a solid 30 FPS with a good amount of detail and lighting effects without any lag. I’d like to see 60 FPS, but it does look pretty good. On the PC, you can run at 60 FPS and it’s definitely a more fluid experience.
Another thing regarding graphics is the different views. Three on bike and two from the rear chase. I honestly have a hard time driving from the helmet cam and could probably get used to it.. For me it just adds another element of long term playabilty. Master things from the chase view and then switch to the helmet cam to see if I can master that too.
Feedback and controls:
Very little rumble effects and that was the same on the PC. I’ve said this over and over when reviewing motorcycle racing titles, man would it be cool to have some kind of motorcycle controller to race these titles with.
Overall the control is good and you have the ability to map the gamepad as you see fit.
Some bikes sound good, some decent. There was a glitch in one race where the opponents bikes sound overpowered mine. Overall I think they’re pretty good.. Not bad, not great.
None, nadda, zip.. not even visual. I’ve said it before that I would like to see some kind of damage or repercussion from wrecking. You basically drop the bike and get back on.
Pretty damn good and intuitive. They don’t just plow into you and they are fast ! Until you master the track and a specific bike, there’s no way you can beat them at the highest level. Medium has been a good challenge for me
Gameplay / Fun Factor:
Overall for what it is, I enjoy Ride. There’s a lot of variety in the racing, some of it fun, some of it a little boring. Would have liked to see another mode, maybe licensing or something like it. With the steep learning curve to ride the bikes with all assists off and the AI level maxed out, it’s very challenging. Lots of bikes to choose from, the elite Trophy races to win more bikes, the world tour racing, online, customizing your bike, rider and gear makes for a lot of long term playability.
Closing – Comparison to Tourist Trophy
I really enjoyed Tourist Trophy about ten years ago and as far as I know, besides the Forza and Gran Turismo titles, this is the only motorcycle racing game like this since. So how does it hold up to Ride, in all honesty, there’s a lot of features that seem to have been copied from Tourist trophy.. But… Ride has far surpassed this much older and dated version. TT was available on the PS2 and here’s a fun fact for you, it was one of only 4 games that were available to run in HD, 1080i HD that is. One of the other 4 was Gran Turismo 4.
It was fun to boot up Tourist Trophy and I still may go back and do an old school review of it, but Ride like I said has surpassed it in a lot of ways. Obviously graphically, the physics, controls, sounds, you name it. I think Ride makes for a great successor to what was a great game on the PS2. I have to say though, I had a hard time putting tourist Trophy down when I was recording footage for it. Its practically a direct port of Gran Turismo with bikes.
I would give ride a thumbs up and it if you’re looking for something with a career mode, customization, motorcycles and some good long term playability.
Hope you enjoyed this review of it on the PS4, thanks for watching or reading !