Do you see yourself as a speed demon going at over 210mph with your knee two inches from the ground? Then do we have the game for you as GGUK are about to review SBK Generations, the latest game from developers Milestone who having be crafting SBK games for over 5 years now. So suit up, pick your helmet and join us as we take a walk down the virtual pit lane and find out if Generations is the next world champ, or it’s just a high side waiting to happen.
The first thing that hits you about Generations is the price. It is priced at around £25 which puts it in the budget range of games, but don’t think that the price reflects the quality of the whole package. For your £25 (although it can be found for as little as £20 if you look around online stores) you get a lot of bang for your buck.
For a start the game doesn’t just focus on the 2012 season. It lets you go back to 2009 and you’ll also find that it doesn’t just have the premier class but also Superstock and Supersport. All of this means that there are over 223 riders and 60 bikes to pick from including the legends class which lets you play as some of the all-time greats from the world of SBK riders, like Troy Bayliss and Carl Fogarty.
SBK is a worldwide competition which pits various teams and various riders from many nationalities against each other across the globe, from Laguna Seca in the States to Monza in Italy, and all of these tracks can be found in the game. These races happen throughout the year with the riders racing at break neck speeds competing to be crowned World Superbike Champion. All SBK bikes are just modified production bikes which you or I could buy. This means that the racing is always tense, with no real advantages for any specific team. This is very noticeable in the game as most races will have you fight it out from the first corner to the last.
The game looks good, but not amazing. For the price, this is not an issue. The riders and bikes have the best look with great detail and their animation on the track and off is very good. The downside though are the tracks, as they are very empty and feel a little unfinished, especially when your bike and rider are so detailed. But this issue doesn’t really matter as when you are racing and are pushing the fold, you will not have time to look around or take your eye off the track.
One of the complaints about previous games was that the crowd was flat and the trees were just a little bit 2D. Sadly, after having 3D spectators in SBK X, they have returned to their 2D retro self’s again. Again this is not a huge issue, just a little let down, but at a budget price this is to be expected.
As for gameplay there have been other key tweaks in the game such as damage modelling which will show all manner of dings and scrapes from those trading paint encounters, as well as wear and tear on your brakes and suspension as the race goes on. This will change the handling of your bike significantly.
The main change to the gameplay is that you can now can choose the sort of handling you want. With the choices of low, middle and high, with high being a full blown SIM, there is lots of depth to be found here if you’re a SBK fan and a true test of skill can be found if you find the stock settings are too easy.
The online side of things sees you race from a grid made up from two to a maximum of 16 players on the 360 and PS3, though the PC side can fill a grid with 24 players. But with this great number of players to race against, the racing is fast and frantic at times. The downside of the online is that the lobby system sees you having to wait around till the race in progress is finished, which could be two laps or 23 laps, so you may have to wait around from time to time.
All in all at this stage in the game SBK Generations is a fun and enjoyable racer and a welcome instalment in the series. It is attempting to attract a new crowd of fans, rather than the hardcore crowd who stand by it year after year, with it being priced as a budget game. But Milestone has done a great job again on the whole.
Get the knee down!