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RIDE 4

Posted by GG Goblin On October - 7 - 2020

I wanna ride my bike.

 
Some people like four wheels, some people like two. I guess there are some people that like legs instead, but we don’t talk about them. Whatever you like, there is a game for you, and for those who like riding around at high speed on just two wheels, Milestone has you covered. For more than 20 years now, Milestone have been developing motorbike games to thrill those who prefer two wheels over four, and the latest entry is RIDE 4. This new entry into the motorbike track racing simulation series may prove to be a little intimidating for the newcomer, but for those who wear leather for protective reasons, RIDE 4 will have everything they need.

 


 
It is not that only serious motorbike racers need apply, it is just that they will have an easier time of it. Riding a motorbike around a track at high speed is a very different proposition to driving a car. While in a car I will happily hit a corner too fast and then try to slide around it or use other racers to slow myself down, on a motorbike that will lead to all manner of disaster and most likely a mouthful of gravel. Of course, that is simplifying things, but you get the idea. Milestone takes the realism of their game very seriously, and those who are not willing to adhere to the laws of physics, among other rules, will spend more time off their bike than on.

 
Not that Milestone want to alienate all of the potential newcomers. While RIDE 4 prides itself on being a serious simulation for serious racers, there are a bunch of assists designed to help out those new to two wheel racing, and even the racing physics can be toned down to suit. This allows players to tweak the game to their own skill level, at least to a degree. They will still have to prove they are able to ride a motorbike before even getting started with any form of racing, but the assists at least lower the difficulty curve a bit.

 
Mind you, there are plenty of other places where the game will trip you up. Once new players have got used to the much more twitchy handling of the bikes, they will also have to deal with rivalry from other riders thanks to the neural AI system. The AI here is pretty good and will provide as much challenge as getting around an entire lap without falling off, but it can occasionally do silly, or unfair things. This carries over to the penalty system which most new players will fall foul to when they struggle not to cut corners during a lap. Losing time due a penalty is frustrating, but losing time after an AI rider pushes the player off the track is just annoying. Again, this is keeping with the realism of the sport, but it gets even more diabolical when applied to the time attack races where accidentally cutting a corner will result in a fail and leave the player having to start again. Of course, those who are masters of two wheel racing will have none of these problems, so what is in RIDE 4 for them?

 


 
Well, stunning visuals for starters. I can’t tell one motorbike from another, but those who can will have plenty of eye candy to enjoy here as the massive and varied collection of different bikes have been recreated from the ground up using all of the latest technology to depict the most beautiful motorbikes in video games. Of course the tracks have not been left out, having been carefully scanned to represent these world class racing destinations as accurately as possible. And they too look very nice as the player races through at high speed. Throw in a day and night cycle, along with weather, and you have tracks that not only change in the way they look, but also affect how the player will race.

 
Aside from the standard drop in single player and multiplayer racing, there is a career mode for players to work their way through the ranks to reach the top, competing in multiple different leagues in various parts of the world. However, perhaps the most exciting inclusion is that of endurance races. Anyone who has taken on a mammoth endurance race in one of the car racing games will know what to expect here, gruelling races that can carry into many hours. With realistic wearing of tyres and fuel usage, these extra long races are as much a test of strategic thinking as they are racing prowess.

 


 
Milestone have a passion for motorbikes, and that comes across in RIDE 4. Those who share that passion will find a lot to like here, but it will take quite some practice, even with the various assists, for those new to the series to actually compete. The game can be overly serious at times, which can feel a little unfair. However, there is no doubt that this is the best looking motorbike racing game around, and anyone who wants to feel the virtual wind whipping past them will be impressed with just how realistic RIDE 4 feels.

 

 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 



 

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