RIDE Review (PS3) – Online Gaming
RIDE is fun but has some annoyances.
RIDE can be a fun and challenging game if you are willing to look past a few of its annoyances which become pretty obvious even after a very short time with the game.
RIDE starts by asking you to create your own custom rider. After finally deciding on what hair style my rider should have I then choose a bike from a selection of three. I opt in to the tutorial, after all it has been years since I last played a motorbike racer at any great length and need to shake off the rust.
The tutorial takes me through the basics of the game and I get to sample RIDE’s physics. The animations are very good and the bike behaves as you would expect it to – hitting the brakes too hard will unsettle the bike and could throw you off, accelerating too hard out of a tight bend can kick the back wheel out or have you under-steering off the track – or worse – sending you plummeting through the air minus your bike.
You can set up the game to your liking, there’s three different physics settings, you have the option to have separate front and rear wheel braking, you can get the rider to tuck in on straights automatically, there’s also racing lines, and anti-wheelie and traction control can be adjusted too. Another neat feature is the rewind option, if you make a mistake (and you will) then you can rewind the race to before the crash happened. The rewind could’ve done with being a big longer but it works okay and is handy to use if you cut a corner and accrue a time penalty, simply rewind before the penalty occurred!
RIDE features five camera viewpoints in all, my favourite was the first person view showing the handlebars. I felt this view gave RIDE the best sense of speed. After getting to grips with RIDE’s basics courtesy of the tutorial, falling off the Triumph Street Triple a few times and performing some wheelies, burnouts and stoppies I felt comfortable enough to tackle the game proper.
RIDE’s main menu screen presents me with a very slick interface and this is true throughout the game which gives it an air of quality. RIDE features three main game modes: World Tour, Quick Mode and Online Mode.
Quick Mode gives you three race options: a quick race, where you choose the bike, track, number of laps and AI difficulty. A time trial, for honing your skills against your own ghost times. And finally a split screen race, you’ll need a second controller and a buddy for this traditional mode. There’s also the same tutorial mode that you were asked to participate in at the very start of the game.
Online Mode sees you competing against riders across the globe, the options are quite limited here though, allowing you to compete in a Single Race or Championship only. I noticed that the frame rate took a little hit here and there during the online races, it was noticeably less fluid than the offline experience.
The real meat of the game however is in the substantial World Tour Mode, here the goal is to climb up the world rankings (starting in 301st place) by competing in various racing events and gaining experience points. You will also earn credits that can be put towards customising your bike or rider. You are free to choose any event at any time, as long as you have enough credits to purchase the necessary bike you’re good to go. The World Tour Mode events are split up into eight main categories: Naked Bikes Middleweight, Naked Bikes Heavyweight, Supersports, Historic Superbikes, Modern Superbikes, Pro Circuit, Premium Events and Open Category. Selecting a category initiates a short introduction video, the narrator speaks about the bikes with passion and it gets you pumped up to get racing (you can see an example of this in the video below). These eight categories are further split into sub-categories, so for example, the Supersports category has six groups, each with their own restrictions based off of the bike’s country of origin and the number of cylinders the bikes have. Each group then has a number of events, are you keeping up?