When it comes to Motorsport games Milestone studios spring to mind, the game developers who are based in Italy have been making Motorsport games since the late nineties and for over the past two decades have released classic racing games such as Moto GP 14, SBK 09 and WRC: FIA World Rally Championship, it’s safe to say that Milestone are synonymous with the motor racing world.
Over the past twenty years Milestone have been releasing racing game after racing game like a conveyor belt at the north pole no-one bothered to turn off, RIDE is only the second title that has crossed over to the next gen consoles, Moto GP 14 being the other which shipped for the Playstation 4 in the summer of last year, notably it was the 360 and not the Xbox One receiving the title, so it begs the question, Is there a place for Motorsport on the modern day consoles?.
Racing around Donnington is a dream
The one thing I instantly loved about RIDE was the attention to detail. There are over one hundred Bikes across four different classes and every single Bike in the game is given the same treatment, that comes in the form of a beautiful glossary of information which is attached to each Bike upon choosing it for a race, with pages of facts on each Bike as you wait to race, everything from the year it was made to what sets each Bike aside from the next. The amount of information is incredible and would be a joy for any Bike enthusiast.
RIDE offers some great Bike and Rider customisation, with pretty much everything available for upgrade including the engine parts and brakes system, you can turn an average Bike into a superbike with credits spent and the rating system helps you to understand what is making the Bike better just incase your not up to scratch with your break panels and exhausts, this is all pre purchase of course. There are also different colours and tyres available for each if you wanted to change the look of it, you can even choose which oil type you’d like to use. Again the attention is a very good thing to have in a game such as this.
A whole host of Bikes to choose from
There are many great events to enter throughout the RIDE experience, as you start out there may be some struggles early on as you have to battle hard to win races and build up credit needed to upgrade or buy a newer, faster Bike to better compete against the A.I. In each event you need to finish inside the top three to gain a decent amount of credits and experience and this can be quite daunting for the first few races as you struggle to compete and at times you appear to be watching the race from a distance, as you upgrade the struggles are eased and you can at least keep up with the pack. There are so many different race types to choose from with time trials, endurance and drag, a knock-out style tournament where the winner of each drag race progresses until there’s only one racer left, during Drag there is of course no Automatic gear shift and everything is done Manually.
Of course most of the events in the game are your typical normal races and these can be very enjoyable and very competitive at times, you can’t get by on just one bike though and across the many different class events and races you may have to settle for a Bike you’re unsure of or one that isn’t customised, which can leave you at a disadvantage. There is the usual rewind system to prevent you from making a mistake, hold down the LB and you can safely rewind back to a safe area of the track, before any crash occurred. Sadly if you were to mess up again directly after the rewind there are no more chances and you’re forced to wait to rejoin and can only watch as your fellow racers fly past. I’m not entirely sure why, when you have a maximum of nine rewinds per event you can’t use them as and when you please. I guess it makes for less mistakes and actually forces you to learn the game mechanics which of course is a good thing.
The attention to detail for every Bike is incredible
When it comes to the in game graphics you’d be forgiven for thinking you were playing on the Xbox 360 because if you sat gamers down in front of a live screening of the game the reaction and the result would be the same every single time. Xbox One graphics are supposed to make you stand up and take notice, they’re meant to be the pinnacle of modern day technology and there is a whirlpool of development and tools at hand to make a successful next gen quality game and that’s not just for the action and drama based games, it should also apply to every game that wants to be at the top. RIDE looks and feels old gen and the graphics just don’t appear up to par with the quality we have become accustom to of late. It doesn’t make RIDE a bad game it just doesn’t make it a next gen game.
Milestone have focused too much on the Bikes and not enough on the other elements of game which help turn it from an average game to a must have. Of course the Bikes and chosen Tracks are a must and a necessity for a game of this type but there are other aspects that needed a little more tender loving care and attention and had they done that they would have been on to a real winner, you should have breathtaking scenery because the game is set in some of the most beautiful parts of the world and that should be reflective when playing the game, for example Forza Horizon 2 Fast And The Furious is spectacular with glorious high definition graphics, it’s a game very much suited to the Xbox One. RIDE should have been taking note of what you can do with the tools available.
I’m only second because it’s sooooo cold!!!
Another small area of concern would be the loading times. Upon starting up the game it becomes very apparent that the loading times are going to be problem, whether it’s loading up for a race or simply returning from one, you are faced with an absurdly long loading screen, no game should take two minutes to get in and out of and for some this would be a major issue. There is simply no need for it and it makes the game painful at times because you’re left waiting around for what seems like an eternity. You could excuse the pre race loading screen because you can read about your choice of Bike but after a race is unnecessary.
Aside from the single player there is also an online mode to experience, where you can go up against your friends or random players in normal races and even an online championship. Races and Modes are chosen through a voting system. Every race and every race finish moves you up the world rankings, while playing online the harder you race the more you are likely to succeed in moving up the world rankings in what can be a very competitive mode but sadly that is where online ends and from playing a few hours in multiplayer I didn’t see an avalanche of players which is quite sad considering how much fun you can get out of it.
If there’s a minus symbol I must be getting better
Overall RIDE is a nice little addition to Milestones glowing library of Motor Racing games but it has stumbled slightly when moving up to the next gen consoles. The Bikes needed detail and that is great to see, the information for every Bike is incredible but there needed to be a little more attention to the graphics and surroundings. For me personally had they taken a little more time and paid more attention to the graphics they would have had an instant classic on their hands sadly it looks and plays like a 360 game. Maybe Milestone should have let the 360 version of RIDE go this time and solely focused on taking their ideas to a higher level and the work they have put into the industry over the last twenty years proves they deserve to be recognised.
If you want a great Motor Racing game then RIDE is it, sadly it could have been so much better.