Oh, hello there! Let’s see what is on the menu today! Oh, I know! A racing game, and oh boy, was I excited to play my first ever motor racing game! So after a lovely download of Ride 4, which was made by the Italian folks from Milestone S.r.l. I was ready to go and challenge my inner track racer. Normally Dae Jim takes care of the motor racing reviews but he was too busy and I definitely wanted to put my hands on a Yamaha steering wheel so I was quick on the occasion to volunteer. Will my Playground’s Forza Horizon 4 experience, or even my Need for Speed experience help me in this challenging game? It took me a lot of attention and perseverance to be able to write this opinion!
What we liked!
- Graphics/attention to detail: Credits where they should be given! And I must admit, I was impressed by the way Ride 4 looks. The incredible detail, way bikes move around. Heck, even the driver moves and tucks when he is making sharp corners! If you zoom in closely, you will notice every cycle is modeled after a real-life motorcycle. The same level of detail is prevalent in all of them. Even the cockpit has a dynamic dashboard that shows real-time information and is recreated just like their real models.
- Race mode: Here, we come to racing in general. Race mode feels fun to play. You are matched with a group of AI drivers that race with you at any moment you wish. The rules of career trials don’t apply here and help me continue throughout the game. You can go off the track and still set a valid score! Freaking loved it. And even though I tended to end up last, just driving my bike around on the course and seeing my driver nail corners as if he were a pro racer felt just amazing.
- Rewind: While you play single-player challenges in Ride 4, you can hit RB to rewind yourself. So you don’t have to replay the whole race if you made a tiny mistake that wasn’t fatal. (Note if you cross off the track, and you are in some trial, you can not rewind out of a “test failed”). This feature helped me to improve drastically throughout my playtime. I can see what I did wrong since, as soon as you commence to rewind, it shows yourself playing, A useful insight into what could have gone wrong, and a powerful learning tool!
- Feeling: While you are trying your best to race around the map, you will notice the sharp leaning motion your driver will make. At first, I found it looking stupid and questioned the logic behind it. Until I went online and saw professional motor races. Holy, they lean soo much sideways, I jaw-dropped. I just frequently found myself in fear, both in-game and while watching real people drive. If I attempted this, I would lose grip and slide to my death. Luckily that doesn’t happen. But if you would overdo this action, you will slip and fail everything. An absolute mind-blowing experience!
- Multiplayer: I gave multiplayer a shot and was pleased to find out that it mostly feels the same as playing race mode. With the notable difference that other players tend to be much further in the game, I was then. Better bikes put me at a disadvantage, but luckily the players were less bloodthirsty and felt fairer to play against than the AI. The downside of the multiplayer, which I encountered, was quite prevalent. There weren’t many people online. I checked it multiple times during my days off, but it seems people just play at different times than me. I usually play throughout the day, while most people work or are at school. Weekends are better when it comes to the number of online players.
What we disliked
- Learning curve: Ride 4 is a challenging game. I found myself wanting to throw my controller through my new tv on multiple occasions. Actually, every single career game I played… But more on career mode later. If you have never played the previous versions, and this would be your first Motorcycling game. I would stay away here unless you have the perseverance of a god! It took me a whopping 47 attempts to beat the first time trial, and why? Slightly off track, again somewhat off track. It just kept ongoing. Once I was 16 attempts in, I realized I would make it with only manual breaking, at least I thought. So swapping to automated breaking would be the way. Oh, was I mistaken. It made it worse. Yeah, you break by yourself, but you can’t accelerate enough to make the time trial. So once I swapped back to manual breaking, I made the trial with 0.02seconds to spare, while everything was put on easy. But I was pleased to figure out that the second trial was somewhat more straightforward. Halas, my joy was short-lived since the next one was equally tricky as the first test. Overall took my fun away as a beginner. I assume it gets better down the line for players once mastered. So now, I crown Ride 4 the number 2 on my list of steepest learning curves, right after League of Legends. A steep curve isn’t always bad, but I feel like it is too steep for new players to come in and enjoy the game.
- Career mode: The whole concept of the career mode is rather lackluster. It isn’t bad in general. It just feels rushed and unfinished. If I play a game that is priced above 40 dollars, I have certain expectations. They come in the form of awarding animations, progression, or consolation if you fail. An engaging UI that shows you how you are progressing would also be appreciated. All of these are sadly enough not present. You have to score a particular set of points to unlock the next phase in the game. That’s it. You progress linearly through a set of races and challenges. It feels as if the core game itself was completed, but they opted to add a career-mode last-minute. Still, the developer agreed that Ride 4 had to be released before the end of the year and before the new console generation.
If you don’t have the patience or be your first game in the genre, I can not advise it. But are you willing to accept that Ride 4 is an incredibly fun game once mastered? Or have you played the previous version in the series? Then I would be tempted to recommend this gem! But coming from my position, I give it a 46%. Low to some fans, I will agree, but it took too much time to become enjoyable for a casual player with 2 jobs and a family.