LifeisXbox’s Riders Republic review | There is a strong resembles with Steep here, well… a Steep that drank 10 Red Bulls straight. This spectacular game is from the same Ubisoft developer so it was only normal to see many similarities with that winter-themed sports game. Riders Republic is much more though and another game comes to mind while playing it, Forza Horizon. You know, that wonderful atmosphere and gorgeous open-world are exactly what you can expect from Ubisoft’s latest extreme sports game. There’s bike action, snowboarding and skiing, wingsuit flying, so much to do, and the best part? Single-player gamers can enjoy it and online players will adore the massive 64-players mode and competitive battles. Ubisoft Annecy, congrats for making Riders Republic so fun and on many occasions impressive to behold.
ℹ️ | We played Riders Republic on Xbox Series X over ten hours. This game is also available on Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Stadia, pc and Switch.
What we liked!
- A fun arcade sports experience with perfect difficulty balance | Ubisoft makes the game harder with three secondary objectives that earn you more stars. For me, this was an excellent way of keeping both the casual and hardcore gamers happy. You aren’t forced to complete the secondary objectives but the reward is high when you manage to complete them. These go from collecting balloons while riding downhill, beating a specific time or winning a race on the hardest difficulty.
- Many disciplines keep it interesting and exciting | It won’t surprise you that being the spiritual successor of Steep you have snowboarding and skiing in Riders Republic. There’s so much more though, my favorite for example rocket wingsuits. You can also do all kinds of bike activities, you can ride a snowmobile or pilot a parachute. Remarkable is that every discipline feels fantastic to play, sense of speed is the real highlight here. The adrenaline rush when you are speeding downhill with your bike or using your wingsuit to fly at incredible speed over the ground is exhilarating.
- Mass events | Chaotic silliness that require a bit of luck but skill too. That pretty much sums up the 64-players mass events. Going down a course or flying downhill with your wingsuits when so many players are around you feels epic and insane. Whenever the in-game announcer informed me about a new mass-event I would instantly get my avatar towards the location. Several times per hour a new mass-event starts and trust me… you’ll hardly have more fun while playing a sports game.
- Online play | Besides the really fun mass events you have a few online modes to choose from. My personal favorite is the 6vs6 area battle, where you have to score the most trick points with your team. By taking over parts of the level you get score boosts or simply staying together with your assigned partner earns you a bonus too. You can race against real-life players too and the track selection is ridiculously large. Another nice thing is that 50 other online players join your world, so you are never alone while exploring the large open world. Or you can have a laugh with other players while they constantly fail a hard obstacle course.
- Looks incredible |There are some real breathtaking views in Riders Republic and a huge part of that is the varied level design and lighting system. There’s just so much difference in locations from high-density forests, snowy fields and mountains, eye-catching landmarks, or the main hub that bursts with life. The fact that there’s life everywhere helps with making everything so believable too, you always see other real or computer-controlled players and even wildlife! Rabbits, bears, eagles, and I’m sure there are even more animals to discover.
- Performance | Steep’s impressive no-loading tech is also used for Riders Republic, meaning you can instantly teleport from one location to the other. One other impressive feat is how smooth it plays, even with so many visible players. There’s never single a frame rate hiccup and that’s some real wizardly-stuff.
- Decent soundtrack but nothing special | Riders Republic features a decent licensed soundtrack but I missed some standout moments. Maybe I’m spoiled after playing Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy but I never had an eargasm moment. The game has so many high-adrenaline moments but I couldn’t find a musical connection with what happened on screen. Regardless, with names like The Offspring, Ugly Ducking, Mura Masa and Vitalic it is hard to complain.
- Avatars don’t match up with the game visuals | One thing you’ll notice immediately is that your created character isn’t the best looking. It pretty much looked like a Sims 4 character, faces are very basic and don’t fit the realistic-looking environments. With such a high emphasis on character creation and all the different kinds of clothes, I was a bit disappointed that they half-assed the visuals from the avatars. New outfits for your character can be bought in the store with in-game money. Unfortunately, a lot of the outfits are locked behind a currency that requires real money. Can’t say I’m a fan of that.
What we disliked
- Full Xbox crashes | In my ten hours of play I had three total console crashes. The screen completely freezes and there is no way to shut down the game or go back to the dashboard. I never feel comfortable having the force shut down my console so hopefully, Ubisoft will fix this annoying issue soon.
- A lot of bullshit that slows down the game | Been a while since I played a game with such an annoying pace. Constant unskippable cutscenes that show new events and the ridiculous amount of boring dialogue interrupts the gameplay frequently. This also shows in the online modes, where too many result screens and no option to instantly matchmake again is a real issue. It is rewarding to get new gear and events but there was absolutely no need to force that all in my face, being an arcade sports game I just want to hop over to events without a million interruptions.
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