LifeisXbox’s Rims Racing Review | Rims Racing on the surface looks to be another racing game floating in the ocean full of games in this genre. At first glance, you might be right, but scratch beneath the surface of Rims Racing, and what you get is seemingly much bigger in scope and ambition than most of its competitors. Looking at the teaser image of Rims Racing, I had a fairly good idea about what I was getting into and was pleasantly surprised when it turned out I was wrong. Developed by RaceWard Studio and published by Nacon and BIGBEN INTERACTIVE, Rims Racing is a fun and generally enjoyable racing sim with a lot of complexities under the hood.
ℹ️ | We played Rims Racing for Six Hours on Xbox Series X. This game is also available on Xbox One and S/X, PlayStation 4/5, Nintendo Switch, Steam, and Microsoft Windows.
What we liked!
- Graphics | The world of Rims Racing is filled with some outstanding graphics for this current generation. Everything here is scanned in using a form of Photogrammetry. Photogrammetry is a technique where they use high spec cameras to capture every angle and intricate detail of the subject matter. The results end up looking photo-realistic and deliver some of the best graphics out there. Sure, this technique isn’t new to the genre and other racers do this also, but what Rims Racing does differently lies within its additional mechanics. Each piece of the bike is painstakingly scanned including all of the spare parts you can use to upgrade your bike. Everything is licensed meaning even the brake pads, calipers, brakes, wheels, and even suspensions are all meticulously scanned in to deliver a seemingly consistent experience across the board. The same goes for helmets and outfits too.
- The Realism | What separates Rims Racing from the rest of the competition is its unforgiving mechanics and realistic riding simulation. The left trigger controls your front brake whilst the B button controls your rear brake. You will need to manage these properly to steer the bike and make those aggressive turns on the track properly to improve your track time. Failure to do this will see you fly from your bike and eat dust, something I did many times while playtesting this game. It’s quite a positive departure from your traditional racing game as these days most of the games can easily be shifted into automatic and make handling a lot easier. The other addition to the whole realistic experience is maintaining your bike in real-time. This means, before stopping for your scheduled or regular pit stops to refuel and change tyres is done as and when it is needed. For example, you could take a bad turn and fall off of your bike resulting in some damage to the tyre or the suspension or braking system. Pressing the options key during racing will bring up a bike health screen and every component can be selected to check on its current condition. Red indicates a severe need for repair while amber indicates it’s on its way out and green indicates it’s in pretty good shape. Keeping your bike in shape is integral to keeping up good performance during the race and this continually became a point of reference for me when racing. There is more to this system post-race also which I will cover later below. The final part of adding to the overall realism of the game is the weather system. Poor weather such as rain affects braking and stopping distance and the appropriate tyres must be used when racing otherwise you are in for a bad time. All of this information can be seen pre-race to help you determine your best course of action.
- Post Race Debrief | I found myself appreciating each of the post-race screens that gave me information on my performance, and any penalties I received during my laps. The best and by far deepest part of the game comes in the form of maintaining your bike post-race. As mentioned above there is a lot more to the realism aspect of the game. In Rims Racing, your bike stats are not reset after each race meaning the wear on your components will carry onto the next race if you don’t tend to them. It is in this section that you can buy new brakes, new tyres, and pretty much anything else your bike needs to keep it in top performance. Adding to this realism, it is also not as simple as purchasing and installing. What you need to do is physically carry out quick-time events and key combinations to perform the upgrades on your bike and then install them this way. The old parts can then be sold for money in the store to go towards your next purchase. This is where the importance of maintenance ties into the importance of winning. Winning increases and grants you money to use to improve your bike and keep it going, losing grants you very little money, and then becomes very difficult to maintain your bike. It’s a vicious cycle but one that works in this sort of system. Here you can also change your outfit, buy new clothes, and kit out your rider with new helmets.
- Soundtrack | Rims Racing features a decent soundtrack with tracks that compliment your usual racing game. It doesn’t do anything different here than racing games haven’t done before. Heavy beat tracks with high tempos do justice with the thrill of riding your bike at 200kmh plus. It’s a great mixture for sure, but people who want to be immersed in the game can turn this off in the options menu and just live with hearing the roar of their engine, the cheering crowds, and the weather-worn roads cracking under the pressure of your bike.
- Online Modes Lacking | When it comes to racing, that’s the thrill of it right? Racing against other people in a head-to-head match with the emphasis on being number 1? Rims Racing ditches the usual online modes for a safer approach to being number 1. Essentially what we have here is a leaderboard-based time trial with the top rider being placed first based on how quick their lap time is. This is then changed monthly. You are rewarded for your performance with money and in-game items. The higher you rank, the more you earn. You can be kicked off of the leaderboard at any time during the month, but you can always take it back if you have the heart to go back and do it all again. It’s okay overall, but I feel that the tried and tested method of head-to-head racing with other real players would have been more satisfying.
- Maintenance can be pace breaking | As I alluded to above, realism goes all of the ways in many aspects of the game. So much so that it can impact the pace of the game. On one hand, you have a solid racing sim with lots going on during the race, and after all of the racing and fun is over, the game comes to a grinding halt. This is mainly due to the balance of the wear and tear system. After each race, the bike does demand your attention in almost every way. It is possible to ride immediately if you want to but the wear on your bike will almost always restrict you in the next race which unless addressed will do more damage than good resulting in a poor result, less money, more expensive repairs, and more time needed performing more tedious repairs before being able to jump back into the rider’s seat.
- Unfriendly to novices | There is a steep learning curve to Rims Racing as you have probably gathered by now. The constant need to keep track of your bikes health and maintain its performance will alienate a fair amount of people due to its demanding nature. Trying to skip this or working around it will leave a pretty bad experience, so unfortunately this learning curve must be adhered to.
What we disliked
- A lot of crashes | When it comes to crashes I don’t mean on the tracks. I mean constant console stopping crashes where the game would freeze and kick me back to the Xbox home screen. At first, I thought it may have been my console but testing this across the two that I have and also reading on the internet, it seems that this is a bit of an issue in its current stage and an update is needed to sort this out. Nothing is more frustrating than putting all that time and effort into kitting out your bike for the next big race and then having to repeat it all because the game crashes before saving your configuration.
- Movement System | One of the biggest issues I had in Rims Racing is choosing a style of turning. It may have been my lack of understanding of the subject but the two choices available to me were Shoulders out or leg out. These require a lot of fine-tuning and as a result, I found myself coming off of my bike far too many times despite having to change the types over and over.
How long to beat the story | 10+ Hours
How long to achieve 1000G | 25+ Hours
Similar with | Moto GP, SBK X, and Superbike TT. All feature prominent motorbike racing with some additional flair
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Gaming is in my blood. Be it handheld games, Xbox, PC, Switch or Playstation, I am all over it.
I make my own games as part of my profession and love playing co op games with friends in my spare time. Avid dog lover and camper van enthusiast.