Only experienced riders need to apply.
Title: Ride 4
Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One (reviewed) and Xbox Series S/X
Developer: Milestone SRL
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Release date: PC/PS4/Xbox One: October 8th 2020
PS5/Xbox Series S/X: January 21st 2021
tl;dr: Hardcore racing
Price: Â£50 / $50
Family Focus: Click here for more information.
Ride is a motorcycle racing simulation game series developed by Milestone Srl. The first entry in the series released in 2015 which was mildly received with scores averaging in the 60s. The next year, Ride 2 first saw release on PC followed by then console release on 2017. It didn’t change the formula much but added a handful of new content such as bikes and tracks. Then in 2018, Ride 3 arrived on consoles and included a whooping 30 tracks. Which brings up to 2020 with the impending release of Ride 4 in early October. Let’s see how it plays.
Ride 4 is a motorcycle racing simulator that requires dedication and practice. Unlike arcade-style racers, Ride 4 does a fair representation of real-life motorcycle racing. Players need to moderate their speed and slow down when necessary. The circuits have makers on the ground which not only indicate the ideal position on the racetrack but also a colour to indicate the recommended speed; blue, yellow and red which mean go fast, reduce your speed and slow down respectively. The latter is often displayed when about to take a sharp curve.
Ride 4 does have a handful of game modes. Along with Career, players can also jump into races directly by doing a standard race, endurance and time trial. These modes are very helpful as they help players practice and learn the game’s various circuits and prepares them better for Career mode. Career mode is an exhaustive test of your riding skills as it will test your handling skills on the race tracks. You can also play online multiplayer with friends and other players across the world. You can create your own private or public lobby by tweaking race details such as racing class, penalty, collisions; among others.
The game also offers a bevvy of customization options. As with any racing sim, you can work and upgrade your ride, but you can also customize your rider’s look from the helmet to the boots. You can also preset a few suits (racing, road, Harley Davidson; among others). You can also tailor the look of your bike and create your own liveries.
While the game is a great experience overall, it is definitely geared towards returning players. Newcomers looking to dive into the series and the genre will find a frustrating and repetition filled racing experience due to the Career mode. There’s also little to no room for error; slightly get off track and your lap is disqualified, meaning for certain requirement (also if you want to get past the forced tutorial when booting up the game), you’ll need to do laps around the race circuit over and over so that 1-) your time matches the targeted time for one of the three medals (Gold, Silver, Bronze) and 2-) that you make 0 errors.
Ride 4 looks great overall. The bikes are reasonably detailed and circuits well reproduced. However, character models are pretty basic and some things are pixelated in close up but as a whole, the engine shows its age. For example, when failing a trial in Career mode gives you a close up of your ride and you can see the pixelated logo on their helmet. Soundtrack wise, not much to expect here. Typical smooth relaxing music while navigating the menus and proper race noise generated by bike engines.
Overall Ride 4 is a great game but one that will only appeal to returning players. They will feel right at home as unfortunately, newcomers will find it daunting. Despite riding aids that allows making the gameplay feel less stiff, the Career mode is unforgiving and can be a deterrent for new players without a bit of practice in the regular race mode. But as they say: Practice makes perfect.
- Great game for racing sim fans
- Lots of customization options
- Steep learning curve for newcomers
Ride 4 is rated E for Everyone and PEGI3 due to the presence of in-game purchases.
This review is based on a review copy of the game provided by the publisher