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Saturday, 18 March 2017 14:27

Don’t overlook: Game Review: Ride 2

By

Taking to two wheels in the virtual world has a lot less challenges to be overcome than it does in the real world. However, capturing the feel of guiding a high-powered motorcycle is indeed a challenge that must be daunting for developers.

Take Ride 2 for example. There is a significant amount of content in the game, some 180 bikes (with more available for download) across 18 manufacturers and seven classes.

There are plenty of tracks (30 in fact), and plenty of ways to play, but there are also some problems, problems that are just inherent in trying to present such a physical sport in video-game form.

Loading times (we are playing on the Xbox One) are still a bit of a problem, though once into a game the visuals and distinctive sounds of each bike are quite well presented.

The structure of the single player game is a little odd. Traditionally a sports-game will present the player with options such as quick-game or career championship mode. In Ride 2, however, you will need to spend a significant amount of time in the quick games, selecting races and winning medals before opening any kind of championship option.

That’s good because, to be honest, we are not too convinced about the physics of the game, nor the control mechanism. There are certainly many ways to tweak the game-play with play assists such as dual brakes, auto tuck-in, ideal trajectory indicators and so forth, but the fundamental control of a motorbike just feels a little bit off.

In other games, the analogue movement of a game-controller can be used to advantage, not only to have the rider shift left and right as part of the cornering, but also in controlling the rider's weight forward and backwards as speed increases or decreases.

This game, unfortunately, lacks the opportunity to utilise this mesial weight control. The result is a bit too digital in movement, a bit too on or off. With enough practice, a player can master this and have fun, but it certainly lacks any simulation authenticity.

This issue also translates to the feel of each bike's limitations. It is difficult, without lots of observational trial and error practice, to know just how far you can push a corner. There is no real feedback beside some insubstantial controller rumble to gauge just when those tyres are going to go. It is just a reality of the physicality of bike riding versus the four-wheel racing alternative that makes the move into simulation more difficult for the game programmer.

What is obvious, though, is the developers' love of bikes. Each manufacturer, each bike itself has a detailed description about its history and componentry. For buffs, the showroom experience enables devotees an up-close inspection of each of their rides.

Customisation options are also abundant, both visually and performance wise each bike can be tricked up in a great many ways. The game contains 1200 customisable parts with a choice of 600 liveries.

Whether your preference is Supermoto, Naked, Sports bikes both street or race, H2-H2R, Race Supersports or Endurance there is plenty on offer to experience. Each category provides an abundance of playing options and content to explore.

Ride 2 tackles the difficult task of simulating the exhilaration of racing high-powered bikes in a satisfactory way; there are other options available out there, but Ride 2 certainly provides an abundance of fun and information to enjoy in a single package.

Ride 2 is out now for Windows PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.


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Mike Bantick

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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for iTWire.com, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.

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