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RIDE 3 Review

Edited by: Tiffany Lillie

Milestone S.r.l.’s latest motorcycle racer is also the most recent installment in the RIDE series, and it’s a super-realistic racing simulation. The newest title tries to improve on the previous one in just about every way — from updated graphics to improved mechanics, physics, and more. It does a solid job of it too, resulting in a racer that appeals both to people new to the series and those who played the other RIDE games. The primary focus here is to make the racing experience as realistic as possible, setting RIDE 3 apart from similar arcade titles.

They see me ridin’, they hatin’

Milestone S.r.l. went all out in providing variety here, with over 230 different motorcycle models available in the game that can be customized for performance and looks. Although there is a good spread in brands, appearances, and so on, because of the variety, there often isn’t a lot of difference in how the individual motorcycles handle. This means that in several cases, getting a better bike feels more like a cosmetic change than anything else, though this isn’t always true. Racing takes place on thirty different tracks — a bigger variety than some other titles in this genre offer. The environments are well-made and feel appropriate without taking too much attention away from the gameplay. There are even street-racing tracks, giving players a break from “proper” competitive tracks.

Pimp my ride

The bulk of your experience with RIDE 3 consists of a single-player career feature; instead of linear progression, à la “win race X for reward Y,” you’ll read magazines. That’s right — over fifty of them are available and they all consist of a race with some backstory. It’s a clever way of presenting a campaign in a game that deliberately isn’t story centric, especially since the high-gloss magazines are quite fun to look at.

Speaking of things to look at, the RIDE 3’s Livery Editor is definitely a fun feature. Customizing your ride is hardly something new, however, this editor takes it to the next level, almost being a game all on its own. You can layer, reshape, resize, recolor, and design just about every part of your bike, leading to a nearly infinite amount of possibilities. The depth of this feature feels a little odd, though — like it’s out of place in a racer that is supposed to focus on realistic driving.

Ridin’ dirty

The driving experience is a good one. Unsurprisingly, it’s a very different experience from the more common car racers available. There is a bit of a learning curve, but on lower difficulties RIDE 3 is definitely suited for beginners. Things get challenging quite fast, especially when it comes to using the brakes.

One of the only problems with this title is the AI: in any difficulty, the AI does its best to always stick as closely to the raceline as possible, no matter what. This means that even if there are things in the way — like, say, your bike — the AI will try to take that position. Since in an AI vs. player crash it’s almost always the player that crashes while the AI can keep going, this can get frustrating relatively easily. For beginners especially, this can be an issue, as crashes simply happen a lot more than they do for experts.

Aside from that, the racing itself is challenging at any difficulty (and downright punishing at higher difficulty settings) and the tracks and challenges are an overall improvement from the already pretty solid RIDE 2. The physics are spot-on as well; while it makes the racing a little more challenging for beginners, for players with a little experience this becomes an invaluable feature, especially when coupled with the variety of bikes and customizations.

The engine sounds are absolutely spectacular, by the way. Overall, the game is very immersive when it comes to effect, background sounds, and so on, but the engine’s purring is simply spectacular. Of course, a simulation game relies heavily on immersion, and in this regard the above-average visuals coupled with the sound effects do a spectacular job of drawing players in.

7

The Verdict: Great

RIDE 3 is a typical racing simulation with more than a few unusual features. From great and detailed tracks to minute details that can be customized about the motorcycles, this is definitely one of the better motorcycle racers out there. There are a few hiccups, the main of which is the AI’s, at times odd, behavior. The spectacular Livery Editor allows you to create exactly the motorcycle you want. The physics of the racing itself is very good, giving realism in a way that other games often fail to achieve. Countless different bikes, tracks, customizable parts, and more, may feel a touch overwhelming for beginners, but after a certain learning curve this title really shines.

Melanie Hawthorne
Written by
Monday, 17 December 2018 09:00
Published in Sport

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Mel is a London-based copywriter that has been writing about video games for a few years now. After growing up in Vienna, Austria she followed her dreams and moved to London. Said dreams took her through a few different jobs (which included working as a web developer, shopkeeper and translator) before she settled on what she really wanted to do – periodically anger video game fans by expressing her opinions on games through various online publications. When she’s not writing about video games, she’s probably playing them... or walking her dog in a park. Since that depends largely on the English weather, Mel has plenty of time to indulge in her favourite games. These include but are not limited to Ark: Survival Evolved, Skyrim, GTA V, and oddly enough, Amnesia: Memories. She loves Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. She thinks Star Trek is way better than Star Wars and isn’t afraid to admit it – Live long and prosper!

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