There is nothing like the experience of jumping on a motorcycle, opening the throttle grip to the maximum and letting go. The wind slips through your hands and whips your face as your fireball roars along the back roads. In many ways, the third iteration of the Ride franchise comes close to that feeling, but it also left us with some scruple.
What we have here is a driving experience in motion that is closer to reality than an arcade experience. You start by creating your avatar, which to be honest must have a garage the size of a hangar for a jumbo jet to be able to keep all the bikes kept that eventually we end up buying. There are plenty of motorcycles to drive, ranging from the Kawasaki Ninja ZX 6R to the Triumph Daytona 675R. Apparently, there are 230 bicycles from 30 different manufacturers already on the first day. We noticed the lack of Harley, but maybe they would not fit the rest, so we understand their absence.
You have to think about all the usual attributes that characterize a bike like weight, torque, speed, acceleration, etc. If you do not know much, you’ll soon learn a lot about the bikes, thanks to the information that appears during the loading screens where you can read the history of the bike chosen, the statistics screens at the dealership that goes into the merits.
Before you start running, though, there are some tutorials on how to learn how to handle your bike. These explain important things like steering and braking, which could simply prevent you from going off track and find yourself under the tires. The first two hours are characterized by a steep learning curve. We spent so much time skidding, falling and flying off the bike and following the track. We have cut the road to the other bikes, our driver has continued to finish on the ground and has been invested a series of times. First we said that this game is more a sim than an arcade, but fortunately there is not an excess of realism, since we would have committed an accidental murder several times than in a game at Lemmings .
A few hours later our experience became much more pleasant. This not only because we had learned the various mechanics of the bikes, but also because we had started to memorize the tracks. There are 30 circuits to run, from Donnington Park to Magny Cours, and many of them are wonderful to see, thanks to the attention to detail in terms of backgrounds and textures. In fact, we blamed our first incidents on very beautiful graphics, and it was nice to visit Japan and Germany, and even Brands Hatch.
The single player format is really interesting as Milestone continues to explore new ideas in terms of presentation. It has a style similar to that of a magazine, in which each issue contained the story of a manufacturer, a track or a specific category of motorcycles (for example, Japanese motorcycles). There are many challenges in magazines and, depending on the results, you receive stars that accumulate to access higher level contests. Getting all the stars in a particular magazine unlocks an iconic bike on which to compete.
There is literally so much to see and do here, and it looks like a really deep racing sim, even if you have to work hard to unlock and complete everything. It is not limited to simple circuits in the circuits. You can take part in resistance races that test your gear and compete in attack on time. In addition to the huge single-player mode, there is also a multiplayer option that can be played privately or publicly, a weekly challenge to do things like weather attacks, and a single race to simply test your bike in different modes.