What’s goes fast, is hard, sleek, sexy and comes in every color and design? No, not that you naughty person! I’m talking about motorbikes! If you’re a fan of riding it all day and night, Square-Enix and Milestone S.r.l.’s Ride 2 will be your happy place.
An improvement over the original, Ride 2 features the largest roster of bikes out there. This will please professional riders and those who just appreciate bike beauty. However, the game goes beyond this and dives straight for passionate riders; featuring a multitude of modes, and painstaking detail to biking attire and complex races, there is enough content to make this a very rich experience.
With 177 bikes available from 20 different manufacturers at launch, players will have to dedicate a good portion of time to acquire the largest percentage of the bikes. In addition, more bikes are planned through DLC releases. While this overwhelming roster of bikes is impressive, the real genius behind this game is that, just like in real life, each bike handles and feels differently. Finding the right bike for the right track and one that’s comfortable enough for you to drive can take some time.
The more you play, the more you’ll discover that tutorials are your best friend. Learning how to handle a bike and using the rewind option as a learning tool is imperative if you want to complete any track. It’s rather rewarding how realistic this game is when you complete a race successfully, even if it was a pain to finish.
I spent several times full-on raging at the screen while fighting various terrain, weather conditions, and bike balancing. Gravity is not your friend and neither is rain or physics. Everything from driving too fast, going off track, leaning too far, or sneezing will cause you to crash. Even thinking about crashing will cause you to crash. This game will troll you in crashing.
Just like the previous installment, customization is where the fun lies; which is why winning races to earn credit is so important. It’s also a successful tactic for the game’s DLC. But not to worry, as obtaining credit is fairly easy even without any DLC (rejoice broke people). When you do earn credit, there are countless options for your bike and rider that’ll effect performance. Gearboxes, tires and a nice paint job went a long way for my ego and riding style. These little add-ons made me feel like an actual rider rather than someone who was just playing a game.
While there are enough modes for causal gamers, multiplayer lovers, and folks who like to race against other teams, World Tour is the most time consuming. Played in a series of seasons, each season requires you to compete in eight races. This unlocks an invitational racing event which contains three styles: Amateur, Rookie and Expert. To unlock Expert, you must have won a certain number of gold medals from previous races. Sounds complicated? It can be, but it is also rewarding.
Despite how impressive the game is, one of the drawbacks is the graphics. Courses and the environments they appear in look dull and underwhelming. The spectators aren’t well defined and appear like small blobs. This is jarring compared to the great detail put into everything else in the game, especially the bikes.
Even though it’s not perfect, Ride 2 is one of the most extensive racing games out there. Blood, sweat and tears went into this game, and hardcore fans of motorbike racing will love it. Those who aren’t fans may find that the game is too time consuming and they may not want to put in the effort to truly master everything it has to offer.
Fun, challenging and engrossing, Ride 2 is a motorbike racer’s dream come true.