Ride 2 Review

Posted February 20, 2017 by Josh Brant in Video Games

Developer: Milestone S.r.l

Publisher: PQube

Release Date: February 14, 2017

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Developer Milestone is not ashamed to wear their love for everything motorbikes/cycles on their sleeves. A vast majority of their games focus on the two-wheeled speedsters and they pride themselves on trying to be the very best in all things motorbike related. With the original Ride on the PC, Milestone went all in with the motorcycle enthusiasts of the world to mixed results. This year sees the release of Ride 2 on consoles and offers an experience similar to Gran Turismo or Forza Motorsport, bringing together many forms of motorbike racing and letting you customize your rides with a plethora of options. Ride 2 ups the ante with the biggest roster of motorbikes to grace a racing game and after the mediocre outing which was Ride, tries to push itself to a new level.

Taking It To Another Level

Ride 2 is first a foremost a game which places all of its charm in the bikes and what you can do with them. You begin by creating your own rider and you are free to pick any nationality, skin color and their name, but this only amounts to cosmetic changes and they do nothing more than act as an avatar for your racing. Once this process is complete, you can pick from a number of starter bikes and you’re ready to hit the racetracks. From here on out, you and your bike are free to race so you can gain both reputation and credits to essentially make it to the top of the league tables. While you are able to play whichever mode you choose, you are still given a small amount of direction because you can only use lower level bikes on the easier courses.

The main draw of Ride 2, of course, has to be the ridiculous amount of bikes you are able to choose from. With 177 bikes available from 20 different manufacturers on launch, though a large number will require extensive work to acquire, it’s a huge variety to choose from. Each type of bike handles differently, and weight is a huge factor in getting your chosen bike around corners at a decent clip. The heavier chassis of some bikes in particular are a real test as you shift your weight from one side of the bike to the other, but do it too slow and you will find yourself skidding across the asphalt or worse, slamming into a barrier. The physics are a positive of this title and for the most part are on point. This feeling of authenticity helps Ride 2 feel like much more than just a typical racer. Another positive is how it offers a good amount of customization in terms of handling options, so most players can get into the game quickly and easily.

The racing tracks themselves are all modeled after real-world locations and courses. There’s around 30 locations in the game, with slight variations of a few. The visual quality of Ride 2 isn’t anything stunning – especially if you look up close – but when you’re barreling around majestic mountains or beautifully crafted temples at breakneck speeds, there’s more than your fair share picturesque moments. It’s just a shame more of these beautiful locations weren’t used in a majority of the circuit racing courses.

Customization Option Galore

With all the customization options available you would think this game would be easy to play. Unfortunately, if you are someone looking for a pure arcade racer, this isn’t it. Even when keeping many of the options on the lowest setting, Ride 2 feels very much unforgiving. The racers don’t even give you time to breathe, as they seem unfairly faster than you. Even on its easiest difficulty setting, the AI can be frustratingly hard to beat, thanks to their unrealistic speed through corners and a pro-like balanced class system. Much like similar racing series, Ride 2 bases its classes on a PP system, a number based on how much upgrading your bike has received. This process isn’t always handled favorably however, as most bikes available for each class come in at well below the maximum PP allowed for each game mode, and even upgrading will likely leave you underpowered and struggling to keep up with the leaders.

Speaking of game modes, Ride 2 features a wide variety of game modes and each and every one of them offer credits as a reward. Your main focus will most likely be the World Tour. Taking place as seasons, where each season has you complete eight races to end the season, which then unlocks an invitational event. Unfortunately, progress is painfully slow. in this mode making it somewhat of a slog to get through. There are four styles, for lack of better term. Each of these styles then has three levels: Amateur, Rookie and Expert. To unlock the later levels you need so many gold medals in the previous levels, and the requirements are time-consuming to say the least. Racing games rarely offer this much variety, but the grind you have to put in early on is not always fun.

On top of the signature game modes, there are a few different objectives which can be tackled; such as overtaking slow racers, winning team races, and using endurance class bikes to make it through longer tracks. It all consists of doing the same thing though; driving as fast and as carefully as you can around the track and being victorious at the end. After a few hours of trying out all tracks and sampling a handful of events, you will soon realize it’s a case of buying a suitable bike, upgrading it, using it in events to gain reputation and credits and then repeating the process again. At the end of a season, you will also be given the chance to try out invitational events and these award you with a bike at the end if you come out as the winner. The repetitiveness can become boring, but this also helps to hone your skills as you move further up the rankings.

A Milestone Achievement

One of the features which I greatly appreciated was the rewind feature and it feels more useful than ever. On the easier difficulties you can use it an infinite amount of times, so any slip-up can be easily altered with a push of a button. You can also rewind for a fairly long time before giving it another try, so you should have no trouble correcting yourself eventually, even if it takes a few tries to do so. Bikes will perform drastically different to each other and so having a rewind ready and waiting will be invaluable as you learn the physics and handling of a new ride. Also, other tweaks can be made in the options to make the game harder or easier. Track aids can also help you to find the right direction and automatic braking will help you to make it around a sharp turn. These options are extremely helpful for those who are new to the genre and usually don’t play sim-like racers such as myself. If veterans desire more of a challenge, they have everything that they need to push their skills to the limit.

Overall, Milestone have successful made a motorbike title which offers any enthusiast of racing plenty to see and do. The game features a large number of different bikes and they all certainly are lovely to look at, but only a small amount of them will get used in the long term as they aren’t all useful. The combination of upgrading your bike and tweaking the race options means most players can become masters of the track after enough practice, although the grind is very unforgiving. Even though Ride 2 has some problems, such as questionable balancing of difficulty and credit-earning, the majority of the title is a dream come true for anyone interested in motorsports.

About the Author

Josh Brant

I love God, my family, friends, sports, and the greatest hobby of all: video games! You can reach me on twitter @minusthebrant.