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For: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Rating: (G) ★★★+
You know what you are going to get with a game in the Ride series, and No4 does not disappoint.
It remains the best motorcycle-specific racing game, admittedly in an era when four-wheeled drivers (Forza, Gran Turismo, Dirt et al) are well looked after but fans of hooning on two wheels are stuck with meagre rations.
The formula has not changed from the first three Ride games: you quickly create a rider, fling yourself into a career mode, and start competing in events to unlock new and more lucrative races.
Win (or place), earn some coin, buy new bikes, upgrade them, race again, rinse and repeat.
It’s a clean, simple experience based on constant progression. No in-depth story mode, no sponsors, no side quests or nonsense; just racing and lots of it.
And that racing is pretty impressive. Some driving games have dumbed their products down in a bid to attract more gamers, but Ride sticks firmly to its wish to present a motorcycle simulation that is as realistic as possible.
The bikes — even to those of us who don’t know a Yamaha from a Ducati — are lovingly presented, the tracks look great and the action all unfolds rather intensely and unforgivingly.
You can almost feel the power of the bikes through your controller, and the sensation of speed can be close to frightening at times.
It’s not a game that holds your hand. Simulation, rather than arcade, means things get challenging, even on lower difficulty settings. You simply will not win every race. Happily, a bunch of rider assists and a blessed rewind system give the lesser skilled gamers a chance to compete against the AI.
With only limited types of racing on offer, it can be a bit of a grind at times, but the rewards are generous and the range of bikes on offer is impressive.
Ride 4 will get a next-gen upgrade early in 2021. For now, it’s an impressive title that will give plenty of enjoyment to motorcycle-heads.