Ride 2 Review
There are plenty of driving simulators out on the market today, but the number of motorcycle sims is surprisingly small in comparison. Milestone Italy’s Ride 2 looks to fill that gap, but should you add this title to your garage?
Ride 2 Review
Those who have yet to get their M1 will be downright dumbfounded at the amount of options, bikes, and settings available in Ride 2. There are more than 1,200 customizations available, and each one of them will vastly affect your experiences on the course. Tweaks can be made to the engine, brakes and suspension, wheels, transmission, and even aesthetics, though you will need to buy your way to the ride of your dreams through the use of Credits accumulated through Ride 2’s many modes. There are also a number of bikes you can add to your garage through the use of Credits. Though you start with a more modest ride, more than 200 motorcycles from BMW, Kawasaki, Honda, and Triumph are available. And yes, the Suzuki Hayabusa can finally be yours.
So how do one of these bad boys handle? Riding takes some getting used to, that’s for sure. It is easy to oversteer or lose control, so going against the urge to lay on the throttle is tough. Finding the right time to tuck in adds an added element to the game, but some would say this difficulty curve is part of the charm. The game does provide an admirable effort in easing players into races, with button cues and a visual driving line that can be followed. Those who don’t want to handle gear shifting can always go with a semi-automatic set up and just focus on the road ahead. Bike handling varies greatly between rides, so one could always buy a new bike in case their current one isn’t cutting it.
The meat of the game lies in its World Tour mode and its Season Events races, which has you racing around the world on famous tracks in scenic locales. More than 30 tracks are available, each with varying weather conditions and factors that can be tweaked. These races are then divvied up into racing styles like Time Trials (where you strive to get the best time), Pair Racing (where you team up with another rider to earn points for your final pole position), and Perfect Trajectory (where you navigate a cone-filled track). Completing the Season Events leads to Championships, which let players take on several consecutive races. Good performances net players the aforementioned Credits, along with Reputation points that are awarded based on the position you place. With enough Reputation points, players can then enter Team vs. Team races. There is a good amount of variety here, but it can sometimes come off as a grind when trying to get a good time or position. Paired with repeating events, and it can be easy to burn out.
This is made that much worse when racing against the AI. Even on the easiest of difficulties your rivals are pushy, bumping into you like it was a game of Burnout. This causes a wipeout, or even worse, invalidates your time. It happens frequently from behind, meaning that it is hard to see it until it is too late. There is a rewind functionality that allows players to go back in time by around 20 seconds, but it feels like cheating. There is an ideal path around each course, and the AI makes sure they follow it by any means necessary.
Unfortunately, those looking to avoid this aggressive AI and race online will face some difficulties, as the online community is virtually nonexistent as of this writing. The ability to create a lobby is available, but most of the ones available are filled with AI racers.
Motorcyclists will love the amount of content Ride 2 has to offer, but more casual racers may be turned off by its depth and aggressive AI. There is a serious difficulty curve in place that isn’t for everyone, but those willing to face it head on can find something to like here.