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Ride 2- Streets, Style and Skill

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Ride 2 is a racing simulator designed for the most avid motorcycle racing fan. Built to be for bikes what Forza or Gran Turismo are to the car enthusiast, Ride has a lot of promise and a hell of a lot of awesome bikes.

Ever wanted to straddle that Ducati Monster? Graze your kneepads around a corner with the power and balance of an Aprilla RSV 1200R? Ride offers this and much more in a fast paced, skill testing racing game that is sure to have you leaning into those bends like your life depends on it.


Ride 2 opens with a basic character customisation screen where you can select your racer’s name, gender, country of origin and skin colour. Give them a well thought out name though as it’s one that is sure to hit the history books. Then off you go to your first race. You are set loose on a Yamaha YZF-R1 and it’s a learn-as-you-go experience.



The quick tutorial presented here will clue you in on some most basic controls but it’s far from extensive and can leave things a bit lacking if you don’t effectively understand the mechanics behind riding a bike. For the novice racer, understanding the effects and usability of the rear and forward brakes, keeping your turns tight but not shifting the centre of gravity too far, and keeping those powerful wheelies to a minimum is all part of Ride 2’s trial by fire first race.


But don’t lose heart if you are no pro. Following this intense first race you will be afforded some basic credits as well as your choice of new bike. Here you are able to select between 4 styles and it’s truly up to you which you choose. Personally I couldn’t go past the modified 62.




After you’ve made up your mind you will have an opportunity to peruse the menus. This is where Ride 2 begins to open up and show just how much it has to offer. It’s safe to say you’ll not be left wanting of events or tinkering to fill your time.  

Firstly you’ll see World Tour Events. Under this banner falls your Season Events, International Events, Championships and Team VS Team as well as being able to view your World Ranking. These really don’t need much explaining but there is loads of competition to be had. And for the serious racer and those keen to pursue their racing career, this is where you will be spending most of your time.


If you’re looking for a more casual race there are Quick Modes. Quick Race, Time Trial and Split Screen are found here which gives Ride 2 the ability to be a great couch game between friends without too much at stake. You can set the track of choice, determine lap number and weather conditions all of which works to keep things interesting.


You are also given the ability to play around with your collection of bikes (once you have one), your racer and your own team. Bikes are able to be customised and parts exchanged and tuned to give you that extra edge.


Challenges are also offered for that bit more incentive. Weekly challenges will set you a unique challenge on a predetermined track and offer you a gorgeous piece of machinery in exchange.


*phew*

Ok, so after all this you can decide to dive back into racing. After that pretty full on first race you will be relieved to know things ease off a little. With your new bike ready and rearing to go it’s back to your choice of track. In game options will be offered pre-race and give you one further aspect to tweak…race difficulty.


Assists are given and with each assist that you reduce you’ll be offered a percentage increase on your rewards. Should you choose to race with all assists removed you will have a sweet income from a successful race! But racer beware, this isn’t an arcader and assists should be treated with care. I’m not a huge fan of using assists, but in this game and for the absolute beginner I highly recommend keeping a majority of those assists active because that bucking bronco you’re about to ride is going to make sure you know what it has to offer.


Once I got myself back onto the track and, mostly, stayed on my bike, I was able to appreciate the visuals that Ride 2 showcases. Graphically speaking the game is great all around and very pretty. Most of the time and attention is spent on the showroom bikes. This is hardly a waste as you’ll be going so fast the scenery won’t be all that visible anyway.





Based on real tracks, there is plenty of impressive scenery for you to ignore completely as the roads twist, turn and undulate beneath you. Every calculated lean is a true joy as you move with the circuit or fly over cobblestones. The engine sounds, be it many bikes or just your own, hum away in your ears and you can almost feel that wind whistle past your visor.


Accidents are plenty in games like these and what sets motorcycle racers apart from their car racer counterparts is the real risk of being thrown over the handlebars. While it’s not the ideal scenario, Ride 2 embraces this and there is plenty of variety in how that racer of yours will come off their bike. From being propelled through the air long distances to sliding at top speed across the track, it’s hardly ever boring. Sand, dirt and walls are certainly not your friends, and it will only take a tap from your opponent on track to spend you sprawling. I think I managed enough clever and original dismounts to exhaust even my poor rider...

"I think I'll just rest here for a bit..."

If you crash a lot it’s also good to know you have a rewind feature, so you can re-strategize and attack the track in a different way. Rewind is able to be turned off under the assist menu, however, if you would rather be without it.

The HUD is basic and this is a good thing as you won’t have much time to be watching it. But one nice feature I found was to be able to change out your track map for this neat diagram. Those familiar with this feature will know it’s great for understanding where the displacement of your bike is, how well you are balanced, how much pressure is applied to the fore and rear tyres, etc. It is great to see just how far you can get those leans into corners while still having a happy green line telling you you’re sweet.


Ride 2 has a lot to offer all around, but of course the best part is the bikes themselves. With 20 manufacturers boasting some of their most impressive pieces of work it’s difficult not to just sit there looking at them the whole time, pondering how many races it will take before you can own that gorgeous beast for yourself.





*Sigh* Oh my pretties…
 




I will have you one day…



In summary, Ride 2 has something for everyone with even the smallest interest in motorcycles, but is targeted mostly to the biggest fans of the sport who aim to be the best.

Published and Developed by Milestone S.r.l, Ride 2 is available to play now on PS4, Xbox One and PC.


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