Taking a Look at Ride

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After making MotoGP and WRC racing titles, Milestone announced their first proprietary IP: Ride. Just yesterday, they released the demo for Ride, giving Playstation 4 and PC owners their first taste of the title. I downloaded the demo on Steam, and decided to give it a spin.

For my first race in Ride, I took the 2014 Triumph Street Triple R to the short Sierra Nevada configuration for a five lap race. Although I’m not very experienced in motorcycle racing games, I tend to feel that running assists on a motorcycle game hampers me more than it helps, so I turned all assists off. It follows a mostly conventional bike riding style, with the X and B buttons on the Xbox 360 controller functioning as your shifter. One interesting decision I noticed is that, by default, “Tucking In” isn’t bound to the left stick, like other games, but is controlled by the Y button. While it was a little confusing at first, within a couple laps it became a “natural” feeling.

If you have a powerful enough PC, Ride can look quite amazing. However, with my Nvidia GTX 650ti BOOST, it struggled at higher settings. I toned it down, and it worked better. I think that maxed out, the title will likely pass up the PS4/Xbox One’s graphics, but you’ll need a higher end graphics card to do so.

Similar to GamerMuscle’s preview video, I elected to run the third person camera on Ride. I did so for a similar reason too: in my opinion, the first person/helmet cameras just feel “detached” from the bike. While car racing sims allow you to drive a car with your hands and feet to have a “connected feel”, you don’t get the same experience using a gamepad for a motorcycle game. It feels more like you’re a “head floating above a bike” rather than the actual rider on a bike. The third person camera does give you a good feel of riding though, so that’s a plus.

At first, I will admit that I was struggling in my first race with Ride, where I was either turning in too early or too late, missing marks entirely. I had to shift my mindset from driving to “riding”, which sounds like a small thing, but it made a major difference. I think you can notice how things shifted from my first or second lap to my final laps.

I was only using “Easy” difficulty for the first race, since I’m relatively inexperienced to motorcycle racing games. The AI seemed to actually be quite competitive, and quite respecting of other riders. I can imagine that turning up the difficulty could seriously ramp up the difficulty!

After the race, I decided to take a look at the user interface, and see what bikes and circuits were shown in the demo. First, let’s take a look at the bikes:

While Milestone touts that over 100 different motorcycles spanning four categories (Superbikes, Supersports, Naked, and Historic), the demo gives you three options:

  • 2014 Triumph Street Triple R (Naked Bike Under 700cc)
  • 2014 Honda CBR600RR (Modern SuperSport)
  • 2014 Kawasaki Ninja ZX 10R (Modern Superbike)

I then took a look at the tuning menu. Anyone familiar with the Forza Motorsport series will feel at home: Ride uses a VERY similar menu interface. Ride also uses the similar “out of 10” performance ranking, showing how much improvement each component will improve your ride. I quite like this, and it makes me wish even more that a sim with Forza’s level of customization would make its way to the PC.

The demo also shows off quite a bit of the track roster, with all but one circuit “locked off”:

  • Stelvio National Park (Locked)
  • Sierra Nevada (2 configurations available in demo)
  • North Wales (Locked)
  • Kanto Temples (Locked)
  • French Riviera (Locked)
  • Milan (Locked)
  • Miami (Locked)
  • Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari Imola (Locked)
  • Sportsland Sugo (Locked)
  • Donington Park (Locked)
  • Road America (Locked)
  • Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours (Locked)
  • Circuito de Almeria (Locked)
  • Potrero de los Funes Circuit (Locked)

There is no word on if more circuits will be available for the release of Ride, but this seems like a healthy roster, especially if they feature more configurations as well.

Are you looking forward to Ride when it is released next week? Let us know in the comments below!