Despite the sheer number of racing games this generation, from the simulation to the arcade racer, very few have focused on 2 wheeled vehicles and even those that have tend to add them in as a bonus or an afterthought.
Ride 2 aims to correct this with developer Milestone providing love letter to the motorbike in this impressive racing sim.
As the name suggests, this isn’t the first in the series and the original Ride wasn’t exactly a game to set the world alight, but it was still clear than the Italian developer had a passion for bikes which shone through the messy coding and mediocre graphics. But that was then and this is now. Ride 2 has a bigger budget, a more experienced team and a focus on the current generation of consoles and PC hardware.
It’s clear from the off that Ride 2 is big budget and the presentation, even on the information screens for each bike, is up there with the best. That doesn’t always translate into the trackside graphics, though. It’s certainly an improvement over the last Ride and Milestone’s work on other bike games has helped them to tweak the graphics to provide more details, such as more realistic spectators and better distance drawing, plus built up areas with towns are a joy to race through, albeit a little hair raising at times, but the detail is still not up there with Forza or Gran Turismo quite yet.
That said, the tracks are based on real world locations and with around 30 different tracks, with some variations on them , there’s a wealth of scenery. Thanks to detailed backgrounds, some of these tracks can be quite breathtaking as you ride through valleys, mountains and around snow capped peaks.
World Tour is the meat of Ride 2’s game and houses the main Season-based race mode, which takes place over 3 different difficulty levels, different race types; Style, Street, Sport and Pro, then further split into bike types or models such as a series focusing on Sportsbikes or a one for Honda. It’s a pretty comprehensive series which takes a long time to complete, especially with some pretty lengthy course at times which will test both skill and stamina.
Outside of this, there are individual Championships, a cut down version of the Seasons, Team vs Team, using an improved version of the original game’s Virtua riders to bolster your team and Invitational and World Ranking events.
For those looking for a more instant game, Quick Race, Time Trials and split screen racing will enable you to get straight in to the action. It’s certainly nice to see split screen as an option, too, with so many games doing away with local multiplayer in favour of just an online multiplayer game.
Bike Setup provides ample option for your preferred race type, though you’ll never get the game to feel like an arcade racer as even with all the assists on you still find yourself at the mercy of a large engine perched on 2 wheels. But lean the other way, turning all the assists off, and this is a game for the serious racer. It’s certainly not a forgiving game for those new to driving these beasts.
It’s difficult to compare Ride 2 to anything else out there, short of PS4’s Driveclub Bikes or one of Milestone’s other games. It’s similar to the original Ride in how the bikes feel but improved in every other way, including the sheer wealth of content and in the graphics.
If you’re in any way into bikes and want a game that allows you to test many of the big names, some exclusive to this game, on the open road then Ride 2 is waiting for you.