Billed as ‘Ridge Racer meets Sega Rally’, Rise is pushing some big names around, especially for a budget racer. The future setting gives this game an interesting spin, though, and there’s certainly plenty of polish and fun to be had.
The title may tell you that Rise is set in the future but it’s a near future where the only differences seem to be that the cars are more streamlined and can drive on water. That. in itself, provides some unique twists, though. Riding through a large patch of water, spray landing on the screen as you turn, does nicely break up the tarmac based racing tracks, even though the water can be a pain to navigate around, with large boulders and several paths making things more complicated as you vie for first place.
With a few cars unlocked at the start, your main options come from choosing to race in a tournament or face the Challenge Mode, which sees you complete various challenges ranging from getting in the top three on a track to driving above a certain speed. The tracks look fantastic, with some really nice backgrounds, spacecraft flying overhead and environmental effects like the aforementioned drops of water spraying up from beneath your car on to the screen. There are loads of twists and turns, too, with an eye for areas to drift your car around to get the maximum benefit from the corners.
To win, though, you’ll have to compete against a bunch of ruthless racers who, on default difficulty, can feel very frustrating at first. Part of this is the handling of the car, which feels like a mix of rally car and anti-grav vehicle. It’s so light and floaty that it feels like there is no substance to your vehicle at times, which is a shame because given a bit more weight this could feel like an even better racer than it is. As it stands, though, take the time to get used to the handling and you’ve still got a good solid racer than looks and feels far more expensive that it is.
The lack of a multiplayer mode is a shame as this would be fantastic to play either online or split-screen. That said, it’s a solid game with challenge and career mode giving you plenty of single player racing fun with some beautiful surroundings in a near future setting.