After a long journey through the desert on PS3 and Xbox 360 with several years without good motorcycle games, the PS4 and Xbox One generation was a rebirth for two-wheel enthusiasts. This was the big comeback of the MotoGP saga after a few years of absence, but also the arrival of the new Ride license by Milestone from 2015. A real spiritual sequel to a certain Tourist Trophy: The Real Riding Simulator, l excellent game from Polyphony Digital (the makers of Gran Turismo) in 2006 on PlayStation 2.
The idea was to offer races on the most prestigious circuits in the world, but also races in wilder environments, in the middle of beautiful forests, sumptuous arid landscapes or in small towns all over the world.
After a rather good first opus, but not without flaws, Milestone will develop a second episode in 2017 then a third in 2018. With the arrival of the next-gen consoles, the Italian studio is offering a fourth opus on PS4 and Xbox One with a free update to get PS5, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S versions.
When Ride meets MotoGP
We’re not going to lie, Ride 3 was a little disappointment in terms of its possibilities and its gameplay. A game that hardly changed compared to Ride 2, lack of dynamic weather, day / night cycle, and with an AI to pick up. It was clear that the Milestone teams had only taken a year to design their game.
With this new opus and two years of work, Ride 4 will be at the same height as the latest MotoGP 20. We thus find dynamic weather with the possibility of starting a race under a cloudy sky and ending it in driving rain or the opposite effect. The hours also pass during the event with the possibility of running races day and night. Or to take the start at sunset and finish your event under the only glow of your headlights.
Unfortunately, climate management and schedules are not as thorough as on WRC 9 (which is another Milestone game).
But the best surprise is undoubtedly the improved gameplay. Milestone will therefore adapt all the new driving and AI features of its MotoGP 20 to integrate it into Ride 4. You have the choice between three riding styles. A mode oriented towards arcade driving that will allow you to drive without having the fear of falling from your motorcycle.
An intermediate pipe that allows to have a happy medium between arcade and simulation. You will therefore have to be careful not to brake too much when entering a turn, accelerate when exiting a curve and avoid going off-road.
Finally, you have a simulation-driven driving style that will really require good management of your acceleration, braking, weight distribution of your rider and that will make every turn a lot more complicated to negotiate. Of course, the wet track races will be much more technical.
As for AI (artificial intelligence), the latter also benefits from a good improvement. Milestone integrates INNA, the AI system present in MotoGP 20 and allowing non-playable riders to have a more realistic attitude on the track. Whether it is on their trajectory, their overtaking or even the errors they can make following poor braking or a collision.
Another novelty in gameplay is the arrival of endurance races and therefore the management of tires, the fuel gauge and pit passes. But here again, you have to do tests of at least 20 minutes to be able to really take advantage of this kind of event. And like the weather conditions, the management of fuel and tires is less precise and less developed than in MotoGP 20.
When Ride loses interest
With the first opus in 2015, Ride broke the codes of traditional motorcycle games. We had the right to traditional motorcycles, which were not prepared for racing, road motorcycles, sports cars, roadsters and other supermotards on country roads or small villages. In Ride 4, it will be necessary to forget. You still have motorcycles of different classes, but three quarters of the circuits will be on track. Pity.
The career mode is still struggling to find its interest. In Ride 3, the presentation of this game mode was clean, presented in book form. In Ride 4, the Milestone teams go straight to the point and opt for a classic menu with a succession of events. You have to choose between three leagues. The American, European or Asian league and you simply chain the events one after the other on many circuits. This is quite repetitive since most events are races or time trials. Even if many tracks are available, we find few tracks with a lot of variations (there can be three tracks on the same track with a “long” version, a “short” version etc…).
Also forget about the customization options on the bike. As in all games, you will be able to improve the engine, transmission, brakes and more on your machine. But the very extensive customization of the first installment where it was possible to change the color of the brake levers, clutches and many small parts of the bike are still missing.
Ride 4 – Difficult progression?
In conclusion, Ride 4 is a good motorcycle game, even if it is very quickly repetitive. If you have not tasted the previous opus, then this new version could seduce you and entertain you. Especially if you are on PS5 and can take advantage of the features of the DualSense.
If you are passionate about motorcycle games and have devoured Ride 2 and 3 (and maybe even MotoGP 20), this new opus may be a little light and can quickly get bored.
- IA INNA which allows for more fun races
- The gameplay is quite good and provides good sensations
- Many very well modeled motorcycles
- Good news (endurance category, dynamic weather, day / night cycle, fuel and tire management, etc.)
- The features of DualSense on PS5 quite incredible
We like less
- The always boring and repetitive career
- Graphically pretty, but a far cry from the maximum capabilities of the PS4 Pro, Xbox One X, PS5 and Xbox Series X
- AI and cool new features, but less extensive than MotoGP 20
- Local multiplayer absent. The online so basic.