The seasons change slowly and many motorcyclists are already putting their machines back into storage. But that is not a reason to mop up! Because with Ride 4 we can prove our skills on almost 30 routes. Developer Milestone S.r.l. is now an expert in motorcycle racing simulations, the Italians are particularly through the Moto gp and MXGP -Rows known. Ride 4 was released on October 8th for Xbox One, PC and PS4. The coming console generations will not go away empty-handed.
On January 21st the PS5 – as Xbox Series X Versions appear. Future owners of both consoles can look forward to a free next-gen upgrade. PS4 players can secure the PS5 edition until April 30, 2021. Xbox Series X owners laugh up their sleeves because they can download the game at any time.
The career mode or: never drive over the lane!
Source: PC Games
After a short design phase by our driver, we are thrown straight onto the track. We should do a few laps and experience one of the three medals (gold, silver, bronze). Our task: achieve the goal in a given time. Easier said than done! Because we have to approach the corners almost perfectly and find the right braking point. We drive off and fly out in the first corner. We immediately see that the round is invalid. At first it remains unclear why this is so. A few laps later, we know that the lap only counts if you stay on the track all the time. Unfortunately, it is not apparent in the entire game why we are receiving penalties. So we whizzed past the white line, but the game still evaluates our round as invalid.
After a few tries we manage to earn a medal. Now we can finally explore the different game modes. We start with the career mode. First we choose one of the three leagues Europe, Asia or America. We cannot change these afterwards either, we will only activate the others in the course of our career. In career mode, we are given different tasks. We are allowed to do this on some known routes, but mostly these are only shorter sections. Some tasks are extremely difficult. This is also due to the fact that we are usually disqualified immediately if we scratched the white boundary line again. Then we can start the event again. And that happens very often, because career mode does not allow mistakes and the routes simply have to be driven perfectly in order to advance.
Before each start and restart of the race, we have to confirm the default settings, including the modifications to our motorcycle and the driving aids. The settings are sufficient and affect our driving behavior. We cannot skip the default settings when restarting, which is a big problem after a short time, because we want to get back on track as soon as possible.
Driving aids? Who needs them!
Source: PC Games
The controls feel clumsy, you can tell immediately that this is not an arcade racing game. The game is not particularly easy for beginners. Even if there are the well-known driving aids such as braking assistance and ideal line, this does not make the racing simulation that much easier. On the contrary, in career mode, braking assistance is actually a major disadvantage. For many tasks we have to drive through gates marked out with pylons at a minimum speed. On some routes, however, this is hardly possible with the braking assistance, as the assistance simply intervenes much too early. It wouldn't be half as bad if we didn't get half a second penalty every time for missing the goals or not reaching the minimum speed … Even in normal races, the brake support is a real podium killer, much too early is braked before the curves and intervened at the slightest sign of a curve. It is therefore advisable to familiarize yourself as quickly as possible with the ideal braking distances on the respective routes and to switch off the braking assistance.
Source: PC Games
Of course you can deactivate all driving aids. The simulation also has a few other settings that make the driving behavior even more realistic. So you can set whether you want to separate the front and rear brakes in the control. The changes in the settings can also increase our bonuses that we receive at the end of a task or a race. Another positive thing is that we can change the key assignment on the consoles ourselves. What we cannot deactivate in the game itself, at least for the PS4, is the lighting spectacle of our controller while driving. The light bar changes color so often that you could almost get the feeling that you are on the dance floor of a village disco.
A good idea is to use the rewind function during a race. Anyone who has ever driven a racing simulation knows this: You drive sector best times until you ruin your lap time by making a careless mistake. Similar to last time in the Switch arcade racing game Gear Club Unlimited 2 we can turn back the time by a few seconds and correct our driving errors.
Artificial intelligence is not particularly intelligent
Source: PC Games
If you don't feel like doing the career mode, you can also drive normal races. Here the game leaves us with a lot of freedom. In addition to the number of laps and the route selection, we can change the weather conditions and the start time. We start out on the track with up to eleven opponents, we can change our starting position in the previous settings. The level of difficulty does not have a particularly large influence on the driving behavior of the opponents. The AI is generally faster in the corners, but on the straights it behaves like a Sunday driver. That's why we overtake most of the opponents on a straight track, but we rarely finish the race first. Often the NPC speeders drive against other opponents and trigger mass collisions, in which we are then also regularly affected.
Should we not be able to overtake our competitors on the track, with a little strategic planning we can overtake our opponents during the pit stops. In the lower right corner we can see how worn our tires are and how much gasoline we have left in our tank. If the percentages are pretty low, you have to go into the pits. It's a shame that we don't get an announcement as to when to stop. We only get a hint in a small box in the lower right corner of the screen. But this only comes when it is far too late. It can therefore happen that during a heated overtaking maneuver, the engine suddenly stops working and we drive towards the pit at around 60 to 70 km / h. The displays for tire quality and fuel level are also on the lower right screen and are a bit small. And surprise: the AI also makes its mistakes during pit stops. During our test, for example, a driver with an almost empty tank whizzed past the pit lane and then sauntered down the track at a snail's pace.
Ride 4 (buy now 37.90 € ) also has a multiplayer mode, but we couldn't try it out at the time of testing. With the start of sales, however, all players should be able to access this. There is no local multiplayer.
Large selection of motorcycles, creative freedom in the editor
Source: PC Games
Ride 4 has a large arsenal of motorcycles from different decades. Among the bikes we find well-known brands such as Yamaha, Harley Davidson and Ducati. In total, over 170 digital motorcycles are waiting to be ridden by us. The motorcycles cannot be used right from the start, we either have to activate them during our career or buy them from the dealer in the menu. By the way, we get the money for this at the end of every race or every career task. But we can not only invest the money earned in motorized two-wheelers. In addition to new clothes and helmets for our driver, we can modify our motorcycles with enough ache.
If we don't like the design of our motorcycle, we can lend a hand in the editor and redesign our treasures. In addition to painting our two-wheeler, we can also apply stickers in some places. The selection of stickers is large, so everyone should find something. The same goes for our helmets and racing suits.
So what's left of Ride 4? A lot of frustration because it makes unclear demands on us and the AI leaves much to be desired. On the other hand, the game trumps with a variety of motorcycles and routes and gives us the opportunity to design our two-wheelers ourselves. Those who like realism will probably get their money's worth, novice drivers should keep their hands off Ride 4.
Ride 4 is a motorcycle racing simulation that doesn't allow any mistakes.
As a (virtual) occasional racer, I had my difficulties with Ride 4. It's challenging and really makes you desperate when, even after hours, you have the feeling that you don't even begin to understand the handling of the motorcycle. Players who like to play motorcycle racing simulations and rely on a realistic driving experience are guaranteed to have great fun with Ride 4, even if they will certainly be brought to the edge of despair. The choice of motorcycles is huge and the career mode is extremely difficult. On the other hand, there is an incomprehensible penalty system that sanctions what feels like perfect driving, while it does not intervene in the case of real mistakes. Unfortunately, the AI also leaves a lot to be desired. Nevertheless, Ride 4 is a good success and will lead to increased heart rate for simulation fanatics.
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Ride 4: The next offshoot of the motorcycle simulation will appear in October 2020
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