If you aren't familiar with Milestone then all that you need to know is that they love bikes. The majority of their games focus on the two wheeled racers and they pride themselves on trying to be the very best in all things motorbike related. Last year saw the release of RIDE
, a new IP from the developer that received mediocre reviews due to its long load times and overall lack of enticement for those outside of the genre's fanbase. Just a year and a half later, RIDE 2
has managed to make its way onto consoles. Milestone has promised more bikes, tracks and, most importantly, a stop to long load times. Does RIDE 2
deliver the goods?RIDE 2
is a game that places all of its charm in the bikes and what you can do with them. You begin by creating your own rider and you're free to pick nationality, skin colour and their name, but this all amounts to little in the grand scheme of things when they do nothing more than act as an avatar for your racing. Once that process is complete, you can pick from a number of starter bikes and you're ready to hit the tarmac. From here on out, you and your bike are free to race so that you can gain both reputation and credits to essentially make it to the top of the league tables. While you're able to play whichever mode you choose, you are still given an ounce of direction because of the bikes that you have in your current collection.
The bikes themselves are numerous. Milestone promised more of them than the previous title and that's what we've got. There are around 177 bikes in total but many of them will need a fair bit of work to acquire. Different classes, manufacturers and aesthetics will help you to pinpoint the particular bike that you're wanting but there are plenty that are, in one word, useless. While they certainly come with some shiny paintwork and great craftsmanship, a lot of the bikes that you can buy will start to gather dust due to the fact that they can't compete all that well in races, even on the easiest difficulty.
Upgrades are available for all bikes, though, and there are some interesting options. Everything from the engine, cylinders and wheels can be changed. All of this will help to improve the overall speed and performance of the bike. You will most definitely be visiting the garage on a regular basis to see what upgrades you can buy -- credits will always have their use right up until you purchase your final bike.
Is this the bike that you're looking for?
After you've tweaked your chosen bike to perfection, you'll be ready to take it for a spin. RIDE 2
hasn't changed much from the previous instalment and Quick Race, World Tour and online racing still take up the bulk of the game. Quick Race gives you the chance to jump straight into the action like any other racing game before it and without worrying about world ranking, so there's nothing particularly special to be found there. Racing online can be enjoyable but many places are regularly taken up by AI racers so that you'll only be up against two or three real players.
Because of this you'll more than likely be drawn to World Tour for the majority of your playtime. Starting from position 301, you'll eventually work your way slowly up the rankings to claim that elusive top world position. To do that, you'll need to make it through the various tournaments with specific bikes to increase your reputation. Starting out is simple enough, but eventually you'll need to grind out some credits so that you can increase the performance of a particular bike that doesn't handle very well.
The events themselves are extremely similar to those of the first game, again. As well as standard races, you will be given a few different objectives like overtaking slow racers, winning team races and using endurance class bikes to make it through longer tracks. It all consists of doing the same thing; driving as fast and as carefully as you can around the track and being victorious at the end. After a few hours of trying out all tracks and sampling a handful of events, you'll soon realise that it's a case of buying a suitable bike, upgrading it, using it in events to gain reputation and credits and then repeating the process again. At the end of a season, you'll also be given the chance to try out invitational events and these award you with a bike at the end if you come out as the winner. It can be fairly repetitious but this also helps to hone your skills as you move further up the rankings.
RIDE 2 You'll be a pro on the track in no time
offers a few more tracks than the previous game, but you will have tried them all out after a few hours. There are a few different environments through which you'll be able to race and some will be favoured over others. The city and temple tracks are the more creative of the bunch and zooming through the twists and turns of those can be enjoyable. With these, though, comes occasional failure. As you get accustomed to a new bike, you may find yourself regularly miscalculating a turn, so either go head first into a wall or fly off the bike completely while simultaneously skidding around the bend.
The rewind feature has returned to counteract this and this time it feels more useful than ever. At least on the easier difficulties you can use it an infinite amount of times, so any slip-up can be easily altered with a push of a button. You can also rewind for a fairly long time before taking another stab at it, so you should have no trouble correcting yourself eventually, even if it takes a few tries to do so. Bikes will perform drastically different to each other and so having a rewind ready and waiting will be invaluable as you learn the physics and handling of your new racer. Before you master a new bike, though, be ready to shout at the TV as you question why the bike decided to smash into a wall rather than go the way you wanted it to go.
As well as the rewind feature, you will be able to tweak an array of options for the race to make it easier or harder for yourself. Like the original game, you can be as flexible as you like with how you control the bike, so a lot of the work can be done for you or as little as you please. Track aids can also help you to find the right direction and automatic braking will help you to make it around a sharp turn. These options are extremely helpful for those who are new to the genre. If veterans desire more of a challenge, they have everything that they need to push their skills to the limit.
Don't fall off!
A plus of RIDE 2
is that it was completely glitch free, possibly due to a hefty 9GB update that accompanied the already large size of the game -- be ready to make some room if your HDD is already quite full. Those who played the first RIDE
will also be relieved to know that the long load times have been vanquished. There can be a couple of load screens in succession, such as when the game starts up, but the actual load times aren't as painful. You are also free to look at a 360o
model of a bike and read about it while you wait, so getting onto the track is a smooth and quick process.
The achievement list of RIDE 2
is similar to that of the first game, but with a couple of additions. You will need to have a ton of credits handy so that you can buy 50 bikes
for your collection, as well as trying out all of the events that are on offer. The game also features daily and weekly challenges
so you will need to compete in those. Reaching the top position
in the world tour will probably take you the longest and will get you the majority of the other achievements in the process, so while this is a slightly tougher list than the first game, it is achievable with a bit of dedication.
Milestone knows their stuff when it comes to motorbikes and RIDE 2
is a sure indication of that. The game features a large number of different bikes and they all certainly look the part, but only a small amount of them will get used in the long term as they aren't all useful. The combination of upgrading your bike and tweaking the race options means that all players can become masters of the track after enough practice, but the rewind feature will still come into play on a regular basis. Despite the addition of more bikes and tracks, not much has changed since the first RIDE
, so those who come back for seconds will probably feel a bit of déjà vu when playing. Repetition can creep in, as well, but at least the game won't feel quite as monotonous because of the better load times. If bikes are for you, or you're a novice who wants to jump in, then RIDE 2
will give you some enjoyment.
- Plenty of bikes and customisation options
- Accounts for all player skill levels
- Rewind feature becomes extremely helpful
- Not much has changed from the previous game
- Can feel repetitious after a while
- Using awkward bikes can become frustrating
The reviewer spent 10 hours playing through all modes, gathering plenty of bikes and also falling off them. He managed to earn 19 of the game's 35 achievements along the way. An Xbox One physical copy of the game was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.