Let's go back to talking about engines and racing games. After filing the Project Cars 3 and Inertial Drift practices, today we move from four to two wheels with Ride 4, the latest chapter in the series of motorcycle simulations developed by the Milanese software house Milestone, this time in close collaboration with the manufacturer Yamaha .
The road test of the title was in fact preceded by an online round table between the newspaper TeamVVV, the producer of Milestone Luigi Crocetta, the marketing director of Yamaha Paolo Pavesio and the Bridgestone Engineering Manager Fabian Francois. In this mini-conference, the innovations of Ride 4 were discussed and presented.
The goal of both sides, especially after having already packed three chapters, is quite simple: offer its players the ultimate motorcycle simulation. To do this, new additions and refinements have been made to every aspect of the production. Here we take a look at some of the features available in this preview build and find out if Ride 4 can lay the groundwork to please all motorcycling gamers and fans.
A little break at pit stops
Before jumping into the fray and fighting for pole position, the "simulator etiquette" imposes a little detour to the game settings. Once you have set the right balance between the audio levels and found the perfect graphics configuration that can offer the perfect balance between performance and fidelity, it's time to hit the track and choose the game experience that suits my needs. As an arcade player, I admit that I prefer to activate most of the aids, to focus mainly on when to brake and the trajectory of the vehicle. On the other hand, the menu dedicated to motorcycle tuning leaves room for variety and experimentation of different driving approaches.
But driving alone is not enough, it also takes style and for this reason the pilot editor comes to meet us. Inside we find clothing from different brands and categories in the sector - from suits for amateur motorcycling, up to professional ones, even reaching suits suitable for motocross - ready to be combined in combinations that vary from adequate to Frankesteinian.
Ride 4: The test ride
Once the vehicle management has been filed, it's time to take the controller and familiarize yourself with the controls of Ride 4 in the best possible way: by taking a super-performing bike, taking it to 200 kilometers per hour towards a treacherous hairpin bend and making it crash into the guard rail (also known as "The Mario Kart Syndrome"). Seriously, the first hour of play is always that of testing the various possible combinations. And although I can tell you about the available circuits - most of them recreated by scanning the circuit - and the selectable bikes - also recreated by 3D scanning or even following the original designs provided by the manufacturers - I prefer to talk about the sensations. which gives Ride 4.
Driving on Ride 4 is fun and rewarding, even after the thirtieth and ruinous fall. Whether it's riding a Harley-Davidson or a Kawasaki, every race tests the reflexes and decision-making skills of the player: when to brake, when and how to steer and above all, whether or not to overtake. To these factors are also added tire and fuel management during "Endurance" races, where strategy and patience are the only tools capable of catapulting the player to the podium. In addition to these endurance races, this trial version includes the classic “Single Race” and “Time Trial” modes, both of which are useful for testing the bikes and the dynamic weather system. The latter offers several options to manage the time of the race already from the starting line or during the course of it. And if you just can't manage not to find the right situation to show off your driver, the Rewind and Photo Mode and its post-production options allow you to capture the most exciting moments or the most embarrassing failures that occurred during the race.
After all, this first experience on Ride 4 turned out to be interesting. It is as clear as Milestone has raised the qualitative bar, proposing an evolution of the formula put into practice years ago by Polyphony Digital in that Tourist Trophy released on PS2, bringing it to the simulation level. However, before the official release on 4 PlayStation, Xbox One and PC, it would be better to fix some of the technical flaws. First of all, collision management - too "explosive" even when the bike just touches the edge of the track - artificial intelligence a little naive in some circumstances and some graphic details of the background of some tracks, to be improved during polishing.