Let’s get one thing clear right from the start. I am crap at driving games and even worse at racing games. Anyone who has watched me play Wreckfest, Snowrunner, Grid etc on Twitch will happily attest to this.
Now add the fact the Ride 4 is a Superbike racing game and this review gets a hell of a lot more difficult. Honestly, I think the last time I was any good at a bike racing game was Road Rash back on the Megadrive…and some of my friends would say that is debatable. But I nobly soldiered on and ploughed hours into Ride 4 so that I could bring you dear reader my deep and insightful opinion.
As with any modern-day racing sim, Ride 4 comes with a slew of game modes including single race, career, endurance and multiplayer (which I haven’t tried due to servers not been live before release). For the purpose of this review, we will feature on the career mode.
There are over 170 different bikes from 17 different manufactures. Brands like BMW, Honda, Ducati, Suzuki, Triumph, Yamaha etc as well as over 30 tracks including some legendary settings such as Brands Hatch, Donnington and Laguna Seca.
The career mode in Ride 4 seems quite extensive. Three championships set in Europe, America and Asia before moving on to the World league and Final League. I would love to tell you how the career plays out, how enjoyable, innovative and immersive it is but I can’t because I couldn’t get anywhere in it.
Yep, that right I couldn’t get past the very first test. Which by the way is quite simply complete a lap within a set time. I have no idea if the time required is easy or unobtainable because the instant your back tire touches a single blade of grass your lap is invalid.
Honestly Ride 4 has got to be the strictest and most infuriating game I have ever played. This isn’t simply a case of me being bad at Ride 4 ( I have already I suck at driving games) but I even brought in our resident racing game reviewer Marc Smith. Even with his wealth of racing knowledge and his expertise at Formula 1 games he struggled for an hour until he finally got passed the first lap. What was his reward for doing so? A fucking license test!
Yep once you pass the admission test you then have a series of license task to do in order to earn the right to race. After about 6 demoralising hours of failed attempts where we called Ride 4 every name under the sun, refused to play anymore and at some point started drinking we finally made earned our license and could race!
How was the championship races I hear you cry? again I couldn’t tell you. Marc started up the first race was taken out on the first corner by a pack of bikes, threw the pad while shouting fuck this and we went to the pub. I haven’t started up the game since and that was 3 days ago.
Ride 4 is a pretty decent looking game graphically and it certainly boasts a lot of content. 24-hour endurance races, multiplayer championships and online multiplayer. Its massive problem is how god damn strict it is. Ride 4 quickly goes from being a fun, exciting race game to an absolute chore and misery to play.
It is a shame because I think there is a good game in there. It is just that Ride 4 doesn’t want to be played.
Overall Score – ???/10
Honestly, I would love to be able to give Ride 4 a score out of 10 but the difficulty makes it impossible to do so. Ride 4 genuinely feels like it is gatekeeping the superbike genre for elite gamers. There is nothing wrong with that of course, but if you are a casual gamer then you can’t say I didn’t warn you!