Ride 4 is a motorcycle game developed for PC, Playstation 4 and Xbox One where you can compete against AI-riders, a friend using a shared screen or against up to 11 other players online. It was released on October 8 2020 by the Italian studio Milestone. We were still able to ride our bikes, even by Swedish weather standards, back then but why not spend the cold winter season playing videogames until we can get back to the tracks?
This is the fourth game in the Ride-series which are known for being a racing simulator, allowing the player to choose from streetbikes, race-prepped streetbikes, superbikes, endurance bikes, old school two-stroke racers, mid-90’s superbikes and even supermotos! Yepp, there are games where you get to race supermotos.
If you’ve spent some time playing GranTurismo or Forza then you probably know what to expect from this game. Ride gives you as a rider the opportunity to evolve as the games difficulty increases. That being said, this game does not start out easy.
Ride 4, compared to the previous versions, have updated graphics, a modular career mode that adapts to you as a rider to provide events that suits you, and tracks that have actual weather changes that will effect the way the bike handles. As a player you also have the option to customize both the bike and the rider appearence. Create your own logo or choose from the supplied in-game library to make your bike one of a kind.
For those of you that managed to get a hold of a PS5 or an Xbox Series X, the next gen version will be available Januari 21, 2021. Milestone is also the developer behind the games MotoGP, MXGP and Supercross the game.
I’ve spent some time playing Ride 2 over the years and the one thing that kept me coming back was the supermoto-events on Castelletto and Ottobiano. Two really challenging tracks from the north of Italy that some of you may have ridden IRL? With my hopes set on some sweet supermoto action, it was time to start racing in earnest.
When we’ve gone through the formalities, picked a racenumber, named the rider and made some customizations on the appearence of our avatar, we started the games intro. The intro consists of a number of events that needs to be passed before we are allowed to progress. The first part is a time-attack on a Yamaha R6 2015. A part of the Tsukuba circuit needs to be navigated in less than 1:19.00. I’m not going to lie. It was difficult. It took me a couple of nights before I managed to get through the entire intro event even though I conceded and lowered the difficulty on the opponents.
The opponents are another chapter all together. There were times in the game where I felt like I was a crash test dummie. All too often when I’ve just started entering the corner I got wiped out by someone from behind that had their mind set on riding exactly where I was. So the games difficulty increased with the stress of knowing that at any moment, someone might ram me from behind. If we are putting it mildly, the AI acts a little bit erratic at times.
Once the intro is over we’re being given a small number of events. In order to unlock more events we need points/trophies. The top three places in the events gives you points and points unlock the next events. My goal, of course, was to unlock the supermotoevents so that I would be able to lay down some cool black lines entering and exiting the corners.
When playing the main events the game got a little bit easier. It’s hard to tell if it was because I learned how to ride or if the difficulty was lower. Milestone tells us that the AI is supposed to learn as we play. So maybe it was just down to some personal growth from the AI where it has learned from all the bad choices it made?
Once I managed to unlock the supermotoevents I needed to buy a supermoto bike. I was pleasantly surprised at the bikes I was able to chose from. Husky FS450, Yamaha YZ450SM, Kawasaki KX450SM and a TM MSX450. Unfortunately I also learned that the tracks that made Ride 2 a great game for me, are not available in Ride 4. The closest we can get to a supermoto track are some tight Brittish roadracing tracks that are being shortened for the supermotos. Sadly not what I was hoping for.
Still, this game is really good. Milestone spent a lot of time on the bikes making sure that they look good, sound great and handle like they should. The sound is specially noticeable when riding with the camera in the helmet and being able to hear the airstream rushing past outside the helmet down the fast straights. Unfortunately the sound from the competitors are a little bit to loud. For example, when riding with a 3 second gap to the rider behind it still sounded like they were breathing down my neck entering corners. With the previous bad experience from my competitors this increased the stress levels significantly when riding.
Between races we have the option to modify the bikes abilities. By adjusting the suspension we can make the bike turn in faster or slower, we can adjust compression and rebound in both the front and the rear suspension if the bike is behaving in some way that we do not approve of. I learned early on that regardless of bike it was always a good idea to add preload to the rear suspension. This helps with turn in and these bikes really need it.
As we progress we are also able to adjust the braking and throttle behaviour. We get to chose from “aggresive” or “soft”. Soft being the standard setting and aggresive what I found to be the most useful. And finally we get to chose what tyre compound we want to run with. We are also able to chose the settings for anti-wheelie, traction control and assisted braking.
I started testing Ride 4 with the hopes of getting to ride supermoto as I did in Ride 2 but with better graphics and even better feel for the bike. Unfortunatley it still seems as if the best supermoto race experience can be found in Ride 2 or 3. Ride 4 is still a better game and it’s really entertaining to whack the throttle of a Superduke R around Imola, and also quite challenging. If you are into motorcycle games then this game is probably worth the money. But if you want to take part in some cool supermoto racing then the predecessors Ride 2 or 3 are probably a better option for you. They may even be available somewhere on a discount?
But who knows, maybe one of the upcoming DLC:s will contain some italian supermoto tracks?
If not, then we’ll just keep grinding those earlier games and keep our hopes up for Ride 5.