Review: Ride 4 (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • PC

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
Title: Ride 4
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PSN (14.8 GB)
Release Date: October 8, 2020
Publisher: Milestone srl
Developer: Milestone srl
Original MSRP: $49.99 (USD)
ESRB Rating: E
A code for the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

The closest I got to riding a motorbike in real life was a little joyride on a friend’s moped when I was about twelve years old. I almost crashed into a car and then a wall. It was nothing to be proud of and quite embarrassing to this day. When it came to the digital version, I thought I wasn’t as bad as my traumatic childhood self; however, Ride 4 tells me that I’m worse.

Gameplay:
The Test Track makes me feel like a failure. It’s too strict and leaves no room for a novice like me. I have to pass through gates placed along the racing line. If I miss one, clip a post, or drive too slowly through one, I get penalized. This is fine, as it teaches the player to use the best line, but the times are too strict, and I only just scraped through with a bronze.

I can adjust the Riding Aids, some of which include Automatic Braking, Off-Track Help, and automatic Tuck-In. Turning on any of these lowers my reward bonuses, but at this point, I’d be lucky with making it over the finishing line without embarrassment smeared over my face.

The thing that scares most people about riding a motorbike is how easy it is to end up ragdolling on the tarmac, and you’ll face those fears in this game. Well, at least I did. Clipping a curb, or one of the A.I. bikers slamming into my character, would always result in a short and sharp introduction to the ground. More often than not, it would happen during the first few turns, so at least a quick restart means I can try again.

The bike handling is okay, but, no matter how hard I try, the A.I. ends up kicking my butt, usually by rear-ending me on a tight turn. Is this the Demon’s Souls of the biking world? Even the Time Trials in the Career mode are evil, because even just one single fiber of the bike going off the track signals an instant failure.

One very welcome change from the previous edition is the load times; they are manageable in this iteration and nothing like the painful slog of the last game. This is great, and will be even better on the next-gen hardware.

This game still has the Credits, but does away with the Ride ID Prestige in favor of Experience, Model Affinity, and Constructor Affinity. The Career mode is all about the Points, with a certain amount needed to unlock the next set of Events. I scrape by in this, but the A.I. always seems to ruin my chances.

Visuals:
Ride 4 is an impressive looking game. The rest of my family dislike it when I use the first-person or helmet views, as they get a little nauseated. I didn’t feel bilious, but did find it harder to judge the corners and so opted for the original third-person view.

Just like in the previous iteration, I’m happy to see the option to choose between a higher resolution or higher framerate remains. What has been taken away is the player’s apartment where you create a character that potters around in the menu’s background.

There is an option to create designs on the leathers, which can be used and shared online. I can also create Bike Liveries, Helmet graphics, and even Stickers. Although, the latter seems of no use.

The developers at Milestone have really worked hard in this department and everything from the lighting to the trackside details are top-notch. I did find the rain effect on the track to have a noticeable drop-off in quality quite close to the bike. It didn’t ruin the overall effect, and works very well in the helmet view.

Audio:
Ride 4 has some great sound effects if you like the noise of a dozen motorbikes revving and speeding around the track. The menu music is okay, with no licensed tunes or anything like that. I wasn’t a fan of it during the long wait between online races, now that I mention it.

Online/Multiplayer:
I held off on posting this review until I could get some time online, and I’m glad I did. While I didn’t do all that well, I did have some fun. The lobby filled up after a couple of races, the connection was solid, and I didn’t notice any issues, aside from getting my bike stuck in a barrier on the first turn of an unfamiliar track, and taking the rest of the race to claw my way up a few positions from the back of the pack.

From what I can tell, the only option is for single races. There doesn’t seem to be a way of queuing up a group of tracks or choosing a championship. This meant there was some extra time between races, where we went back to the lobby and voted for a track.

Conclusion:
I want to like Ride 4, I know there is a good game here, just not for newbies, or even anyone at the novice level. The difficulty is unforgiving, and that ruins the experience for me. The graphics are an improvement in this iteration, but it feels like I’m clutching a rose and the thorns are digging in all too often.

Hardcore fans won’t be disappointed with this one, but I’m going avoid this for now and pray the developers at Milestone add a Super Easy difficulty level in the future.

Score:

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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