Ride: A Game In Which One Rides (Motorbikes)

Zoom zoom.

I have dreams of prowling through forest in Oregon or Washington on a sweet hog, just me and the open road – like James Hurley but less of an arse. I also once had someone show me the flesh-flecked insides of their leather trousers after an accident. I have Thoughts on motorbikes, I’m saying, but few are related to this game. I’m wasting your damn time. Sorry.

We haven’t mentioned at all that the race fans at Milestone are branching out from licensed games to make their first own original game, Ride. So here’s a post sparked by news that the bike-o-racer now has a release date: March 20th.

Ride is a video game in which you ride motorbikes and you ride them fast, because your rides are actually races. Some of the motorbikes you ride are new, like an electric superbike, but some of the ones you can ride are older ‘historical’ bikes. But where does one ride bikes? On tracks set in cities, around the countryside, and on circuits, is the answer.

It takes guts to claim such a prominent verb for your game’s name. “Yeah, our game about riding has such good riding that we went ahead and named it ride,” it seems to claim. “You might say it’s the definitive riding experience.” I wouldn’t name my platformer Jump or my FPS Shoot. Perhaps this indicates they’re really committing to this, something they own themselves, and doing their level best; it sounds like their World Rally Championship and MotoGP games have been a bit lacking in recent years.

Milestone are being quite secretive, mostly showing renders of bikes with rare snips of gameplay at events, which perhaps doesn’t bode well. Here, you can watch a bit this-a-way.

18 Comments

  1. s732 says:

    I was very excited by the idea and then very disappointed by the video. I’ve nudged the edge of the road on a motorbike before. That’s not what happens…

    I’m thinking there is a crowd funding opportunity for a motorbike open world simulator here. the racing isn’t really necessary. Just a bunch of beautiful locations, traffic and some cool bikes would be enough challenge and reward.

    • Guvornator says:

      I played the demo for their MotoGP game – terrible. Zero sense of the knife-edge that those bikes are on, and you could flip flop from side to side with impunity. A shame, as I (and anyone who read the reader’s screenshot page of PCG) loved their World Superbike games of yore.

      • hygroovy says:

        Might I recommend link to gp-bikes.com ? For all your bike riding simulation needs. Not shiny. A learning curve so steep it took me about 10 minutes to complete my first corner. But it does genuinely try to simulate real bike physics, not just look like it does. Also has an excellent community making mods (bikes, tracks, skins, HUD’s and telemetry capture etc.). Horrifically frustrating, but also hugely satisfying when you do well. Still in development and free demo!

  2. nothingfaced says:

    I’m a biker and was interested in Ride until I spotted that it was developed by Milestone. I’ve bought their MotoGP games in the past and they’re buggy and very poorly supported; MotoGP doesn’t even have a way to quit the damn game from career mode, you have to kill it with task manager. Shitty console port as some would say.

    Good luck to them with this but I’ll be staying away until all the reviews are in and see if Milestone do a better job with supporting their products.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Grizzly says:

    So it’s like classic NFS but with bikes?

    I can dig that, but it has been too long since we had driving games like the classic NFS games. I might be clutching at straws here.

    • Prolar Bear says:

      I get what you’re saying though. I was expecting this to look worse, it could fill the NFS \ Driveclub niche on PC.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      You shouldn’t clutch so heavily.

  4. Perkelnik says:

    I was excited until I saw its Milestone game and took a better look at the picture. Milestone havent created decent bike game in years. And judging from the picture, they have no idea about bike riding – riders position is just wrong for many reason.
    So thats that, back to waiting for the spring and better weather

  5. Perjoss says:

    The last decent game I played in which you could ride bikes around in an open world environment was Test Drive Unlimited, the handling wasn’t great but you quickly forgot about it as you could ride for hours and not see the same bend or stretch of road twice. Does Ride restrict you to loop type races or do you have a bit of freedom to roam.

    Always open to suggestions for a good free roam driving game, especially if it has bikes.

  6. fredc says:

    Looks like a physics and rider model that hasn’t changed since Microprose’s GP500 about 20 (?) years ago. Only more console-y.

    Unfortunately, bike games are always going to suck. A bike game’s control inputs need to model very subtle bar and peg inputs, but _also_ rider body position and weighting. Body input is both complex to model and map to simulator controls, and absolutely fundamental to bike control. Contrast this with a track car, where you chuck in a deep bucket seat and multi-point harness specifically in order to immobilise the driver’s torso.

    Even if you overcome the above problem with a bike sim, you then need an input device that can deliver very subtle force feedback cues to – at least – hands, feet and butt. There are no visual and limited auditory cues to traction or incipient handling problems, and even fast road bikes have very small slip angles before things go badly wrong.

    Any sim input device that could model the above would be horrifically complex and expensive, with a very small market. The one proven solution to these problems is called “the motorcycle”, and is available from your local used bike ads or bike shop. While expensive compared to PC peripherals, they are very cheap if you like going stupidly fast everywhere while getting 35-50mpg (and occasionally freezing your arse off or sliding into a ditch).

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Aye, far too many physical elements to it.

      One could argue that driving sims would conversely need expensive shaky stations but the pull of G-forces on a car is more something you have to endure rather than actively control, most of the useful feedback rests on the wheel and a good FSB support is already decent enough, though obviously not perfect.

    • Maritz says:

      I always find it hard enough playing an FPS at a friend’s house when they haven’t inverted the mouse. Imagine having to countersteer with a gamepad.

  7. Sp4rkR4t says:

    I’d love a decent riding game, a map like Euro Truck Simulator 2 but with bikes and in a really pretty engine.

  8. DodgyG33za says:

    What I don’t want in a bike simulator is to look at someones arse for the whole game.

    To make matters worse the rider in the vids seems to have an angular equivalent of Parkinsons. No smooth leans into the corner for that guy.

    All in all it seems to be a scenery scrolling simulator with a mini-game of move the man around on a jittery static bike in the foreground.

    As fredc says above. this ain’t simple to do right, and this is proof of that.

  9. FreeTom says:

    I wouldn’t name my platformer Jump or my FPS Shoot
    Me neither, but I do hope one day to see Cara reviewing a game called Wank.

  10. Nikosdashoota_ says:

    Please tell me someone has played TT on ps2 by Polyphony Digital? This game, to me is the standard by which all other bike games are measured. No game I’ve ever played has come close to replicating(/simulating?) that unmistakable feel of riding a bike on the limit. Such a rare gem for some reason, it took me months to find it back in day, eventually found it secondhand in blockbusters streatham by chance long after giving up looking, even now when I fancy a mosey through secondhand bin im still sort of looking for it.

    • Grayman says:

      On bumpy tracks like the nurburgring TT really gave the feeling of flight. Ride is attractive to me in the same sense TT that it isn’t a pure circuit racing game.

    • hygroovy says:

      TT is the yardstick I measure other bike games against. 100% completed it and then wiped the memory card so I could do it all over again. But the physics still werent quite right, when you played it for a while you could game the system a little which spoilt the immersion. Close, but still trying to LOOK like real bike physics but not actually BEING real bike physics. Still, if this is as good as TT I’d snap it up.