Following a two-and-a-half-year hiatus, the Ride franchise has sprung back into life following the formal unveiling of Ride 5.
Once again, it is set to feature a focus on road-going motorcycles, old and new. The main appeal of the Ride titles is a lengthy single-player career where you earn cash to spend on an ever-growing bike collection, across a mix of fictional and licenced circuits.
In a very simplified way, this could be seen as Gran Turismo but for two-wheeled vehicles.
In-depth career returns
The main single-player mode in 2020’s Ride title was massive. Truly, gargantuan. It returns with a fresh lick of paint in 2023, although we are yet to see the progression trees, menus or format.
This time, it appears as if a ‘rivals’ system has been integrated, sounding analogous to that of the MotoGP 23 career mode, working alongside an overall leaderboard of fellow competitors. 10 main rivals will be included, with their own personalities, backgrounds, and aesthetics. The aim is simple, reach the top.
Once again, customising your rider and bikes is a large component, and where you’ll spend most of your hard-earned credits.
The structure will be broken down into ‘core’ and ‘secondary’ events, although how that plays out remains to be seen. We do know, however, that there will be four main event ‘bundles’ and over 200 events.
The track list is always spectacular in a Ride game. For the fifth instalment, at this early stage, we can see that Suzuka, Brands Hatch and the North West 200 return alongside at least two new real-world circuits:
- Sonoma Raceway
Sonoma is located in California, and you may know it from present-day NASCAR Cup Series races or its former titles of Sears Point Raceway or Infineon Raceway.
Autpolis, meanwhile, is a remote Japanese venue and is currently used in the SUPER GT championship, alongside appearing in Gran Turismo 7.
There also appears to be a unique location, a road that races high above a tropical landscape. We’re looking forward to seeing more of this one at a later date.
Don’t forget the motorcycles too. Featured prominently is the BMW M 1000 RR, which returns from the previous title but is now in the ‘2023’ upgraded specification. However, the MV Agusta F3RR is included as one of the fresh additions.
Current-gen systems only
In a nod to a growing industry trend, Ride 5 will be on PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S only, joining the likes of Need for Speed Unbound as a racing title that will avoid releasing on the elder PlayStation 4 and Xbox One systems.
This is the first Milestone title to take this approach, with the upcoming MotoGP 23 still releasing on older platforms.
Ride 4 previously featured changeable weather conditions, which returns for 5, but now – presumably thanks in part to the ditching of prior devices – volumetric clouds will now change shape and density while you race, working with a supposedly enhanced lighting system. The dynamic system will also measure real-time track and air temperature.
Mid-endurance race saves
As motorcycle game content creator ROBO46 requested in his Ride 5 wishlist article on Traxion.GG recently, you can now save endurance races mid-event.
This is essential, as in Ride 4, these could last up to 24 hours in length!
A rewind feature can also be used within endurance events, which feature dynamic weather and pitstops, and there’s the promise of online play too – although the exact details for this element are obscure at present.
New rider assists
A key part of the Ride games is accessibility. They have never been positioned as out-and-out simulators, but rather as approachable career-led games.
However, as we noted in our Ride 5 ‘wishlist’ article recently, Ride 4 suffered from some difficult balancing challenges and physics softening for all post-release.
Ride 5 touts a greater range of rider assists – something we’ve seen with the studio’s Monster Energy Supercross series in the past couple of years – this time said to be reworked and powered by artificial intelligence. We’ll hope to test these out as the release nears.
Cross-platform multiplayer and split-screen
Local split-screen makes its Ride series return (missing in 3 and 4), aping the recent MotoGP and Supercross titles by the Milestone, and the online races will be cross-platform across PlayStation and Xbox and then on PC between Steam and Epic.
The same is true of the helmet, sticker and livery editor, with multi-platform content sharing possible.
August release date
Ride 5 will release on 24th August 2023. A digital special edition for the game offers three-day early access alongside the proposed season pass of post-release DLC.
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