When I saw the Ride 3 stand, I had to take a moment to pause, and reflect. The strapline that appeared on the stand was “Ride Everything, Feel Everything”. I thought that was quite a proposition, would I really be able to ride everything? How much would I feel?
It turns out that Ride 3, coming this November from Italian developers Milestone features the largest bike roster in any game. I’m no bike nut, but this looks to be approaching GT Sport levels of care attention. There will be over 230 bikes available at launch, ranging from a classic 500cc Honda from 1966 made famous by Mike Hailwood to the all-new Ducati Pangiale v4.
There was quite an extensive number of bikes available during the EGX demo, so my first choice was based on a combination of looks, and name. I chose well with a variant of the Kawasaki Ninja, a full sports bike, one that was about to take my poor rider for the trip of a lifetime. I set out on my Ninja to the stunning Lake Garda route and to my amazement, I overtook some of the AI racers on the race to the first corner!
But, being a track set on the tight, twisty roads around Lake Garda, I slightly underestimated the breaking and handling requirements. For my first taste of Ride 3, I had chosen one of the most challenging combinations of bike, and track. I fought valiantly, and after my three laps of the Italian scenery, my rider had fallen off a dozen times, would have been dead long ago if this was Trials, but was still standing. I’m so pleased there is a replay mode in this game, as I will be recording all my insane crashes for your viewing pleasure.
Struggling with the power of the Ninja, I took a flavour on a Naked bike. Who knew there were so many different types of bikes? If there is one thing I’ll take away from my hands-on with this demo, it is that the full game will educate me in bikes like in the same way that GT Sport does for cars.
I took my new bike for a spin on the south loop of the famous Isle of Man TT circuit. If I thought Lake Garda was good looking, racing through a rainy Isle of Man was another experience entirely. The weather effects looked visually superb, and I have no doubt that with more experience of the game (or with less assists), I would have felt every puddle underneath the tyres. I crashed less here than in Italy, but that might just be because I set the race to a single-lap.
I also ventured to Brands Hatch, and took in the scary and challenging night route around Macau. That was intense, and makes me seriously wonder how sane professional bike riders are. Both looked great, and showed off the wonderful variety of tracks present in Ride 3.
There looks set to be plenty for budding Alessandro Rossi’s to sink their teeth into with the singleplayer career mode. Ditching traditional career mode structures, Ride 3 has a series of over 50 magazines to explore, each offering unique experiences, and promising to reveal more about the history of motorbike racing, and the bikes you’re riding. Unfortunately, this mode wasn’t available during the demo at EGX, but it sounds like the kind of depth and detail that will appeal to the true bike fans.
I will always choose four wheels over two, but Ride 3 has a real thrill to it, especially with tests like the Isle of Man sitting alongside a classic like Laguna Seca.
Ride everything, feel everything.