Between the MotoGP and Ride franchises, Milestone has significant experience in motorcycle racing games. They use their considerable skills to make the most polished motorcycle racing game available in Ride 4. Just about everything here is an improvement over Ride 3, and while not necessarily improving on them, it ports over some of the best features of MotoGP 20.
Visually, Ride 4 is a noticeable step up over Milestone’s previous games. The stable of bikes look beautiful, customization is as good as you’ll get in a cycle racing game, and new features like dynamic weather have been added. Frankly, it’s just a good looking game and I think fans will give the game’s included photo mode a workout. This would all be meaningless if the framerates suffered, but I only encountered frame drops on the PlayStation 4 in the most extreme situations. This is a smooth, good-looking experience.
The controls have been tightened up in this iteration, as well. This is a good thing, too, since the game will demand your most skilled riding to advance through the single-player modes. Ride 4 comes with a significant learning curve that will stymie beginners. Either grit your teeth and climb the curve or wait for a more casual title. And you should not feel you can fall back on the assists in the game. It feels almost as if Milestone included assists to teach beginners a lesson. Namely: turn assists off as soon as possible because some trials are virtually impossible with them on. Veterans of other Milestone titles, on the other hand, will adapt quickly, and they should definitely be looking to upgrade to Ride 4.
What is in the game may be polished, but you will find that there is not an incredible amount to offer. The single-player is limited to tournaments and some single races you can customize a little. The tournaments have some meat, but they’ll be over quickly for veterans. The real staying power is in the multiplayer, and based on previous Milestone efforts it’s a safe bet there will be a sizeable community to race against. There is also a roadmap for post-launch content, both free and paid, which should keep things going.
Ride 4 Review Final Thoughts:
Ride 4 is the pinnacle of motorcycle racing games at the moment, but that doesn’t mean it’s a must buy. If you have put time into MotoGP 20 or Ride 3 and are eager for more content then don’t hesitate, Ride 4 has everything you want in a polished package. However, newcomers absolutely need to decide if they are willing to invest the time to pass even the first grouping of tournament trials. The payoff is that you really feel like you earn your first victory, but it will be a while before you get one.