Ride 4 (PlayStation 4) Review

By Josh Di Falco 07.01.2021

Review for Ride 4 on PlayStation 4

Milestone are back with their latest iteration of their two-wheeled franchise, with Ride 4 providing a very demanding crash course for newcomers to the series. Proficient riders from previous titles will feel right at home here with the motorbike handling a and maneuvering around the tracks - for beginners, Ride 4 can be extremely unforgiving in the early stages. However, with a little bit of time, grit and perseverance, there is a deep system of mechanics that can be utilised and customised to suit various play styles. Ride 4 strives for realism in motorbike control - and it achieves this by taking strides forward from the previous title, however it does this at the expense of alienating potential new riders.

The career mode is the bulk of where the experience lies in Ride 4, with the Regional Leagues being the starting point for learning the ins-and-outs bike handling. However, there is no tutorial to kick things off - everything is self-taught here, with the biggest help coming from the on-screen driving aid. This outlines the path to take around the track with a colour-coded system to help figure out the timing on when to break into corners, while accelerating out of them. Beyond that point, everything else is trial-and-error in terms of figuring out the best way to handle the motorbikes. There are additional driving aids that can be turned off for the more experienced riders who may wish to commandeer a manual bike while also being in full control of their rider's position.

The Regional Leagues serve as the gateway to unlocking the rest of career mode. Choose between starting off with racing in Europe, Asia or the Americas in a series of various events such as time attacks that are simple time trials or track tests that consist of successfully hitting speed traps. Then there are track day challenges that comprises passing a specified number of riders within a time limit, and then there are the standard races against AI opponents. From the outset, the various cups are locked bar one - and the career mode does a great job of delicately introducing new cups once the prerequisite points have been met. Scoring 'Gold', 'Silver' or 'Bronze' medals in each event grants points that go towards unlocking new cups and events. Before too long, winning five cups in the Regionals unlocks access to the World League, before finally competing at the highest level with the Final Leagues.

Screenshot for Ride 4 on PlayStation 4

Ride 4 can be a challenging experience for those who are using this as a starting off point into their venture into digital motorbike riding. The time attack goals or the AI, even on the easy difficulty, can be a troublesome bunch to keep up with, while the crash physics are enough to force a hard restart due to the unlikely inability to get back into the game after the respawn. While other racing titles like to impose further restrictions by limiting the amount of restarts in a race, fortunately Ride 4 allows for unlimited restarts - which provides ample time for riders to master their craft, perfect the course and ultimately overcome the steep learning curve. The main downer to restarting is having to sit through lengthy load times, though this is probably due to the graphical upgrades of the bikes themselves, which look quite impressive and lifelike.

The steep learning curve isn't so much about trying to figure out how to control the bike, but rather trying to figure out what allowances Ride 4 will give in terms of constraints. The challenges themselves are quite strict in terms of what counts as a fail, as the minimalist of mistakes can be enough to permanently end the run. However, after applying a bit of time, there is a sense of fulfillment upon finally winning the races and events. Despite the difficulty of figuring out the controls, there are useful riding aids that can be turned on that can be used as "training wheels." These still contribute towards career progression, albeit at the cost of garnering less experience points, which hardly matters in the scheme of things.

Screenshot for Ride 4 on PlayStation 4

A bit of grinding out the races to earn money can allow for upgrades on the bike to boost the performance, which in turn helps to deliver better results on the events. Dominating certain events by scoring 'gold' medals on all the races can also result in winning a free motorbike, generally one that can be used and upgraded on the next event. This allows for plenty of room to replay and garner some hours, while also hopefully improving on the best times to slowly work towards winning the gold and scoring enough money to purchase more bikes. There are 'stock' bikes that allow for limited customisation and 'racer' bikes that offer full customisation of the specifications.

The AI can be quite tough in these races, even with the difficulty set to 'easy'. One crash or clip can be enough to derail the whole race. Whether getting hit from the side, or getting rear-ended, the AI has many tools up it's arsenal to cause mayhem on the course - and it may oftentimes feel unfair. However, thanks to the rewind tool, these collisions can be avoided the second or third time around. The rewind feature is a handy tool that can be used perfectly to learn the tracks, and fix any mistakes that may have been made. Of course, the rewind tool can be turned off by advanced riders who wish to embark on a more realistic race where mistakes and crashes are more permanent with serious consequences.

Screenshot for Ride 4 on PlayStation 4

Weather can play a role in determining the stage difficulty also. There are the bright and sunny days to the torrid rainfall events where mistakes can be more costly, and managing speed around corners becomes an even more intense moment. The rain drop details on the screen further hampers the vision on these wet tracks, adding to the 'realism' a little bit. The visuals on display here are wonderful - not only with how the bikes look, but the tracks as well. Even the rumbling of the engines adds an element of intensity to the races, adding some further cosmetic weight to the battles.

Despite career mode bearing the meat of Ride 4, 'Endurance' mode is an extra challenge for experienced riders who wish to pace themselves, with tyre wear and fuel management across a longer race being the key to setting a higher score. For those who are quite daring, endurance races can last up to 24 hours. Otherwise, riders can take their skills online and race in unranked matches against other riders from across the globe. A lack of a leaderboard or daily challenges leaves the online play feel very lacking, which is disappointing contrasted with how packed the offline career mode is.

Screenshot for Ride 4 on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Ride 4 offers a tonne of content for those who itching for a deep dive into an expansive career mode. Race all across the world by winning licenses to open up access into better and more advanced events. Gain affinity with various bikes and manufacturers on the way to becoming the greatest rider. However, a weak online mode, a lack of other real features outside of the career mode and having a steep learning curve for beginners prevents Ride 4 from being the complete package. With plenty of bikes on offer, and upgrades on both the 'stock' and 'racing' side of things to allow for vast improvements over the troublesome AI, this is one of the better digital biking experiences out there.

Developer

MileStone

Publisher

MileStone

Genre

Sport

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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