Riders Republic (Xbox Series X/S) Review

By Luke Hemming 09.12.2021

Review for Riders Republic on Xbox Series X/S

Cubed3 was given the opportunity to put Riders Republic through its paces in its initial beta with fun gameplay great graphics, and the encouragement for exploration being touted as some of its high points. Some sports did however feel a little redundant, and just not as fun as the excellent mountain biking element. So here is the full release! Have the initial gripes been ironed out while still maintaining the fun elements already present? Thankfully, what made this such a great foray into the extreme sport has been kept and then some.

Ubisoft has decided on what gamers would think the best extreme sports are outside of their darkened bedrooms, and gone with Mountain Biking, Skiing/Snowboarding and Wing suiting (which apparently is a thing) and placed all in a massive, gorgeous world to enjoy. Think Forza without the safety of being housed in a metal shell. Tour the massive open world, partake in various extreme sports activities, and gain stars to unlock bigger and better tournaments and equipment. The scope of the world is both impressive and exciting, and with so many different ways to approach a set landscape, a lot of replayability is included by default. The more you immerse yourself in the 'rad' culture, the more stars earned to unlock new races and equipment.

Screenshot for Riders Republic on Xbox Series X/S

Connection is quick with one of the standout features being the online races. Taking in the three main disciplines over a set distance, you really get the everything Riders Republic has to offer in a tight quick, pick-up-and-play package. This will easily level one up through the ranks although maybe the most enjoyable aspects have been finding objectives and OTT events out in the open world. The best advice would be to not rush. Get out there and find those rare lines and seemingly inaccessible areas, but dip into the multiplayer chaos every so often.

As mentioned in the preview and still holding true in the full release, the mountain biking side of things easily feels like the strongest part of the experience and where the most time has been spent in development. This feels somewhat surprising considering that the previous attempt focused so much on the white powder. Whatever the reasoning, its genuinely exhilarating bombing down a track, weaving in and out of whatever obstacle may be in the way, and then leaping into the air with a flourish. After pulling away from the mountain biking however, its clear that the other disciplines have been looked at and tweaked in terms of their controls. It does encourage switching between the three main sports which is essential when two thirds of your game aren't spent on wheels.

Screenshot for Riders Republic on Xbox Series X/S

First-person mode shines and gives some genuinely heart-stopping experiences at times. It really does feels like split second decisions are vital to success with mistakes leading to a real-life flinch and squirm as your avatar eats dirt. Hopefully in the future this can be incorporated into some kind of VR DLC on other platforms, as it really is pretty gripping. An issue still lingers, however. With any trick performed it pulls the camera back into third person view to show its full extravagance. Part of the learning curve both virtually and in real life is face planting and leg breaking, so it would be nice to see those from behind the pupils. If this is a feature, it's yet to be found by this reviewer and hopefully something that will get patched in future.

Screenshot for Riders Republic on Xbox Series X/S

Controls are tight, and swooping is now an option both through the air and along the crest of a hill. Fun has certainly been at the forefront of development, and along with the controls comes the option of auto or manual landing. Auto ensures that your instruments of severe injury always land in a sensible manner, whereas manual gives complete control over spin and rotation. It's a nice touch which leaves Riders Republic in a position of catering for all levels of skill. With more points awarded for manual landings too, gameplay slowly edges you down towards the more advanced 'trail' once comfortable with the basics.

The hub functions as the main base of operations for riders, and races can be jumped into from here, landmarks visited and objectives set, as well as nooks and crannies to explore. Vehicles are also distributed to give quicker access to event across the landscape although at the moment it is criminal tricks can't be attempted with the snowmobile. With great engine power comes even less responsibility. One particular highlight was finding a technical bike trail along the top of the arena with tents, vans and participants all going about their business below, while bikes carefully navigate the boardwalk above. With the full version there are many more of these to find. All tricks and skills can be refined at the hub as well as purchases made for new gear and outfits. It was also quite exciting to see official sponsors on gear as well as real equipment. If keeping a pricey full suspension or a snow deck in the garage from one of the companies represented, its quite a thrill to equip a gaming avatar with your own home set-up.

Screenshot for Riders Republic on Xbox Series X/S

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Riders Republic has managed to tweak the majority of small gripes that were in place in an already fun beta release and in its final version, given gamers easily the best extreme sports simulator on the market - ironically done by embracing the craziness of the sports themselves and making events increasingly zanier as progression is made. For purists, they will find the type of experience that will link them in memory, back to the seasons of being out there on the trails and slopes (or in the air if anyone has actually tried that mental gliding thing). For the stay-at-home gamer, this really is as close as it feels to being out there with the added enjoyment of the extreme element pushed to its… well, extreme, all without a scraped knee or full reconstructive surgery in sight.

Developer

Ubisoft

Publisher

Ubisoft

Genre

Sport

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

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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