Ride 3 was one of the many titles we had the pleasure (or displeasure, you decide) at EGX 2018, and with our very brief time with the game, I learned one thing – I’m never attempting to ride a motorcycle ever in my life.
Having turned up at the oddly quiet booth I found myself quickly sat on the trademark hard plastic stool in front of the third entry into the Ride series with absolutely zero knowledge of the games before it. With some experience in racing games, I thought it wouldn’t be so bad.
Oh, how I was wrong.
I quickly realized that I’d voluntarily thrown myself into a game with all assists off and manual gears. I can barely handle manual gears in real life, never mind in a video game where the sole purpose is to ride around winding roads as fast as technically possible.
After spending a good twenty seconds hammering the throttle with no movement, I quickly shifted into first to save any embarrassment (no embarrassment was saved, I can assure you) and off I went, straight into a wall at around 100 miles per hour. Luckily we’d been informed that the crash physics were quite a sight to behold, and that is certainly true.
Back on the bike, I thought I’d take it a little slower, I thought I was getting the hang of things until I found myself taking a corner in fourth gear at 20 miles an hour. So I shifted down into first and off I went… or at least, off the bike went as I flew off of the back because I happened to also be pulling back on the thumbstick.
If I could have added a soundtrack to my time with Ride 3 it’d have to be either the You’ve Been Framed theme or the Benny Hill theme tune.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t change these settings mid-game so I had to grin and bear it until I essentially pushed the bike across the finish line. Did I learn to add assist on in the next game I played? Nope. Maybe it just wasn’t as clear as I’d have liked it to be – much like the Forza series, adjusting assists play a part in how you’re rewarded. In Ride 3 it’s more for those who want to be considered hardcore superbike racers.
Either way, I’m certainly not a superbike racer.
Visually, Ride 3 is actually quite impressive. Once I’d gained some speed on the straights I the motion blur was enough to give me a sense of speed without making it seem like we’re entering warp speed. Even the moments where I wasn’t travelling at hundreds of miles an hour (which was about 90% of my playthrough), the environments were nicely detailed.
What can I say about the ragdoll physics? Well, I remember back in the nineties there was a mail-order VHS series called Car Wars. In that video were hundreds and hundreds of crashes throughout motorsport, from rally to truck racing and of course, superbike 10-minute playthrough of Ride 3 was watching a modern version of Car Wars which just focused on a single rider being unable to ride a bike.
In all seriousness though, Ride 3 actually has a lot to offer for fans of the sport in terms of racing mechanics. While my assist-off experience was incredibly funny for bystanders, I found it challenging but at the same time I didn’t hate it. I felt that if I really put my all into it I could learn how to control the bike and have a more sim experience than your standard arcade affair.
Ride 3 launches on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on November 30.