Riders Republic is a nice little surprise from Ubisoft. Even though players have been knee-deep with Far Cry 6 and other flagship titles from this developer, this little extreme sports title is worth mentioning. It’s been a while since Ubisoft crafted a game that was solely focused on racing. Given that the next generation of gaming is officially upon us, this game is a nice way to kick off the sub-genre of extreme sports for this era. Even though the combination of sports and video games has been around since forever, the next step of evolution for these types of games is social connection. Which, by the way, is exactly what Riders Republic delivers.
Of course, when it comes to a quintessential racing experience, the Forza series will be at the top. However, let us not undermine Riders Republic because this game has a lot to offer, even though it might be in the shadow of Forza Horizon 5 and its ilk. This game was made with Ubisoft’s own Anvil engine and it shares the same smooth, alluring, and detailed look like their other games. This extreme sports simulator is a cross-platform offering that allows loads of fun and hijinx to unfold in real-time. Even though the core of this game is racing against other players and breaking personal records, there is also quite a bit of content to find, as well.
Greed and Speed
Riders Republic is known as a “massively-multiplayer sports title.” There isn’t a selection of “tracks” or “maps” that players will sift through on the menu. Instead, this game offers an open world in where players can freely pick any spot to race on. It is kind of a like giant public park that’s complete with trails, ridges, bridges, walkways, and slopes. Everything is interconnected and the entire map is teeming with activities. Players will be able to grind through Yosemite Valley, Grand Teton, and Sequoia Park just to name a few. Up to 64 players can race together for one epic marathon of shredding madness through a number of different races. This makes this game feel like a high-octane version of Fall Guys due to the zany character skins and chaos. All of the races offer something unique in terms of gameplay mechanics and feel. Snowboarding, skiing, mountain biking, wingsuit flying, and even jetpacks can be used for aerial racing.
When it comes to mountain biking, there is a stamina meter to which players will need to watch while manually peddling through rough terrains. Alternatively, skiing and snowboarding are all about managing speed and landing jumps. Speaking of jumps, there is a feature available to automatically let players safely land while catching air. Of course, gamers who think they have skills and want a true challenge can turn that feature off and do it themselves for more points. There are actual landmarks to find and collectibles to accumulate for unlockables. After each match, players will be awarded cash that they can use to buy skins that can range from rad to the absurd. Thusly, there is also a single-player “career” mode that players can try out if multiplayer isn’t their thing.
There are special unlockables while playing the “career mode” which players can use to help them out. Things like a new bike with better grip or a board that is easier to land, for example. Players can climb up the ranks and acquire better gear to show off and obtain other perks. This type of gear can only be garnered through play and it can’t be bought with in-game cash. The map is also fully explorable. Players can use their own unlocked vehicles to get around and find hidden areas, secrets, challenges, and items. It is also possible to just simply walk around on foot and soak in the vistas if a player is enamored to do so. Riders Republic is a live-service game and there will be new content drip feeding down for many seasons to come. Everything from time attack races to trick-attack. This game has virtually any type of race anyone can think of. The last stretch of the game will consist of the “Riders Ridge Invitational” which entails all of the racing activities put into one, epic solitary event.
It’s also possible for players to personally craft their own races and share them with the world. Thusly, if gamers are looking for something that isn’t a high-speed trek, there are “Arena Matches” that they can try out. These are 6v6 game modes where players will need to grind and out-trick each other. Ubisoft is notorious for putting a little too much content into its games. However, when it comes to Riders Republic, layers of content are actually welcomed since racing games have a tendency to get stale quickly. This game is mostly played in a third-person perspective, but it can also be switched to first-person on the fly during matches. The areas that players can race through are varied and are accident-prone. There aren’t any guardrails or fences to bounce off of. It’s very easy to fall into a gully, off a cliff, or downhill. Luckily the controls are tight and there is even a feature that enables players to reverse time by a few seconds to retry a mishap. However, this only affects the player and not the other racers. So, it’s best to use this sparingly because it can easily cost a race.
Spills, Wheels, and Thrills
Riders Republic was originally released this past October and it kind of slipped under a lot of people’s radars. Even though it might have its quirks, it’s a fundamentally solid game with favorable reviews under its belt. It looks like Ubisoft is planning on supporting this game for years to come and rightfully so. It appears that the developers took what they did with Steep and added more meat to it. There’s a lot to take in and fans of extreme sports and racing, in general, will most likely get a kick out of this title. Riders Republic is now available for PlayStation, Xbox, Google Stadia, Amazon Luna, and PC.