Riders Republic Review – Extreme Enjoyment Evolved

 

 
Overview
 

Genre: Extreme Sports
 
Rating: PG
 
Release Date: October 28th, 2021
 
Overall
 
 
 
 
 
4.5/5


 

Positives


- Some of the most insane massive multiplayer racing events we’ve ever seen
- Great range of transportation and variety of character customisation
- Lots of content with plenty to come.

Negatives


- Believe it or not, the map actually seems a bit small - especially for Ubisoft.
- Social activities need expanding
- Some environmental objects are glitchy which can cause massive upsets in races.


Posted November 1, 2021 by

 
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Riders Republic makes its grand opening with 64 player mass races, a huge open-world to explore, a great range of transportation and an ever-changing variety of character customisations in what promises to be one of the biggest and most extreme extreme-sports genre games ever. Put Steep on the shelf, it’s time to nestle into America’s best playground… nature.

Riders Republic

When we jumped into the Riders Republic beta two months back, we came across a game that felt complete but needed some tweaks to get it ready for launch. Players were pinging all over the place which made the Mass Race events incredibly jolty, and the open-world difficult to enjoy. Ubisoft appears to have fixed those issues for the full launch of Riders Republic though, and we’re happy to report that even though the chaos of a Mass Race is entirely unsettling in its own right, it now at least runs smoothly.

While the map appears massive at first, once you unlock fast travel around it and the fast modes of air travel, the map quickly shrinks with greater accessibility. Combining this with the fact that it’s just one big square, the mash-up of America’s national parks feels a bit forced. Nevertheless, players can explore Yosemite, Grand Teton, Sequoia, Canyonlands, Zion and Mammoth, each with their own unique biomes to explore including snow, forests, river systems, canyons, deserts and more. The snow area was quite large, though Steep fans might feel a bit short-changed given the rolling hills of snow don’t last forever.

Riders Republic

Riders Republic introduces a new Zen Mode for the game where players can chill offline and just enjoy the vibes that the open-world has on offer. While we didn’t spend much time in this mode, it’s a great way to relax, practice, and record some footage without other players and AI ruining your shots. Other than that, the main game is packed full of content split across bike, snow and aerial vehicles. There are also races that incorporate two or all three of the vehicle types, switching between them throughout the race a la The Crew 2. In the open world on the other hand, an easy to use flywheel can switch between vehicle types on the go, or you can also put your bike away and just walk around the map.

The main hub of the game is known as Riders Ridge and acts as a gathering location as well as providing various parts of the game which are accessible through the menus in a more natural setting such as the shop, the mass race queue, Shackdaddy events, and more. Once you’ve completed the introduction to the game, there’s barely any reason to return to Riders Ridge but it’s nice having it there as a place to chill and escape the wilderness after completing a bunch of extreme events.

Riders Republic Beta

The career mode is quite extensive in that at the moment there are 7000 star levels to achieve, though the actual career content only runs up to around 750 stars before the final events are unlocked. There’s no ability progression system, instead relying on your actual skills combined with unlocking new higher-rated vehicles as you progress. Riders Republic is also filled with ‘Funkies’, which are custom and rare vehicle types that are either unlocked through events or located around the world. While these vehicles often have one insane perk, they are eventually superseded by the normal vehicle types, though using things like a surfboard, a paper plane, or an airplane jet engine are comical and lots of fun to mess around with in the open world. Most of these vehicles are used in ‘Shackdaddy’ events which gradually unlock and become more radical as you earn more stars.

Riders Republic also has a sponsors system where you can have three active sponsors at any one time, each with their own challenges and rewards. This doesn’t add too much to the game at this point, other than giving you some extra cash and some branded clothing. There are two types of cash in Riders Republic, one being the premium real-world money purchased Republic Coins, while the other is earnt (albeit slowly) through in-game events. At this stage the currencies can only be used to purchase cosmetic items such as clothing and emotes, though we wouldn’t be surprised if some of the Funkies vehicles are in the store as the game evolves.

Riders Republic

The pinnacle of Riders Republic is the Mass Races. These spawn randomly around the world and an alert is always sent to you in-game with a fast-travel option to get there before the timer runs out. The whole Mass Race system reminded us of Forza Horizon 4’s Forzathon and it’s a lot of fun checking out everyone’s wacky gear at the starting area before a Mass Race begins. Mass Races are three rounds of varying vehicle 32 or 64 player races. There are lots of stars to be earnt in these races, especially if you finish on the podium, so we were always keen to jump into a race when one appeared.

Riders Republic looks and plays amazingly in 4K with 60 frames per second on PlayStation 5. Some biomes do look better than others though, and we found that if you slow the game down to absorb the scenery then you’ll notice just how much effort Ubisoft has put into making the world feel alive with little critters scurrying around and flocks of birds soaring through the sky. Much like Steep, Riders Republic has a first person view which we found incredibly useful for the bike and snow events, particularly when there were dozens of other racers on screen and we just wanted to focus on what was ahead.

As you’d expect for an extreme sports game, an extensive soundtrack is available, split across multiple radio stations. Featured artists include Aphex Twin, Green Day, Ugly Duckling, Wiz Khalifa, and even ICE-T. We found the vehicles had realistic sounds, though we can’t speak specifically for the varying engines attached to the jet-suits. One feature that we found very immersive was breathing sounds made by your character, which varied depending on the type of event and whether or not you were sprinting/speeding down a hill.

Riders Republic is filled with hundreds of events, tonnes of ways to traverse the map, secrets to discover and collect, and much more. Its 32/64 player Mass Race events are amazingly fun, and something no extreme sports fan should miss. With the Year 1 Content roadmap already fully planned out, we are already looking forward to what’s in store for the game throughout 2022 including a full BMX career. We’re just keeping our eyes peeled for a skateboard.

 

Rocket Chainsaw reviewed Riders Republic on PlayStation 5 with review provided by the publisher. Riders Republic is also available on Xbox Series X|S, Windows PC and previous generation platforms. For more information, head to the official website.


David Latham

 
David has a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) from a Go8 university but only uses his unique set of skills writing for passion. By day he's a stay-at-home father of two, by night he responds to the Bat-Signal. Where does he find the time?