RIDE 3 Review

December 8, 2018

Racing games have been plentiful in 2018 and we’ve seen some amazing additions to a cluttered genre. Playground Games’ recent Forza Horizon 4 pushed the boundaries of open-world racing this generation, and Ubisoft’s The Crew 2 showed us just how good the United States can look, as well as featuring a couple of dozen of both road and dirt bikes to cruise down Route 66 on. The team at Milestone has a love for motorbikes and is committed to the cause, with RIDE 3 featuring over 230 bikes at launch and many more to come. RIDE 3 also has an abundance of locations, with both realistic tracks and inspired locations to master.

Ride 3 Review

The menu screens in RIDE 3 are slick and players will enjoy their time navigating and preparing for the next race. From the main screen you can choose career mode (we’ll get in to that later), Quick Modes (Quick Race, Time Attack and Drag Race) which basically allow you to test out any bike in any condition while not counting towards your career or online progression, Xbox Live (online mode) where you’ll find matchmaking and private races, which we didn’t actually find much of as the RIDE 3 community is quite small on Xbox, Weekly Challenges which contains one challenge each week with a competitive leaderboard, and then the rest of the main menu is filled with your editors and settings.

The extensive career mode starts you at the bottom with the most basic bikes. Racing low cc bikes around tracks takes up the majority of your early career, allowing you to get the hang of how the bikes handle if you’re new to the genre. Progressing towards the end of the career takes time but unlocking the final event in each category requires skill. Each event has about five races, and in order to unlock the final event in a category you need to earn maximum stars in a few of the events. This isn’t too tricky to pull off early in the career mode, but as the difficulty rises we found it pretty hard to get full stars in the time trial events. What could have made the career mode (not to mention the rest of the game) better is more point to point races. While there are some, a lot of the races are circuit based, even the road areas that we thought could have worked better if they weren’t a giant loop. Hopefully Milestone brings new point to point tracks via DLC to RIDE 3, as well as some Australian tracks such as the Philip Island MotoGP Circuit.

Ride 3 preview

Aside from the time trials, difficulty in RIDE 3 revolves mostly around the actual difficulty level that you set, as well as how upgraded your bike is. RIDE 3 not only includes an extensive livery editor, but also the ability to upgrade all of the key components of each bike such as brake discs/pads, suspension, filters, chains, mirrors and more. We found that upgrading just a few key components significantly helps you against the AI, but if you’re wanting to beat the riders on the harder difficulties you’re going to have to use both upgrades and skill. Fortunately RIDE 3 has a convenient rewind feature which allows you rewind to the exact moment where it all went wrong (or a little further if that helps). Given the difficulty scale is a slider from 1% to 100%, both experienced riders and newcomers alike will find it easy to play and enjoy RIDE 3.

Handling in RIDE 3 varies depending on the bike you’re riding and the settings you use. By default, the bike will stay on the road and almost ride for you. It’s nigh on impossible to do a wheelie, and tricky to crash unless you hit a wall or another rider. Switching off a few of the assists though truly opens up the bike and allows you to ride fairly realistically. You can change everything from how easy it is to do a wheelie to what position your rider takes corners to which foot is on the ground at the start of each race, which really helps to add to the realism. Customising not only your bike but also your rider with what he wears both on and off the track gives you a good amount of freedom, allowing you to play RIDE 3 the way you want to.

We’ve got a bit of experience on sports bikes this decade, and found that they handled as expected. Learning how the other bikes handle such as the Superbikes and Supermotos, as well as the bounteous bikes you’ll find in the vintage category is what will elevate you through the career mode. Collecting, customizing and racing bikes is what RIDE 3 is all about, and unfortunately you’ll find you can’t only race the bikes you enjoy racing.

Ride 3 preview

The visuals of RIDE 3 is actually what first caught our eye. We’ve played RIDE games briefly in the past and they have notably not been as visually advanced as other games launching around the same time. RIDE 3 looked great when we went hands-on at PAX, and it looks great at launch (and even better if you’re in the world of 4K and HDR). RIDE 3 has settings to get the most out of your 4K HDR tvs, and with the huge roster of bikes, tracks, and different weather and lighting conditions, the game is great to watch, particularly if you’re a bike fan. Our biggest gripe is the crowds though, which look fairly ordinary in the stands. The small groups of supporters you race past are detailed well however, and you’ll notice some of them have even parked their own motorbikes on the side of the road courses as you speed past.

Photo mode is always a welcome feature in games and has been becoming increasingly popular, particularly in 2018 with games like Spider-Man, God of War and of course Super Mario Odyssey leading the way. RIDE 3’s photo mode has an easy to use editor allowing you to make your photo almost look real. We’ve seen some great shop-edited screens from racing games like Forza Horizon 4, and hopefully fans of RIDE 3 will produce similar quality images for us to gawk over online.

Ride 3 Review

In contrast, the audio of RIDE 3 isn’t as great as we had hoped. The soundtrack fits well with the general theme of the game, but the bike engines a little too muffled and low quality compared to what we’ve come to expect in other racing games. While Milestone has clearly gone to a lot of effort to make the audio in RIDE 3 as realistic as they could, we were left with feelings of emptiness and hollowness as the game’s audio doesn’t help at all to make you want to keep playing. There’s little to no voice acting or narrative, and without a large online community there’s a clear detachment here for players that enjoy community gaming.

Summing up RIDE 3 is easy to do. Milestone has taken significant steps with this iteration in making what is arguably the best motorbike racing game to date. While it has some downfalls, there are plenty of reasons to keep playing and more than enough bikes to suit everyone’s tastes. We hope the RIDE franchise continues to improve over the years, as it is now showing signs of potentially being a contender for the racing game of the year category. With plenty more in-store for RIDE 3 post-launch, if you’re looking for a decent motorbike riding game check out RIDE 3.

RIDE 3 was reviewed in 4K on an Xbox One X console, and is also available on PlayStation 4 and Windows PC platforms. For more information head to the official RIDE 3 website here.


- Amazing amount of bikes and tracks to race on
- Pretty graphics
- Neat menus


- Uninteresting single-player career star system
- Not much of an online community

Overall Score: