Review: Ride 4

About this Game

Publisher

Milestone

Developer

Milestone

Release Date

October 05, 2020

Console

PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5

How long does it take to unlock all trophies in Ride 4?

~30h

How difficult is it to unlock all trophies in Ride 4?

Medium (5/10)

Does Ride 4 have online trophies?

Yes

Does Ride 4 have difficulty-specific trophies?

No

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Engine Failure

I’m always on the lookout for new PS5 games to try and particularly interested in finding a racing game to experience how such a game can use adaptive triggers and haptic feedback.

I’m not a motorbike guy, so this game wouldn’t have been my first choice normally. However, the lack of PS5 versions of racing games out there made the choice for me. Plus, MrZhangetsu and I share a library, and he’s partial to a good motorbike game.

The way I see it is it’s like driving a car, but you have to be really careful, or you can dramatically dismount your vehicle. I’m a pretty aggressive driver in most racing games; happy to take a hit on a corner if it means I can round it faster. I can’t be doing that on a motorbike.

Ride 4 Platinum Review

No Competition

Since MrZhangetsu and I had already planned an online gaming session to earn the trophies for our We Were Here Trophy Guide; I suggested that we take a few minutes to smash out the online trophies in Ride 4 together.

There are just 4 online trophies to earn, two of which can be done solo as they just require you to download a livery and a helmet from the online share system. I got a few but couldn’t figure out how to equip them or even what to do with them. So, I just took my trophies and left, heading straight into a race with MrZhangetsu, essentially brand-new to the game except for the tutorial it had put me through.

MrZhangetsu has quite a bit of experience with motorbike racers and had even put in a few hours on Ride 4 already, so he pretty much destroyed me in 7 out of the 10 races we played. The times that I actually managed to gain a lead were out of sheer dumb luck.

For example, during one of our races, he crashed and got his body stuck inside his bike. There it stayed—glitching out—for a full minute, giving me a huge lead.

I was already getting a pretty bad impression of the game by this point. It was pretty boring, to be honest. There was no way to one-up the opponent except by being more aggressive on corners, which quickly led to a road accident. We both had the same bike, with the same tuning and the same tires, though, which I’m sure didn’t help much with the gameplay’s lack of variety.

Essentially, we just rode along a small selection of tracks for about an hour. MrZhangetsu was in the lead 90% of the time because he just had better cornering instincts than me and a better feel for how fast he could go and when to brake or accelerate. The most exciting the game got was when he accidentally put us on a ridiculously long track. It took us 18 whole minutes to complete the three laps on this stupidly long stint through northern Britain.

The environment was cool; it was nice to see something other than the usual official race-track setting as we bombed through British streets, which felt just like home.

One major issue, though, was that with the track being so damn long, our stock tires wore down pretty quickly; by our third lap, we were both driving on bald tires with just 4% grip left. We found ourselves sliding everywhere, taking corners with a desperate caution akin to riding wooden bicycles on black ice.

It was honestly pretty fun!

With our 10 races done, we celebrated our new trophies with sarcastic bursts of jubilation and bid each other adieu for the day, off to do something more exciting by ourselves.

Solo Racer

After getting the online trophies, I took a break from this game while I worked on a Car Demolition Clicker Trophy Guide and then returned a couple of days later. I was actually excited to play Ride 4 after the travesty that was Car Demolition Clicker, so I dove right into Career Mode.

Immediately, I felt as though I’d made a mistake. The first event in career mode is a timed lap, and after about 4 attempts, I couldn’t seem even to make bronze. I tweaked the ride assists, got some advice from MrZhangetsu on cornering, and finally made bronze time… After another 7 attempts. Hey, it’s a learning experience!

I slowly got better and better at cornering as I worked towards my European Regional League License. I got a few silvers here and there, and even gold. This was all thanks to a Track Test event, which really helped me understand acceleration on corners and the concept of treating the triggers like the analog tools they are, rather than on/off switches.

By slowly releasing the throttle around corners, I could keep a pretty decent speed and make more consistent and smooth turns. The DualSense’s adaptive triggers really helped with this by offering resistance to help me feel my way around a corner, plus it feels excellent!

It also helped a lot that this game has a rewind function mapped to . With this, I could re-attempt corners repeatedly until I had them perfect and then move on to the next corner. However, some events don’t allow this feature.

I experimented with the automatic braking Ride Assistance, too; it was really good because you could focus on how much acceleration to feed into a corner and not worry about whether to brake. However, the auto-brakes are extremely cautious and will slow you down even when it’s detrimental.

For example, when attempting a Track test, I couldn’t go through the speed traps fast enough because the auto-brakes were forcing me to pass through them much too slowly, resulting in time penalties. Ultimately, I had to turn off the auto-brake system and get used to braking for myself.

One of the most important things I figured out is that the point isn’t to brake/decelerate on corners; that makes them take longer to get around. Instead, you should decelerate ahead of a corner and then set up your trajectory so that you can accelerate through them.

You’ll not only get through them quicker, but will slingshot yourself into the next straight at speed.

I played Ride 4 for the next few mornings, about 3-4 hours at a time. With each day that passed, I could feel myself getting better at cornering as the reflexes developed. Before long, I was smoothly gliding around corners without even having to think about where to slow down, whether to brake, when to accelerate. It had become second nature, and I was starting to really enjoy it. I was also using the rewind feature a lot less.

I finished the European Regional League, unlocking the World League, but wanted to dip my toe in the Asian Regional League to check it out. The Japan maps are awesome. The racing tracks are super wide and comfortable to drive on, but there’s even a track called Kanto Temples which drives through a quaint Japanese village; a really cool little thing to experience!

After I’d had my fill of the Japanese courses, I decided to stop messing around and get on with the game already. I headed into the World League, earned my license for the stock Career Groups, and got to work. I aced my first two career groups, getting first place in every event and being filled with confidence that I finally had this racing sim malarkey figured out.

A Few Complaints

Though I was starting to enjoy the game, there were a few game modes that just had my blood pumping with the desire to give up on the platinum.

The Race events were pretty fun, and the rewind feature helped eradicate any minor irritants, like the AI getting too aggressive or the slightest tap of a curb sending you flying. The same goes for the Track Test events. The rewind feature really helps you stop a long 15-minute stint of your life becoming a waste of time.

Then there’s Time Attack. The rewind feature is annoyingly disabled here. I’m not sure why it has to be this way, maybe it was just a limitation of the software, but it’s not a huge deal; they only last about 2 minutes max. The real infuriation comes in from the fact that when you restart because something tiny threw off your time, you have to sit through a long auto-pilot phase, where AI controls your bike.

The AI in this game is great at causing multi-bike pileups.

Then even when you get control of your bike, you still need to drive a quarter of the map before it actually starts counting your lap time. Why?

I get the need for a run-up, so you have the chance to start at full speed rather than from a dead stop, but couldn’t they just set you off at speed, or at least make the auto-pilot sections shorter?

Well, just when I thought that was bad, I discovered Endurance events. These, just like Time Attacks, have the rewind feature disabled. And, you have to sit through an even longer auto-pilot phase at the start. And, instead of getting a small time penalty for going a tiny bit off-track, your whole lap time is voided.

Yep. If you step even the tiniest bit out of line, you have to drive the whole rest of your lap for no reason. Rewind would fix this. But even when rewind is enabled, using it voids your lap. Why even enable it??

Oh, and, you know what? That’s just the qualifying round (which I later found out you can skip, not that the game would tell me that). The actual Endurance event comes after.

Could it be worse? Yes, it could. Endurance events can last anywhere from 40 excruciating minutes around the same course to an entire hour. And you actually have to do an Endurance event lasting one hour to earn one of the trophies!

It’s a perpetual groundhog-day nightmare lasting an eternity. Or at least until your hands are sore and your bones still resonate with the frequency of your engine, implanted into them by the Dualsense over the course of an hour. Or more, if you’re just that unhinged.

I don’t know how people enjoy that.

One particular trophy that caused me insurmountable grief was for getting all points in a Rider Activities Career Group. The two that I had available were loaded with Time Trials, and they all had impossible razor-thin time thresholds, which had me pulling my hair out.

One of the time trials took up three days of my time as I spent every spare waking moment driving endlessly around the same track, regretting with every fiber that I ever picked this game up.

I spent so long on that track that by the time I was done, I had full Level 5 affinity with the bike model I was made to use and got a trophy for it!

Even after that, though, this soul-hungry time-vacuum of a Trophy was not done ebbing away my existence. I still had an Endurance event to complete in the same Career Group to unlock the Trophy. The Endurance race was only 20 minutes with a 12-minute qualifier, but I replayed it about 15-20 times. Every time I came close to victory, I’d get rear-ended by an overzealous AI set on making me miserable.

When I finally pulled through and got gold on the Endurance event, the Trophy unlocked, and I set the controller down to rest my aching knuckles and pray for a swift end to this platinum journey. Alas, there was still much to do…

The Final Stretch

It’s pretty clear by this point, I’m sure, that I’m well and truly sick of this game. Every event seemed to drag on for an eternity, just for the next to do the same. It was truly grinding me down.

I decided to take a break from career mode and get some miscellaneous trophies. I played around with the livery editor to get a couple of trophies, completed some races with MrZhangetsu online for some map-specific trophies, and set up a custom Endurance race on an easy map with only one rival so I could get the trophy for completing an hour-long Endurance event.

My simple design on one of my favourite bikes.

After that break, I was slightly less tilted and ready to get stuck back into the World League, but it wasn’t long before I hit the motivation wall again. It’s difficult to go through a long five-lap race to voluntarily do it again like some sort of masochist.

Every time I hit a big hurdle and worked my unmentionables off to overcome it, I’d just be slapped with something worse. The amount of abuse this game offers up in its efforts to gate-keep itself for hardcore simulation fans became far too much for me.

The final hurdle to get the better of me was the Endurance License Group. To unlock my Endurance License and the accompanying trophy, I had to fight through a Career Group teeming with horrendous Time Attack events and Endurance challenges. In the third event, I was asked to complete an Endurance race in a Ducati that could barely make it around the track in 1:30:000, but every single rival could make it around in 1:27:000.

Try as I might, I couldn’t match that time. The bike I was stuck with couldn’t handle tight turns without tipping over, and I tried every possible bike setup I could conceive, but nothing would work. After hours of replaying just the first lap of this 20-minute fiasco, I threw in the towel.

We don’t make a habit of doing this on PlatGet and like to ensure we have played a game to its fullest before writing a review, but I truly gave this one my all and wanted to put the journey down in writing. A cautionary tale for future curious Hunters. I don’t recommend this one unless you’re a really keen racing sim enthusiast with a considerable amount of skill or time to burn.

At least I got some good photos along the way…

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Verdict

Pass

I wouldn't recommend playing this game unless you're a big fan of motorbikes/racing simulators and don't plan on getting the Platinum. The platinum journey is a gruelling grind against an ever-increasing difficulty curve which refuses to flatten. I have mad respect for those who stick this one out, but it's really not for me.

Pros

  • Great graphics and photo mode
  • Excellent sound design

Cons

  • Every event drags on for just too long
  • Difficulty spike from 600cc to 1000cc is insurmountable
  • Time Attack thresholds razor thin

Bronze Trophy

I wish I had bought this game physically so I could have the pleasure of snapping the disc after my resignation from this journey. The game has some fun moments and I certainly did start to enjoy it at first, it's not a bad game at all. I'd even go as far to say that it's a very impressive game to come from such a small team, but the platinum journey is a blood-soaked path to submission.

About the Author

More fond of single-player experiences and story-driven games than anything else, TheDblTap has a keen eye for secrets and collectables, a skill which serves him well as a Trophy Hunter. However, with little patience and poor timing, he can struggle where MrZhangetsu would succeed.

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