Sports games about extreme are a rarity in the gaming industry, and worthy projects can be counted on one hand. This time we reviewed Raiders Republic – not just an extreme game with session races, but whole open spaces for exploration on various bicycles, skis, jetpacks, and so on.
Riders Republic is a multiplayer arcade project with an extreme bias, where players have to surf the vast open world in search of various secrets, beautiful places and, of course, for the sake of dynamic races. In short, the Riders Republic can be called a sandbox MMO, and here you are free to do what you like: calmly ride on the roads or snowy tracks, and also perform tricks that you would definitely not dare to do in real life.
The player has a choice between bicycles, skis and snowboards, flying equipment, as well as special modes of transport. Moreover, each of them is divided into subclasses: for example, the same bicycles can be mountain, road and comic. In the case of the latter – the transport of delivery men, old “grandmother’s chariots” and so on. As you understand, there is enough variety here. It is important to note that by leveling up, earning stars for races and other activities, you will receive a more powerful vehicle, which in turn is divided in quality – just like in an MMORPG.
The open world does not feel empty at all, because in every nook and cranny of the region there are real players riding in groups with friends, or trying to perform some tricks, breaking their necks over and over again.
What attracts this project? At least, its freedom of action, as well as many different competitive modes: time trial, stunt races, competitions for first place and the like, for absolutely all types of extreme vehicles available in the game. But the coolest thing that I liked was the massive races, with changing vehicles right in the game, and consisting of three rounds. The start is made together with a huge crowd of players who can be of completely different levels, because such an event is open to everyone! Yes, that’s why you can lose, as your bike, skis or whatever will be weaker, but even defeat is worth all these emotions. And if that’s not enough, then Riders Republic offers a creative studio where you can try out a large number of different modes created by the game’s community.
Also, one of the most important features that clearly migrated from The Crew 2 is the ability to switch vehicles whenever you want (of course, with the exception of races where only one type is required). You can accelerate on a bike and fly straight off the cliff … and then what? Quickly switch to a wingsuit, jetpack or motorized paraglider and you are already flying over the world like big game.
In addition, I would like to notice the hub where you can meet players of different levels. This is a small area, similar to a ski stop, where you can find various stalls, shops and, most importantly, a special depression for performing tricks. This is where avid riders hang out. With regards to stalls and shops, they serve as activities: a creative studio, various multiplayer challenges, an in-game store, and so on. Yes, most of the above can be found in the menu by pressing ESC, however, it is better to have animated objects than non-functional static shapes.
What can we find in the in-game store? Many different skins such as hats, jackets, helmets and other cosmetic equipment, most of which can be bought for in-game bucks. You cannot buy more powerful equipment in the store, and there are very few items for real money, which really pleases. But for sure in the future, developers will add a variety of new cosmetic items. At least we know about the skins for the owners of the Season Pass.
Despite all the arcade nature of this project, the physics is felt to the fullest, especially if you use controls without assistance in landing. You must control your body and vehicle closely while in the air or on the ground, and any awkward movement at high speed can lead to a hard fall.
The surfaces of the tracks and their interaction with the character are also well developed. For example, while cycling in the snow, you start to get stuck, as you would in real life. Therefore, in this case, you need to switch to skiing, snowboarding, or snowmobile.
Moving on to music, sounds and graphics, I would like to start with what really amazes – attention to detail. All these trees, bushes, sticks lying on the off-road are not just models for filling the general picture of the world, but objects with which you can interact. Clinging to branches of bushes or trees, the character reacts to this depending on the density of vegetation, from which, in turn, a characteristic collision sound is heard. Also, if you decide to ride off-road, then the crunch of small sticks, twigs and other things will certainly be heard from under the wheels. It seems to be trifles, but how much such elements add to the liveliness of the world, even if you do not pay attention to them.
The soundtracks in Riders Republic are as “killer” as possible, and this is not surprising, because the music is licensed and copyrighted. Therefore, it is likely that the player will encounter their favorite song while cutting through the winds in a wingsuit. In general, the tracks perfectly complement the gameplay and, most importantly, emphasize the extreme atmosphere.
With regards to the graphics in Riders Republic, everything is also up to the mark. Models of the world, environment, characters, transport – all this is worked out to the smallest detail. Optimization is excellent, so when entering the game you can not be afraid of unpleasant freezes or low frame rates on medium hardware. The only thing that I didn’t really like was the slight blurring of the picture, which cannot be corrected even by completely disabling anti-aliasing. Yes, it adds cinematography, but not everyone will like this, even after half an hour of playing this aspect you already cease to notice.
I also want to add a few words about biomes. As befits all self-respecting MMOs, Riders Republic has a variety of zones: forest, snow-covered, desert (a la Grand Canyon in the USA) and even burned-out parts of locations, where all the trees and land seem to have survived a major fire. All this variety is arranged so that none of the zones quickly bothers the player.
For all the time I was in the game, I tried both the keyboard and mouse controls and the gamepad. If we compare, then immediately it is felt that the game was “sharpened” from the beginning under the controllers, since with them the transport is more responsive and performing tricks becomes much more comfortable. In addition, due to vibration, there is a tactile response depending on the surface of the track you are on. Playing on the keyboard is also good and there are no impossible tasks for this type of control, but there is already a question of comfort in general.
Did I like this game? To a greater extent, yes. Gamedev rarely pays attention to this genre, so there are practically no new games with similar topics. Moreover, this is a full-fledged MMO sandbox, where the full scale and atmosphere is created not only by the developers due to the large open and filled world, but also by a considerable number of players right on the map.
Be sure to write in the comments how you feel about arcade sports games, and whether you had time to try the game on tests or on release.
You can also check out the gameplay from our past broadcast in open beta testing: