Riders Republic Beta Review

Contributed by DJMMT

Let me start by saying that this is very much a traditional Ubisoft sports game. It takes the lessons they learned from Steep and The Crew 2 and mashes them together. The map structure looks almost identical to The Crew 2 with more topography and exploration potential a la Steep. I find it funny that they don’t even try to hide the roots of the game’s foundation by literally having a setting for winter sports trick landing called “Steep”. The game works pretty much how you expect it to. There are different events split into three classes of sports: land, air, and snow. You play different events to unlock more events and collect stars by completing events and challenges within them. As you get more stars, you gain access to more bonus rewards, mostly in the form of gear and money to buy cosmetics. In true Ubisoft sports style, your ultimate goal is to win enough competitions to prove yourself worthy of participating in the grand final competition. That’s pretty much the story and single player progression structure in a nutshell. So, if you like past Ubisoft sports games at a foundational level, then you will probably like Riders Republic.

Visually, it’s a solid game. There’s a lot of diversity in the landscapes with an open world map that contains multiple biomes. It’s really nice that they provided you multiple ways to travel around, without making use of the fast travel mechanic which also works very well. They built a cool map and they encourage you to explore it by including multiple motivators such as collectibles, points for discovering new areas, hidden challenges, and so on. The game runs mostly smoothly but I did have multiple instances of the game freezing for a couple seconds. It didn’t break the game but is does affect your position in a racing scenario. To clarify, I ran the game on a desktop PC with a GTX1080 GPU and 32GB of DDR4 RAM. I didn’t experience any game breaking glitches or unexpected closures of the app. It looks good and it runs pretty much fine, even in multiplayer.

The writing is very standard Ubisoft sports fare. You’re welcomed to the Riders Republic by a millennial athlete who already has a reputation. She tells you she thinks you have potential and introduces you to the veteran that founded the Riders Republic. He takes you under his wing and encourages you to prove your worth by winning events so you can take on the big final event and be a legend. And they all talk like beach bums and hipsters, because that’s how people talk in extreme sports movies. But you’re not really here for the story anyway. This is a Ubisoft sports game after all.

Audio is an interesting experience in Riders Republic. As a single player game, it’s very standard. The sound effects are good and mostly realistic with lots of ambient sounds for atmosphere. Birds chirp, rather loudly, when you’re in the startup screen, for example. The fast pace of the game often distracts you from the sound effects, but they are there. They’re especially noticeable with rocket sports, because you can hear the boosters. You also get some non-natural sounds such as when you use the backtrack function. What’s a bit more interesting is the audio experience in multiplayer. This is a shared world game and it implies that everyone you see on screen, outside of single player race NPCs and featured NPCs like store clerks, is a real player. I don’t believe this is completely true, because you randomly see people riding through your racecourses that aren’t part of the race sometimes, and they don’t always have player nametags. Or I’m just missing them in the heat of the race. This matters because people sort of talk. Not in full coherent conversations but in exclamations. You often hear “woo-hoos”, screams, and other stereotypical extreme sports reactions while playing. It adds a lot of color to the audio experience. This comes from real players as well as NPCs. It’s not something you control. It’s just something that happens. In multiplayer events, you can play with up to 64 players at once in certain races. That’s a lot of woo-hoos. But somehow it works. The sound is not overwhelming and definitely adds to the experience of a breakneck speed race against 63 other real players.

The music is very Ubisoft sports games. They’ve taken a number of real songs but in many cases have done covers of them and not all of them good. Specifically, I want to take the time to address that the beta featured a cover of Gangster’s Paradise done as an acoustic guitar cover and it was the worst. I’m not usually this petty about music in games but as an old school rap fan whose dad has personally met and taken a picture with Coolio, this cover hurt my soul.

The foundational gameplay is solid. It’s based on the tried and tested Ubisoft sports game formula. But there are a lot of minor technical issues with the game that cause the player a lot of headaches. For instance, button mapping. You can map the buttons, but there are layers of buttons that often overlap with each other when you try to change them. So you end up causing yourself lots of problems, because the game won’t automatically adjust the button map to account for your changes. Certain commands, like backtracking, are general commands, meaning they apply to all sports, while other ones are sports specific. This causes a problem because different layouts feel more or less comfortable for different sports but you’re limited in how much you can customize. Really the button mapping needs to be way more customizable with each sport allowing you to fully map all controls independent of the other states of play. Or the whole thing needs to be way more streamlined.

Currently land sports consist of only biking, but there are multiple types of bikes. Standard bikes, rocket bikes, and delivery bikes are the three I got to try during the beta. Air consists of wing glider suits and rocket suits. There are also parachutes but these are only for traveling. I found no paragliding events. Snow consists of skiing and snowboarding. Of the three sports categories, snow has the least variable gameplay between individual sports. Driving and doing tricks feels pretty much the same for skis and snowboard, while the variations between individual land and air sports are much bigger in scope. For instance, you can master the standard bike and still be absolute trash with the rocket bike, which I am.

There are other tiny issues I had with the gameplay as well. The backtrack feature, for instance. This allows you to reverse when things go wrong. Say you crash in a way where just getting up won’t help you. Like you flew off a cliff. You can use the backtrack button and reverse yourself to a point before things went horribly wrong and then pick up from that point. This system works great, but it needs a lot of fine tuning. For instance, the minimum length of backtracks are way too long. Sometimes I simply missed a turn and just want to go back a few feet to make that turn. But the backtrack will force you to go back way before the turn, wasting lots of time in the process. Backtracking doesn’t stop the game. Other competitors continue on like nothing has happened. This is why you are able to backtrack in multiplayer, and honestly that concept works very well. But the backtracking needs to be smoother in practice and more pinpointed.

As with all multiplayer games, much of the experience is contingent on other players. I never got to try the free for all tricks battle mode, because I couldn’t find enough players to participate. You can go do other things while waiting for matchmaking but if you do certain things it cancels the matchmaking. So you’re just waiting around hoping for a match or you give up. That being said, mass races are the most insane sports game experience I have ever had. A multi-event race with 64 real players all competing in a shared world with the ability to bump into each other. It’s amazing. It’s stressful, invigorating, and fun. I don’t even like multiplayer in general but I played so many mass races. In fact, I’d play an entire game that was just mass races. It’s so much more exciting than a battle royale experience, because you actually interact directly with all 64 players. In a battle royale, you can win a match having only encountered a handful of other players. In Riders Republic, you see all 64 players at the starting line and you have to beat them all as individuals racing for the same finish line all at the same time. Even when you don’t win, it still feels epic when you place high. Like I got fourth place in a mass race and it felt awesome because it meant that I literally beat 60 other people. Mass races were without a doubt my favorite part of the beta. They gave me the experience promised in that epic announcement trailer.

As per usual, this game is riddled with replay value. Events, challenges, four difficulty levels for each event, limited time content, collectables, daily tasks, and so on. It’s a Ubisoft sports game through and through. Lots of cosmetics to unlock and a there’s a creation mode. Sadly, I couldn’t figure out how to use it. There were definitely events I wanted to create but the game didn’t allow me to create anything. There is some way to do it but it wasn’t clear to me in the beta how to go about it. But I saw plenty of other player creation challenges so I know it’s possible. There’s certainly plenty to do, and we know they will add a lot more based on past sports games from them.

Ultimately, I was happy with the Riders Republic beta. It’s by no means perfect, and I hope they fix the many smaller issues I experienced. But I had a lot of fun playing it. I see a lot of potential for this game to have content being added for years to come. They will probably even add additional sports/vehicles in the long run. I’m never one of those people that can commit to a sports game for an extended period of time when it has no clear endpoint but could definitely see myself enjoying it for a while.  

XPG Terrence

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Chris ,06 Sep, 2021

It's one of those game, that's fun for a few hours and then will be never touched again.

Weny ,06 Sep, 2021

Reminds me of those radical sport games we used to see a lot during PS1 e PS2 era, just mindless fun with rad sports. But as Chris said, play for a couple of hours and it's done.

Michael Gabriel de Villena ,06 Sep, 2021

Been waiting for this!

Khoirunnisa ,07 Sep, 2021


RICHMOND ,07 Sep, 2021

Reminds me of the game we always play when I was a kid with my cousins on PLAYSTATION 2. Can't wait to play this game.

Nugreng ,07 Sep, 2021

I really cant wait to play this game when its released since this looks so much fun to play with my friends specially when we are working from home haha

Arif Atma Mahendra ,07 Sep, 2021

continued success XPG may be the best brand greetings from Indonesia Instagram: arif_atmaa

Gio Roca ,12 Sep, 2021

I saw this one on YouTube and I'm excited about this game. Not only that I can do some amazing stunts but it is also a multi-player game! I like to compete with my friends with this game!

Rom Divina ,17 Sep, 2021

This game reminds me of 2Xtreme from PSX in late 90s. Too bad, I dont have that much time to play all the games that im reading here compared then. How nostalgic!

Vitalie Solomon ,20 Sep, 2021

i had to go to to see the gameplay.its amazing. the idea that it has is very similar to the Fall Guys game,but it has more features,the graphics are better and the gameplay is also more challenging. it has a a lot of potential

Vandana tikku ,20 Sep, 2021

I never tried this kind of games..After reading this beta review...I think I should try

Iurie Solomon ,24 Sep, 2021

so many games are sold in one single bundle. i remember the old days when with the old consoles i had to to purchase individually each of these games and after that playing each one and being. i have spent great times with my neighbors and relatives.

Zaenal ,26 Sep, 2021

I have this game in my library, but my pc specs now can't run this game, Sad :(

Iulia Garaz ,27 Sep, 2021

this game seems to be very interesting. I had previous generations consoles in the past and this game seems to pack many of the games that i liked very much and spend a lot of time with my friends and cousins playing. Kudos for those who made this game