Thursday, January 20

Riders Republic Review: Is This Extreme Sports Game for You?

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While you may be spoiled for choice with a slew of big game releases this season, there’s nothing else out there quite like the socially integrated action sports title, Riders Republic. This action-packed title delivers a fun, colourful, confident, and content-packed experience that any fan missing a little SSX or Matt Hoffman’s BMX in their current-gen library should try out.

For the uninitiated, Riders Republic is an extreme sports bonanza, blending the disciplines of biking, snowboarding, skiing, and wingsuits all into one frantic downhill race. Toss in a serious dose of social mechanics, and you’ve got a game that promises hours of entertainment. When playing this new arrival, it’s difficult not to think of old extreme sports games of years gone by, but Riders Republic is bringing its own flair to the genre.

 Riders Republic

Admittedly, this game is quite a lot to take in at first glance. The neon-splattered aesthetic, coupled with zany outfits and an insanely colourful HUD, make it a feast for the senses. However, all of that is juxtaposed with some true-to-form authenticity in terms of licensed gear, real-world events, and riding and performance strategies, so the title does have the credentials to back up its ‘out there’ aesthetics.

While snowboarding next to a biker might sound bizarre, how exactly these various disciplines work alongside one another is down to the seamless integration that Ubisoft Annecy has implemented by creating dynamic terrain across the dirt, snow, and forest terrains and environments. You can essentially flip between boards, bikes, skis, or wingsuits on the fly, and you’re not restrained to one sport or another during any particular race (barring some competitions), so it’s more about having the best loadout for all the disciplines, but of course, this can vary depending on your play style.

 Riders Republic

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You can use a bike on deep-powder, for example, which may not be the best idea, but there may be a way to use that to your advantage too, so it allows players to get creative. Whether you’re riding, flying, or sliding, the moment-to-moment gameplay in Riders Republic feels like you’re fighting your way down these gloriously detailed mountain ranges. The terrain plays a huge role, and is almost an additional character itself.

When you’re not ploughing into trees or rocks, what Riders Republic does extremely well is capturing that sense of adrenaline. The visual effects and draw distance allows you to put into perspective how steep of a hill you’re descending and how quickly, which does sound like a simple sensation to convey, but Riders Republic nails the look and feel of the experience.

It isn’t just a straight race to the bottom though, as there is a whole trick component to Riders Republic too. The trick system is really intuitive and easy-to-use too, allowing you to pull off some glorious moves with ease.

 Riders Republic

In terms of the actual races, you pick up challenges from the main social hub, which is essentially a camp on the admittedly massive map (and you can fast travel to at any time). Here, you can sign up for competitions, take on challenges, or find information on the next live event (which take place every 15 minutes, and throw together 50 players into one massive race). There’s clearly no shortage of content and races in Riders Republic, and it’ll be interesting to see how Ubisoft evolves this post-launch.

While Riders Republic can be a bit goofy at times, it is a lot more accessible than similar games in the genre. Whether you just want to cruise around on an incredibly large and diverse open-world, pulling off some sick tricks, or you want to become one of the best riders on the global leaderboard, Riders Republic will give you what you want.

Riders Republic is available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5, Stadia, and PC.

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