Motorcycles are not my cup of tea. I have never driven one, and I had a chance to sit on any of them only a few times. Although I love to drive a car and in subsequent editions of Forzy and Need for Speed I have spent hundreds of hours – racing with motorbikes usually arouses some reluctance in me. Anyway, most likely not only in me, which I bring after the fact that none of the motorcycle game brands can match the reputation enjoyed by their car counterparts. RIMS Racing from Raceward Studio proved to me, however, that the devil is not as scary as he is painted.
Have a bad start
Lest it were, the beginnings were cruelly difficult. After all, it is a simulator whose car equivalent would be just Forza Motorsport or Gran Turismo, and its direct competitor would be the MotoGP series. So I passed the soil on the first turn, and on the next turns it was not much better. The problem turned out to be primarily my driving habits, in which I practically never had to worry about the stability of the vehicle on the track or worry too much gas when exiting the bend. In RIMS Racing, however, this is the basis without which you will be able to say goodbye to any place in the table other than the last. This title must be approached with full awareness that it requires abandoning existing tactics and developing new ones, which unfortunately requires time and persistence. It’s a bit like learning to walk – at first we sway and turn over every now and then, but gradually we become more confident and new habits enter our blood. This applies even at the lowest possible level of vehicle physics simulation, although here it is much more accessible.
It is worth participating in the qualifications, because our starting position depends on them.
However, when we get through the initial difficulties, it turns out that riding motorcycles in racing games makes perfect sense. Well, the differences in driving two-wheelers compared to cars give a lot of fun, which is due to the great driving model implemented in RIMS Racing. It has been a long time since I felt such a clear weight of the guided machine in any heating, with which sometimes I really had to fight to tame it. While in car racing we control the car directly, and the driver is just our avatar, in RIMS Racing we control it. When turning, you can immediately feel that the rider changes the position first, and only then his steel steed follows him with some inertia.The Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory, for example, is definitely lighter than the BMW M1000 RR, which we can see when it starts off the starting line. So it’s a pity that in the whole game we can only sit behind the wheel of eight motorbikes. Although each of the largest brands has been included here, in our virtual garage we will park, among others, Kawasaki, Yamaha or Ducati, but the single-digit number of vehicles in the automotive game calls for vengeance to heaven. The creators explain this by wanting to focus on personalizing the bikes they have, and not as many of them as possible. And in fact, each machine can be dismantled into its first parts, to replace even such small construction elements as fuel lines and the chain. Avid motorcyclists will surely find a charm in it, because it made a great impression on me, but I would still prefer to be able to ride more than one motorcycle. By the way, you cannot buy a new bike here, but only get it from the manufacturer for winning the competition signed with their logo. It’s so good that this type of race is also an opportunity to test other machines.
A tragedy ensued a second later.
It also quickly turns out that the problems with the content of RIMS Racing do not end with the number of bikes on offer. It is similar with the tracks available in the game, because there are only fifteen of them, five of which are straight routes from point A to B. Their quality cannot be faulted at all, returning to the Nürburgring Grand Prix or my beloved WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca I felt like at home, but damn it, how much you can drive in fifteen of the same locations. At some point, Silverstone started to come out to me sideways, and Zolder still appears to me in nightmares. This is mainly a consequence of the length of races, because they usually consist of about six laps, so it takes about fifteen minutes to complete them. Especially that one should also add the hourly endurance tests that appear here and there, as well as, fortunately negligible, training and qualifications during the championship.
Moreover, apart from the career mode, there is not much to do here. You can drive single races, train on an empty track or take part in academy challenges that pop up between classic competitions in a career anyway. Theoretically, there is also a multiplayer mode, but the servers are empty, so we will either settle for a game on one couch with friends, or we will have moderately thrilling time trials.
I still dream about this view at night.
A double-edged sword
A kind of double-bladed sword is the damage system and how it really resolves your motorcycle.The same applies to tires, which should also be selected according to the forecast conditions on the route, so as not to end up with slicks on wet asphalt. That’s great, because I really felt the need to spend some time with my Aprilia between races, learning a bit about building a bike and, which might sound funny, sticking to it. It also had an impact on my driving style, because I had to reckon with the fact that if I drove and didn’t pay attention, I might not be able to afford to replace the damaged parts, so while it won’t prevent me from progressing, I will be a trash on the starting line.
On the other hand, this solution makes it very easy to fall into a downward spiral. Especially if you are just starting your adventure with motorcycle racing cars and you do not fully control the machine yet. Each crash drastically affects the condition of the motorcycle’s elements, which, combined with their wear during normal driving and the prices of some parts, may turn out to be disastrous for you, as it was in my case. For a long time I could not bring Aprilia to order, because I won my dog’s money for the successive losses, and I was unable to win precisely because I could not afford new tires, so I had no choice but to slide on the track on bald tires.
Road routes are a great springboard from classic tracks.
The idea of forcing the player to manually assemble and disassemble the parts, based on the QTE (the same is the situation with refueling in the pit stop, is a lot of fun in burying in the motorcycle). It entertains and engages the first few times, but when we have to do analog circles for the seventy-eighth time to tighten the screws, you feel like throwing a pad out of anger. Unfortunately, this cannot be turned off in the options, and the only way to improve the situation is to buy the appropriate bonuses in the engineering, research or management tree. These benefits can be divided into useful (discounts in the store, slowing down the wear of elements, skipping QTE) and intended for enthusiasts (unlocking additional pit stops, more detailed information about motorcycle components). Whatever bonus we would not complete, rummaging in the guts of the machine is inevitable, only that we will save a bit of money and we will not have to participate in QTE, although the creators will still force us to watch the disassembly of the parts. Theoretically, you can just drive carefully, but it will not save us from the tragic artificial intelligence, who likes to drive our ass with force and knock us off the motorcycle while cornering.It is therefore all the more unpleasant that the additionally paid edition of the game for next-gen consoles, although it looks quite nice overall, constantly scares us with a low drawing range, resulting in a stinging pop-up of textures and more detailed models of the environment. As a wipe of tears, the game offers smooth 60FPS at 4K resolution, although I think it would be nice to get a lower resolution option without the aforementioned graphics problems.
Academy competitions will help beginners to practice their driving style.
Is RIMS Racing worth buying?
I really wish I could rate RIMS Racing higher, because I had really good fun with it. The driving model is just great, and the whole game screams that its creators are true enthusiasts. The problem is that a few missed decisions and deficiencies in artificial intelligence undercut RIMS Racing’s wings, making this promising competitor this time not able to win the cup, but I secretly hope that in the next season he will go to the finish line being much better prepared . As long as he gets a second chance from the publisher, of course.
P.S. If you don’t like techno, turn off the music on the go, because the soundtrack consists only of songs by The Bloody Beetroots ..