Ride 5 announced, set for late August release date

Milestone has announced Ride 5, with updated simulation elements and the addition of the Suzuka 8 Hour and Bol d'Or races.

Ride 5 split screen gameplay screenshot. - Milestone

Ride 5, the fifth iteration of the motorcycle racing game developed by Milestone, has been announced, and will launch this August. 

Milestone is undoubtedly the most prominent game developer in the two-wheeled world, even if its MXGP series seems to have unfortunately come to an end.

Milestone develops the MotoGP game, the WorldSBK game since 2022 (and between 2008 and 2012); developed the MXGP game between 2011 (when it was called “MUD”) and 2021; has produced now six games for the AMA Supercross series; and, since 2015, has developed the Ride series, its own motorcycle racing IP. 

Ride has become a staple of Milestone’s catalogue over the past eight years or so, with each game being more or less an improvement on the previous edition.

The most recent edition to be released, Ride 4, took the series in a more simulation-focused direction, with tyre compounds introduced for the first time, as well as tyre temperature, fuel consumption when riding in the endurance mode, and of course changeable weather and time of day.

For Ride 5, Milestone seems to have tried to focus on a few areas to elevate the game to a new level. Both the simulation aspect, and the aspect of the game which makes it affirmatively a game have been subject to some evolution - you could even argue revolution.

To explain the second point further, there are plenty of four-wheeled simulators out there, but very few of them could be called ‘games’ because there is little videogaming meat on the simulator bone. For example, in rFactor 2, you can drive, and that’s about it. There is no ‘career mode’ or story to follow, or any involvement of characters or defined challenges. That’s not to say that rFactor 2 is a bad title, but Milestone has tried to ensure that there is also something slightly more cultural to Ride 5 so that the enjoyment of the game extends outside of the track.

To do this, Milestone has of course retained the motorcycle and rider customisation that has been a part of the series from the start (although, so far at least, there is no mention of a return of the riding style editor that has been absent in the last two games), but it has also added new features. 

These include AI rivals who have backgrounds and, presumably, unique ‘personalities’, and what seems to be a ‘free roam’ or ‘open world’ mode. 

The Milestone announcement reads: “Fans have always appreciated the variety of bikes and tracks, as well as the lifelike graphics, but this time we wanted to make it more personal. RIDE 5 will thus immerse players in a comprehensive world where they will live their own riding journey, as they would if they could travel the world to race in the best location, with their dream bikes. For the first time in the series, they will face recurrent rivals with specific backgrounds, they will have a dedicated headquarter with mechanics and equipment, and there will even be a photographer ready to capture their best moments on the track.”

The idea would be to create a game world with its own characters with which the player creates their own genuine rivalries. How well that idea translates from theory to practice will only be discovered on release, but the idea itself seems sound enough. 

Additional game features include a ‘Race Creator’ which has, Milestone says, “unlimited” possibilities for creating your own race. In Ride 4, qualifying was added, but was only available in select single player ‘career mode’ races, so hopefully this will be available as part of the new Race Creator mode.

On the simulation side, a new suspension model simulates internal components; a new tyre model simulates, both physically and graphically, the deformation of the tyre; and there are enhancements to the endurance mode thanks to improvements to the way the dynamic weather system simulates clouds.

Milestone also says the motorcycles have more realistic top speeds, and endurance races are available in online modes. 

Further enhancing the endurance element of the game is the inclusion of races such as the Bol d’Or and Suzuka 8 Hour. There is no sign that the game has a licence with the Endurance World Championship, which the Bol d’Or and Suzuka 8 Hour are a part of, but their - or more specifically the Bol d’Or’s - inclusion does at least, you would think, confirm the presence of the Paul Ricard circuit in the game.

Other new circuits confirmed from the early images and videos we have seen are Autopolis in Japan and Sonoma in the US. There also seems to be a new fictional circuit, although this has not been named yet. 

Confirmed returning circuits so far include Suzuka, Cadwell Park, the North West 200, and Brands Hatch. It seems fair to assume that Oulton Park and Donington will return, too, since they are both MSV-owned like Cadwell and Brands. 

On the endurance racing note, and considering the inclusion of both the Bol d’Or and Suzuka 8 Hour, it would be good to see Le Mans - which Milestone has modelled for its MotoGP games - and, much more so, Spa-Francorchamps, which returned to the EWC last year.

The release date for the game has also been confirmed as 24 August 2023, so there are only just over four months to wait. The game will release in two editions on new-generation consoles - PS5 and Xbox Series X/S - and PC via the Epic Games and Steam stores.

The two editions are "standard" and "Special", with the Special edition granting access to the "Far East" and "Rebel" DLC packs, as well as the season pass and three-day early access. The Far East pack contains the 2021 Kawasaki Z 900 and 1998 Suzuki TL 1000 R Racing Modified, the Rebel pack's contents are unknown. The standard edition is available in both physical and digital versions, and pre-ordering gets you the aforementioned Far East pack. The Special Edition is only available in a digital version. Prices vary per platform. For example, on the Epic Games store, the Special Edition costs £74.99, but on the PlayStation Store, it costs £94.99; and the standard version costs £49.99 on Epic, and £59.99 on PlayStation.

Pre-orders are open now, and can be accessed on the Ride 5 website

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