Ubisoft Republic of the Horsemen, we think it’s fair to say, isn’t off to the best start in terms of initial impressions. This massively multiplayer open-world sports extravaganza – think Forza Horizon with bikes, snowboards and wingsuits and you’ve got 100% the idea – the pose with painful jokes and fiercely boring characters in its opening hour. These… well… idiots, will be your chaperones through a tutorial that explains the basics but, hang on, stay strong and suffer the terrible dialogue for those first sixty minutes, and we promise you will be handsomely rewarded.
Yes, take the heaviest tutorial and you are in for a treat because Riders Republic has some absolutely fantastic arcade eSports action that we have found ourselves completely addicted to over the past week or so. The setup here is an intoxicating hodgepodge of Ubisoft Annecy Soak and the Forza Horizon series from Playground Games, giving you a huge map – here made up of several American national parks joined together to form an absolutely huge playground – that she then proceeds to tag and label all kinds of things. races, time trials, stunts, tricks attempts and so on.
As you progress through each of the sports on offer, from mountain biking and skiing, snowboarding, wingsuit races and more, you will unlock tons of new activities, from simple races to trial runs. stunts and tricks, multidisciplinary extravagances and big boss events. There is also a constant flow of new equipment; better bikes, faster rocket suits, flashier snowboards and skis, all of which range from common value to epic value. You will also earn stars which will improve your career status and grant you access to even more activities and money which you can spend on purchasing awesome bunny heads or giraffe outfits in the in-game store, a store that , thankfully, only offers cosmetics for your real money – one aspect of the procedure that the game luckily refrains from pushing you in the face.
Basically all the bells and whistles, cosmetics, unlockables, emoticons, etc. . Riders Republic also feels deeply, happily, alive. As you teleport around the huge map here, or use your jetpack, snowmobile, or rocket-propelled skis to investigate and explore at your leisure, you’ll see tons of other players running, crashing, throwing themselves head down in the rocks or just hang out at the central area of the game. Open your map and you will see them all, like so many little ants, crawling over all areas of the game, you will feel like you are part of a real lively esports festival teeming with eager competitors.
Of course, all of this would be for naught if the base gameplay wasn’t up to par, and in that regard, it looks like Ubisoft Annecy absolutely nailed it. It is above all pure arcade silliness, a game where you can switch to any discipline anywhere on the world map with just the push of a button. Descend an asphalt road on wooden skis with branches for poles, drive an ice cream cart through deep snow, then launch it from the top of a mountain, snowboard down a waterfall, jetpack down bike trails all the way. -ground … it’s all up to you.
Each of the sporting disciplines here shares a roughly homogenized control system with braking, acceleration and boost function available via the shoulder buttons and the trigger, then a bunch of skills, laps and laps executed via a combination of buttons. facials and controllers. So once you know how to do tricks and land them correctly on a bike, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what’s on your snowboard.
Does that sound too simplistic to you? Well, at first we thought the same thing, but in practice, it’s a formula that eliminates so much downtime and potential irritation as you fumble around to familiarize yourself with the mechanics of multiple disciplines, to the instead of allowing players of all skill levels to simply jump in and start shooting tricks. However, there is also an underlying level of skill and finesse, just enough to give you something to get your teeth into, just enough to ensure that players who take the time to learn and practice. improving will excel at most events and be rewarded with true high scores for their efforts.
We are also rightly surprised that all the sport on the list is fun in its own way. We fully expect to have at least one element that we don’t quite focus on in this type of game, but nothing here comes out as particularly boring or boring. In fact, everything from biking and skiing to skydiving through the canyons is fantastic. Ok so wingsuits to do it takes a little getting used to because you will have to fly dangerously close to the ground to score big in this activity, but it doesn’t take long to figure this stuff out and it leads to an overall experience which is always fun, always exhilarating and always full of new things to see and do that you will want to participate.
Riders Republic’s arcade action then begins to peak when various disciplines begin to blend together in multi-part events. These races can see you, for example, take off from a starting point on a bike, hurtle down a steep rocky trail and then reach a transition point that automatically causes you to switch on skis to hurtle down a slope, hit a huge ramp, fast – Don a rocket suit and fly through the checkpoints in flight before returning to your bike for one last frenzied push over the finish line. It’s an exhilarating and spectacular thing, pure arcade bliss that never takes itself too seriously and ensures that the fun is always at the forefront.
You’ll also take part in mass events, currently our favorite part of Riders Republic, where up to 64 players online weave their way down a track and take off along the course, crashing and bumping into each other as they go. they compete for a coveted place on the podium. It’s carnage, tearing apart a field crowded with other players – most of whom are dressed in ridiculous animal costumes – smashing people against barriers or completely off the track, then switching disciplines and soaring into them. tunes to escape the crime scene. There is certainly a huge element of rambling luck involved in making these mass races successful, but it’s so much fun and chaotic that we immediately head to the starting point whenever one of these events is announced by the tannoy system in play.
Riders Republic is also a beautiful thing. The seven national parks that make up the world here have been carefully designed and organized, offering endless spectacular views, forests, snow-capped peaks, famous landmarks and much more. There’s a massive map to explore, and it’s packed with check-off sightseeing spots, collectible relics that give you special gear and complete freedom to trace a trail on any road, mountain, or steep rock face on which you lay your eyes on. It’s also a breeze to navigate, you can quickly travel anywhere you want at any time, making it an experience where there is as much or as little downtime between events as you want. Add in a Zen Mode that removes all other players and lets you explore it all on your own at your own pace, and you get an experience that covers all the bases.
Unfortunately, while we’ve really enjoyed our time with Riders Republic so far, there is are a few issues to report here as well, including complete system crashes that required us to restart our Series X console, something we had a few times during our time with the game. We also encountered some graphics issues, with our avatar occasionally floating through solid objects or disappearing through some landscapes, mostly silly stuff that we hope will be fixed pretty neatly. Also, if we are really picky, the camera can be a little sometimes difficult to handle in certain events, especially when you absolutely fly on a narrow track on a bike and make a tight turn, sometimes you feel like you have to struggle a little too much to stay focused on where it needs to be to be .
Other than those minor issues, however, we’re extremely impressed with what Ubisoft Annecy has delivered with this one. The heart and soul of the wonderful Steep, their previous open-world sporting endeavor, is fully alive here, but it has been incorporated into a game that rejects the serenity of that title for the most part, instead of fully embracing it. knockabout arcade. carnage in a massive world that’s been explicitly designed to encourage social interactions, multiplayer fun, and plenty of meaty single-player action to boot. If you’ve always wanted an extreme sports version of Forza Horizon that looks and plays just as well as the efforts of Playground Games, this really is it. Riders Republic is an absolute blast and the purest, purest fun we’ve had with a sports game in quite some time.