Reader Submission #120 – Ride 2 Impressions

ride-gamesoul-1-1280x720Motorcycle games aren’t exactly our specialty here at, due largely in part to Milestone’s monopoly on the genre, but if you guys send us any substantial info on them, we’ll sure as hell cover it. Today’s Reader Submission comes from Karim S., who has gladly taken the time to evaluate Milestone’s new release, Ride 2, though unfortunately he has requested a full refund for the title – albeit with certain complications. Let’s find out why…

29228129160_8c6eb5772e_bI just wanted to let you know about my Ride 2 experience so far. I have been playing Milestone games for many years, so I have an idea what to expect. I think the MXGP games are quite good, despite their technical limitations, and Mot GP 15 Compact has proven to be good fun for $2.74 CAD. For those who are unaware, you can buy a “lite” version of MotoGP with just Single Race, Season Mode, and Online for a heavily reduced price, which is a nice option if you can’t see yourself dropping full price on a game you might not like. Bike games aren’t for everybody.

I kept hearing really good things about Ride 2, so I took the plunge. I had to choose between the base game ($55) and the special edition ($58), which includes two ridiculous day-1 bike packs and a Nordschleife documentary video. Funny thing, putting the special edition in your Steam cart warns you that the presence of the video in the package prevents you from refunding that purchase, as it is contains consumable content. Nope’d right the fuck out of there and bought the base game and the documentary separately.

Thirteen hours of downloading later (26 gigs of shitty sounds and bland textures), I was ready to go. All settings to “max” (FX-8320, 8 GB RAM, RX 470 4 GB), the introductory race had me between 20 and 30 fps, with regular stuttering. After restarting the game several times in full screen and windowed mode, with various settings, I tried it again on “max” and it finally locked itself at 60 fps for some reason. I did some racing at Monza, Imola, Macau and some road track, and after a few minutes, the game gave me a memory warning and shut down. I’m thinking there could be a memory leak, something that users of the first Ride have reported.  As far as bugs, the first time I watched a replay, there was no sound and one camera view turned around and was looking through the body of the rider. A bit unpleasant.

But how does it play? Where MotoGP is raw, has a lot of movement and is generally dynamic and challenging, this is exactly the opposite. I tried some high-performance models, and there seems to be a blanket over the exhaust, no grunt, no meat. MotoGP sounds vicious, and with some sound presets in an audio enhancer, you can retain the mean edge while filling in the low end, with some 3D “ambiance” thrown in. No such luck with Ride 2; it’s flat and hopeless, like some jazz preset in Winamp.

The handling is also very smooth and predictable, and coupled with the counter top-flat circuits, it’s impossible to feel anything no matter the speed. No bumps, no camber, no detail. It’s like they didn’t even try. I wasn’t expecting the game to support the Xbox One trigger rumbling that works so well in Forza, but that would indeed have given some texture to the gameplay. Even if we had a proper bike controller with force feedback, this game wouldn’t use any of it. This is what kills the game for me, and why I’ve asked for a refund.

Surprise, I can’t refund to my credit card because of the video I mentioned earlier. Even though I didn’t buy the special edition, the $1 video on the same receipt seems to limit my refund options. It will be a Steam wallet refund, or hopefully Steam support replies to my query in the next two weeks. 

Good low-rent content, technically sound overall, but more lifeless than ever. What’s funny is that one of the replay cameras is a bit more “on top” of the bike, and there is also more movement, which seems pretty cool, but you can’t use it for gameplay. Add some wind noise, some bumps and better engine notes, and this would be a pretty good game.

29437662671_699374904e_bThank you for taking the time to write into us about an often overlooked sub-genre of racing games. Many people have wanted a pseudo-sequel to the excellent Tourist Trophy by Polyphony Digital, and it’s a shame this game has been hindered by the Milestone trademarks we’ve all come to know and loathe – in particular the dodgy framerate and questionable lack of polish. Like Sebastien Loeb Rally Evo which released earlier this year, Ride 2 on paper looks to be an intriguing game with a lot of content, but once again Milestone fail to make the game playable upon release. You should not need to restart an application several times in a row just to achieve a constant framerate.

I am also slightly confused why the sound quality and overall physics have been downgraded from the MotoGP series, especially with the Valentino Rossi game – which is basically another Milestone bike game that came out this year – exhibiting a much different style of play. Look, I’m aware that both titles were intended for different audiences; Valentino Rossi was essentially MotoGP 16, whereas Ride 2 is more of a Gran Turismo on Two Wheels that has been built for a casual player base, but why would this justify a totally different sound mix or riding feel?

For example, Forza Motorsport 6, and Forza Horizon 2 do indeed operate with different sets of tire behavior because they are aimed at opposing markets, but it’s not like the Horizon games were completely neutered in the way Ride 2 has been compared to MotoGP 16. Horizon 2 still kinda drives like Forza 6, and even going back a few years, the original Horizon drove like Forza 4 to some extent. What purpose does heavily simplifying Ride 2 serve? I support the decision to maybe simplify the tire model, but then going the extra mile and taking all of the bumps out of the racing surfaces, along with restructuring the force feedback effects… That seems a bit pointless to me. Especially after inserting tracks like the Nordschleife and Dundrod into the lineup and making them out to be this insane challenge that highlights Ride 2’s career mode, only for them to be completely underwhelming. Visually, they look great, as you can see in the video above, but to ride around at speed it’s lame Milestone would tone them down a notch.

Above all, I think it’s disappointing that Milestone continue to release products that are more or less not performing at an optimal level on the PC. Look, if I currently owned a PS4, I’d have no problem taking a chance on the games these guys develop because they clearly run much better on consoles. However, I own a PC, and on paper it should be a bit more powerful than the current console lineup. It’s not fair as a customer for console owners to receive a product that functions properly, whereas PC owners who purchase a Milestone product are shit out of luck from launch day.


38 thoughts on “Reader Submission #120 – Ride 2 Impressions

  1. No sympathy here. Usually the consoles get shafted with a crappy port. Guess it makes sense that it goes both ways.
    Looks like the master race will have to deal with it this time.
    Still blame LAZY ASS DEVELOPERS.
    Seems like there is more of a story to be discussed here when it comes to the video and non refunds.
    That’s a calculated Scam straight up.
    Disappointed That angle wasn’t looked at closer.


      1. I have no interest in the game, its awful but I’m running at 4k 60fps no problem. I’m using DSR because I don’t have a 4k screen but the numbers are the same either way


  2. It’s a bit baffling that the game that could be their flagship title feels so neutered and bland, whilst the MotoGP and MXGP games are more responsive and dynamic than ever. I’m enjoying both and would have liked to get the same enjoyment out of Ride 2, witht he Nord, Macau and other classics.

    Milestone have greatly improved, but this one was a huge disappointment.


  3. “Like Sebastien Loeb Rally Evo which released earlier this year, Ride 2 on paper looks to be an intriguing game with a lot of content, but once again Milestone fail to make the game playable upon release.”

    Don’t put them into the same bowl. SLRE runs just fine for me. Apart from not having seat adjustments and other minuscule deficiencies it’s a great sim.

    I also doubt Ride 2 is dumbed down compared to MGP games. Either way, there is only one good bike sim out there. And that’s GP Bikes by PiBoSo.
    Brace yourself for dated graphics and issues of its own though.


      1. You mean GP Bikes? I’d suggest editing the profile.ini adding these lines at the end:

        Also, to keep your wheel at the 1:1 ratio with the handlebars, in this case you set the wheel’s degrees of rotation value to 40 degrees. For the directsteer there’s also the =1 option, but it’s mostly useful for joypads and such, since you are controlling not the bars angle directly, but rather the torque applied to them.

        Then it’s very important to assign lateral rider’s body lean to easily accessible buttons on the wheel. For example, the left and right thumb buttons on a G25 or the topmost left and right buttons on a G27. You’ll notice that leaning inside the turn significantly helps with negotiating a bend, even if it sounds obvious.

        What is the hardcore mode in itself? Well, in motorcycling games player usually is in control of the bike’s lean angle. And to turn a bike you need to lean it into the turn. The problem is, you don’t do it by turning the bars into the turn, you have to turn them outside and then “catch” the bike’s fall by turning the bars back into the turn.

        Either way, the hardcore mode’s learning curve is a steep cliff. You’ll be dropping the bike left and right for a huge amount of time even just trying to start the damn thing rolling. That, of course, if you have all the aids on the Simulation tab turned off apart from the automatic rider’s lean.
        Once you get the hang of it, you’ll have a massive grin on your face though. It’s really worth the time spent.


        1. > Either way, the hardcore mode’s learning curve is a steep cliff. You’ll be dropping the bike left and right for a huge amount of time even just trying to start the damn thing rolling.

          That’s what I remember from the last time. I’ll try your suggestions to see if that helps. I’m not sure what buying the license unlocks, though?


          1. From the last time? You mean you already tried the hardcore mode? Good.

            In the demo you have only a 125 cc bike and the Phillip Island GP circuit called “Victoria” in there. The license also unlocks the liter 2003 MotoGP Honda (Murasama) and a 500 cc Cagiva (Varese). More importantly, it also unlocks the modding support. There is quite a lot of tracks for GP Bikes already. Also bikes… But apart from some road bikes, not all of them got updated to the latest beta yet. The pity is Nordschleife for GP Bikes is lacking a lot. It’s still playable though even if very bumpy.

            Personally, out of the three vanilla bikes I prefer the Honda with all the electronics like TCS turned off. It can be a pain to start up, because you need to keep it pretty high on the revs, but still not too high and release the clutch just in the right way as not to either stall the engine or wheelie the bike into oblivion. Once you got it going, however, it’s a joy to ride. It’s very comfortable under serious leaning, whereas with the road bikes you are sweating a lot trying not to drop the thing over a bump and not to go too wide because of not enough leaning.

            Another nice feature of the license is that it also unlocks World Racing Series, which is quite a good and underrated car sim nobody ever heard of.


              1. You are welcome. If there are any further questions regarding the sim, feel free to ask again. Of course I can’t help with things like the notorious core.exe crashes, but some say they hardly ever happen on NDS tracks (ones with the rF2-like RealRoad feature disabled).

                I don’t think I ever experienced such a crash myself while out there on a track in the latest beta. The majority of the previous betas were prone to that happening though.


  4. “I am also slightly confused why the sound quality and overall physics have been downgraded from the MotoGP series, especially with the Valentino Rossi game”

    You should stick to 4 wheeled vehicles. The sound in VR the game is probably the worst i`ve ever heard in a game, in RIDE 2 most bikes sound more than decent while some actually sound very good.

    As someone who rides a 2014 Fireblade on track on a weekly basis, and someone who is a GP bikes veteran, i can honestly say that for a arcade game, the physics of RIDE 2 are quite decent.

    The bikes are quite controllable now, in a smooth way and not in a jumpy and quirky way like before ( RIDE 1 & VR The game ), the faster bikes react way more on bumps and jumps, and the overall bike seems a bit more alive instead of stiff like the other Milestone titles…

    I`m no fan of Milestone, but RIDE 2 is more than decent. The only thing i would like to see is the game being less forgiving when hitting other riders, or a wall, and the online part being fixed.

    If you want to be the big man you think you are, grab a 360 controller and try GP bikes. I`ll help you set it up if needed, and we`ll see how much you know about motorcycle physics…


    1. Nice to see another fellow GP Biker in here 🙂 I would suggest using a wheel with the hardcore mode 2 on though. Being able to actually turn the bars with your own hands and feel the FFB beats everything else hands down.
      See above my posts on how to configure GPB for that.


      1. No thanks, i’m doing fine with the 360 controller 😉

        No assists, just the build in tc on the bike if needed.

        Me and my teammate were (and hopefully still are! ) 2 of the fastest GPB players out there, so my control method works fine for me 🙂


        1. Two of the fastest GPB players out there using the hardcore mode? 🙂 Because GPB with and without the hardcore mode are two completely different things… And this direct steering mode can only be enabled from the ini-file, so some might miss that option altogether.


          1. Direct steering mode is not hardcore mode. There is no such thing as a hardcore mode. Dst is just another way of input designed for input devices like steering wheels or full motion controllers.

            It’s even usable on controllers with a bit of practise and tbh not even that more difficult, just…different.

            Besides 1 or 2 people who just like to brag about using DST just for the sake of sounding more ” hardcore” , noone uses that anyway.


            1. It wasn’t me who named it “hardcore”. It’s what it is called in the configuration file. DST is not “another way of input”, but the only realistic way to control a bike in a sim.

              Yes, it’s more or less usable on controllers. When DST was implemented, there was only the torque mode around and it was much more difficult to use than the angle mode (2) in the current beta. But even the 2nd mode in the beta 9 is still difficult to use.
              With DST off you are telling the automated rider of your bike the amount of the bike’s lean angle you are trying to achieve. All the balancing act it does for you. And a bike, especially at low speeds, needs to be balanced out by turning the bars into the direction of the fall. Without DST you have to do it yourself all the time. And the only way to tell if you are starting to fall over is to keep your eye on the horizon. There are also low speed corners that are more tricky to negotiate. Add some lateral and longitudinal inclination of the road to that and it becomes very challenging to traverse. But that’s part of the fun. It’s much more interesting to control the bike directly, to feel the force feedback coming from its front wheel, rather than simply being a passenger on one.

              As for “bragging” and “sounding more hardcore”, well, who was the one bragging about how he is a “GP Bikes veteran” and one “of the fastest GPB players out there”? 🙂 Also you are contradicting yourself. If DST is nothing special and “with a bit of practice” it’s “not even that more difficult”, then why it’s just “1 or 2 people” using it? 🙂

              Without DST it’s more like GP Bikes is “not that more difficult” than Ride 2, or at least not that more difficult than SBK 2001. It’s the DST mode that gives GP Bikes the edge over anything else.


              1. “Without DST it’s more like GP Bikes is “not that more difficult” than Ride 2, or at least not that more difficult than SBK 2001. It’s the DST mode that gives GP Bikes the edge over anything else.”

                Dude i know exactly who you are, and stop fooling anyone. You can hardly ride without DST so i doubt it`s “not that more difficult” than Ride 2 for you.


                1. I doubt you know me, “dude”, and I’m not fooling anybody. I can’t even remember when was the last time I tried GP Bikes without DST, but it sure was much easier back then. At least the AI was doing good enough job of not dropping the bike. Judging by the progress on DST in the beta 9, I’m sure it should be close to Ride 2 except much less forgiving on collisions and going beyond the limits of the track.

                  Oh, and you never saw me riding neither with nor without DST on, don’t fool yourself. Match your lap times without DST to the ones with it turned on first, then come back telling stories of how they are basically the same, “but different”.

                  Do you at least understand what exactly is going on in these two modes? If you do, then you should also understand that it’s a ridiculous claim that DST is “not that more difficult”.


                  1. “then you should also understand that it’s a ridiculous claim that DST is “not that more difficult”

                    Same goes for the statement that GP bikes “pleb mode” is hardly any harder than RIDE.
                    Why don`t you turn it off and do the same laptimes as the rest of us? Or is DST just something to hide your lack of pace behind Hawk?


                    1. I was speaking relatively. Also, I never tried neither Ride, nor Ride 2. SBK 2001 wasn’t bad, apart from the coupled brakes feature though. Yet judging by what Milestone managed to pull off with SLRE and by what can be seen on different footages, I wouldn’t be surprised their current tyre modelling is good enough to be somewhere close to what Piboso has achieved so far. I’m still talking about staying on the track and not hitting any obstacles. In that regard, of course, the Ride series exhibit absolutely unrealistic behavior. Well, just stay on tarmac 🙂

                      The difference between non-DST and DST-enabled GPB, however, is massive. While riding with DST, you are in control of the bike, you have the handlebars. Without it you are simply a passenger telling the bot which lean angle it should go for. Kind of a real-time strategy game: you simply tell the units to do this and that, and they are doing the dirty work for you.

                      I personally don’t play RTS games. And in simulators I prefer to have as much control over the machine as at all possible. Offloading this onto the AI is like playing DCS in the Game mode. What’s the point of spending money on it if you could just play some Ace Horizon instead? Same with GPB. If Ride 2 is ok and you play both the same way (I hope at least not from the 3rd person view?), what do you need GPB for? It simply makes no sense at all. It’s like buying rF2 for your wheel and enabling the steering help. You are deliberately allowing the computer to steer for you. Why not go all the way and play TORCS instead? And if you insist on doing it that way, at least don’t go visit random forums to brag about how “one of the fastest” and hardcore you are. Remember, you are letting the AI do the majority of work for you. Not to mention you even have the TCS on, for crying out loud…

                      Why don’t I turn DST off? Well, if I’d do that, I might as well just buy myself Ride and enjoy better graphics and an acceptable (according to you) physics. Oh, and some nice tracks to boot.

                      As for riding in the company of the likes of you with the attitude you just showed, why would I bother? Not to mention that I don’t know you and can’t remember if I ever talked to Hawk (even though I’ve seen him on the forum), let alone racing any of you. Sorry, but I’m not interested in dealing with youngsters. Especially not in proving who’s faster, stronger and “kewler” than who. Grown up from that age quite long ago already. You, on the other hand, seem to be pretty much of that age, so… Should be up for the challenge of DST. Otherwise your claims of being a “GP Bikes veteran” are unwarranted, to put it mildly.


    2. This is 10 years old.

      You can defend Milestone as much as you want, and I truly believe they’ve made some great improvements over the last few years, but Ride 2 is just not good enough. No movement, no wind, flat sounds, flat graphics, wide FOV that virtually eliminates all bumps and elevation changes, etc. Gotta push them to try harder if you want them to improve.

      If they’ll be using this new engine for another 5 years, they better listen to criticism rather than enjoy the apologists.


      1. The lack of wind is the only thing i recognize RIDE 2 not having compared to TT.

        That video doesn’t show any bumps, does have horrible camera movement, and even the wind noise sounds very static and as if it’s the same sample over and over again.

        I agree that ride 2 is still not good enough, what game ever is? But compared to previous MS titles it’s a step up and makes me hope for a title that does put all the strings together…


        1. It’s nice to see their games at least feel almost modern now. If they didn’t have to release about 5 games a year, perhaps we’d see more improvements.


          1. If Milestone would become a bit more serious about the job they are doing, they have the potential of coming up with big hits. Alas, probably not going to happen any time soon.


      1. Yes I really prefer Ride 2 over GP bikes as a game!

        Gp Bikes is a simulator, much like rFactor 2. You really can say I’ve driven my sim hours. Been there, done that, twenty five years, countless countless hours. I don’t care very much about pure sims anymore. Sandboxes as our dear fellow here often calls them. My opinion about sims has changed quite a lot during my years with them. A sim without a game in it… not worth my time, anymore.

        Ride 2 then, it’s better than Gran Turismo or Forza. Don’t ask me why, it’s a feeling. Just like AC/DC is about 10,000 time better than Metallica. 😀 😀 😀

        How about F1 2016 then?? It’s a very good game. ( But Ride 2 is still better )

        And YES I like good graphics! Sometimes you can read between the lines of fools like rFactor2 fanboys they like their shit because it has dull graphics. Uh-huh.

        Thanks for this forum James, lickety lick 😉


        1. Oh and one more thing, there is one car game that’s not a simulator, but still succeeds in being as boring as a sandbox sim. That’s Assetto Corsa. I regret buying it.


          1. Let’s see what you will be saying when you hit my age 😉 Games can be fun… to a point. Then you simply realize you are wasting your time. Also you realize you are not a kid anymore. Maybe you would want to play something “fun”, but you don’t feel like doing it. It’s kind of a pity, really…

            As for Assetto Corsa, that’s where I agree with you. It’s just an essence of mediocrity.

            AC/DC, Metallica… Not interested anymore in either 🙂


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