I was fortunate enough to have an expanded look at the game, ahead of the presentation aired tonight to see how Riders Republic is doing things a little bit differently for a game that’s all about racing.
IT ALL BEGINS AT THE RIDERS RIDGE
Similar to social spaces found in games like Destiny, the Riders Ridge is where you get started in Riders Republic. It’s here that players can connect and interact with other players, engage in weekly challenges and launch into the game’s many modes.
Riders Ridge is also the home of the labs, where you’ll be able to create something. I wasn’t able to find out exactly what. But you’ll also be able to shop for items to customise your character and your vehicles before you take them out into the big open world.
THERE’S AN ACTUAL OPEN WORLD IN BETWEEN EVERYTHING ELSE
While this concept was built upon from the team’s last game, Steep, the way it’s executed in Riders Republic seems to be much more substantial and better realised. The map itself is comprised of seven distinct American national parks like the Yosemite Valley, except they’ve been moved together to make it more interesting to traverse.
Committing to this idea fully, and perhaps resting on their well-established pedigree in this area, Ubisoft has also made this environment completely explorable. Like Assassin’s Creed or Far Cry, you’ll be able to explore the world to find collectibles, unlock new tricks or just simply take in the sights. You’ll even get a snowmobile and paramotor to assist in your exploration.
THE MULTIPLAYER IS MORE THAN JUST RACING
There’s a slew of multiplayer options in Riders Republic, but the one that stood out to me is the Tricks Battle. In this mode, your teams will be placed into districts. Each district is filled with certain landmarks, and your team must perform tricks on (or off of) each landmark to turn that landmark your teams colour.
Turning the entire district your colour allows your team to capture the district. It’s a mode that feels like it’s marrying the best bits of competitive shooters like Control in Overwatch with the trick and stunt-centric gameplay that games like Steep have come to be known for. It’s a 6v6 mode that seems to be like nothing a developer has done before in a game like this.
A FULL-FLEDGED CAREER MODE IS INCLUDED WITH SOME UNIQUE CONTENT
While this wasn’t the whole focus of the latest batch of information, the career mode looks to offer something for people looking to play solo or with their friends. In it, you’ll be given a variety of career paths and sponsors to embark on your journey.
The career mode will obviously take you through the various national parks of the United States, and have you visiting key landmarks too. Perhaps more interestingly, although not elaborated on, there’s even said to be “boss battles”. I’m not too sure how these will play out, or if they’re even in the tradition of what you’d normally think of when you say boss battle, but it makes me think the Career mode in Riders Republic will be substantial.
MASS RACE FEELS LIKE A REAL GAME-CHANGER AND IS EXCLUSIVE TO NEXT-GEN
While Riders Republic is releasing on most major platforms, those who grab the game on PS5 and Xbox Series X or S will be able to enjoy the Mass Race mode. This mode runs on the hour in every hour, and you need to head to a designated point in the game world to participate.
Once you’re there, the mode will put you into a race with over fifty participants. While the exact number wasn’t quite revealed at this stage, as I’m sure there is a lot of balancing to be carried out, the developers have committed to at least fifty players.
I’ve not played every racing game out there – but there are not many racers I can think of that have ever achieved that many players at any given point.
All in all, Riders Republic looks to be doing a lot different to not only differentiate itself from its spiritual predecessor in Steep but also itself as an extreme sports game. It’s exciting to see how it all plays out, and if Steep is anything to go by, how it expands and evolves throughout it’s life cycle.
Riders Republic releases on September 2nd 2021 for Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5 and PC.