After spending a number of quality hours with Ubisoft’s massive multiplayer outdoor sports playground title Riders Republic during their Trial Week event (+ a few extra hours), we can definitely say it’s the real deal. Ubisoft is not a newbie when it comes to multisport sandbox games, with successful releases of Steep and The Crew under their belt, so it was no surprise that Riders Republic does a lot right thus far.
Playing the free to download Trial Week version (details on that here) on a PS5 the experience is light years beyond the obviously un-optimized beta version from some weeks ago, so we’re super happy with the amount of polish that the various Ubisoft development studios have put in since that iteration. The Riders Republic – Trial Week takes players through the full onboarding process and beyond, including creating an avatar/character, going through the motions in a few of the base sports (biking, skiing/snowboarding and wingsuit), providing a tour of the Riders Ridge hub/base camp and all the relevant features within, and then putting players on the path to taking part in seamless multiplayer experiences and career progression. Within the 4 hours of sanctioned access, all stars, money, unlocked events, rewards, gear, experience and exploration will carry right over to any full version of the game, if players want to do so.
One game changer in this new generation of gaming is the instant load times in open world titles and it benefits Riders Republic immensely. Fast traveling right across the map, in very different events and modes is nearly instantaneous which makes exploration and experimentation a pleasure. Exploration in general is actually enjoyable regardless thanks to many forms of land and air transportation provided from snowmobiles to rocket bikes/skis to a powered paraglider and more. The ability to instantly restart (in non-competitive events) doesn’t hurt either, even though the game also has a built-in rewind feature. The entire game takes place in various US National Parks including Bryce Canyon, Yosemite Valley, Sequoia Park, Zion, Canyonlands, Mammoth Mountain and Grand Teton, so there’s plenty of virtual sightseeing and gorgeous photography opportunities.
The events themselves, which range from competitive races, trick challenges, multiplayer arenas, online cups and mass races are varied and fun, and incorporate biking (road and mountain), snow (ski and snowboards) and air sports (wing suits and rocket wings) in interesting ways. The career progression so far takes players through a lot of the experiences, sports, locations, modes and mixes things up to keep it well paced. Progress is XP and star based and doing nearly anything in the game, successfully or not, can earn you some rewards and keep things moving in the right direction — so there’s really no right or wrong way to play Riders Republic.
Riders Republic – Mass Race video:
What I really love about Riders Republic so far is that it provides that feeling of always being connected and playing with others especially since on next gen platforms up to 50 live players may be taking part in activities around the world map. There are also AI players just doing their thing as well and it all blends together for that busy festival atmosphere the game is going for.
We have quite a lot to see and do before assembling a final review, so stay tuned! In the meantime it’s definitely worth the time and effort to take the Riders Republic – Trial Week version out for a spin. The full version goes live on Thursday, October 28th, 2021 for the PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PC and Google Stadia.
Have a look at a selection of media taken from the Trial Week version below.
Riders Republic – Riders Ridge hub:
Mass Race screens:
Riders Republic – Options, modes and more: