TT-Isle-of-Man---Ride-on-the-Edge-Review TT Isle of Man - Ride on the Edge Review

   12/03/2018 at 16:18       Chris OToole       0 COMMENTS. - Score 3/5
 - Racing, Motorbikes, Xbox One, PC, PS4

Review by Rich Boulton.

“The reason I do it is because if you do it wrong, it will kill you.If you think it's too dangerous then go home and cut your lawn and leave us to it.”

Guy Martin

The Isle of Man TT is an infamous event, a 37-mile annual road race where riders can hit speeds over 200mph, and fatalities are commonplace with a tally over 250 since its inaugural race in 1907. Developers Kylotonn have taken on the task of recreating this event in all of its insanity and majesty, and in doing so have created something exceptional, though not necessarily easy to recommend.

The Snaefell Mountain Course is the clear heart of the game, with the full track laser scanned for your death-defying pleasure, and we might as well begin here. If you follow the career mode, it will be a while until you are offered the opportunity to experience the full lap, but it is certainly worth the wait. Simply scanning the road and reproducing it virtually is only half of the battle, but thankfully the translation has retained much of what makes the TT alluring. Riding around this course is undeniably thrilling - even for someone such as myself who has no knowledge of or affinity to the track itself. It feels special, and despite it’s lengthy nature you’ll be drawn to conquer its many challenges.

A significant part of the reason this race works so well is the sense of speed that is achieved. 200mph around country roads should feel fast, you should be terrified that the slightest movement will cause you to become unhappily detached from your chariot (spoilers, it will). As your speed increases, the camera begins to shake, the edges of the screen blur, and most importantly a separate audio layer of gusting wind picks up around your ears. This wind is a small stroke of genius by the developers, and probably the key piece of the puzzle in delivering the feeling that you really are riding on the edge of a knife, and are millimetres from catastrophe.

However when that inevitable moment comes, when you clip a curb at high speed, or that hedge is marginally closer than you thought, or you just carry too much speed and your corrective action begins an uncontrollable snaking of your front wheel, you may be disappointed by the result. Find yourself running more than a few feet off the track and you will be rapidly and  unceremoniously dropped back into the middle of the track, ready to start going again. If you’re lucky enough to hit a nearby trackside object you may be treated to a short flight and some metal-on-pavement crunching, but for a game about a race that is defined by its danger, you are very rarely shown the consequences of high speed accidents. In fact the majority of your falls will be at low speeds, awkward with this handling model, where your avatar will slump onto the ground and pretty much just curl into the fetal position.

Whilst on the bike though, the magic remains, and is helped along by the visuals. At first the graphics seem mostly functional, and to an extent that is true, but trackside detail is notable, with particularly impressive foliage surrounding the track. Catch the right area in the right lighting at speed, and the game can show you a truly beautiful side of itself.

How do you turn this experience into a full priced video game though? TT Isle of Man - Ride on the Edge’s response is its career mode, and is the least impressive part of the offering here. A sterile set of menus offering the now de facto calendar and e-mail racing career format awaits you. This is the lacklustre delivery method for a prolonged career that mostly forgets about the TT itself and drags you through uninspired time trials and ‘mass start’ (i.e. normal, wheel to wheel) races for cash. It involves no pageantry or real presentation, suffers from a very unpredictable difficulty level, and the fictional tracks built to complement the TT almost all miss the mark, serving mostly as a reminder of the mystique of the central character, Snaefell Mountain. Your first few events will be TT-style, and relatively lonely as a result, but when you get a few mass starts under your belt, you’ll be delighted every time you see an event will leave you alone, thanks to inconsistent collision detection that usually leaves you on the ground and the AI in the distance.

Adding to the disappointment, there isn’t much else to spend your time on. With a poor career mode, unremarkable filler tracks, and only a moderate bike listing, the result is a sleight package that may not justify the price tag. On top of that there are a number of smaller issues causing frustration throughout. The difficult low speed handling and collision detection have already been discussed, but watch any video of the game in action and you’ll also immediately notice the twitchy rider animations. As you make small corrections at speed, your rider will jolt unnaturally from side to side. It isn’t too distracting in game as your focus is usually on the horizon, but it is there nonetheless. The final point to note is the lack of any rewind ability. There’s certainly an argument that inclusion of a rewind would lessen the experience, especially for the TT itself where you should feel panic, and be punished for mistakes. However it can be up to a twenty minute journey and to lose to a small momentary mistake is tough to swallow. Worse is the shorter races in career mode, in a game that makes the bond between rider and bike this tenuous, so eager is the game to separate the two and throw you across the tarmac. Restarting a race time and time again in mass starts, where one fall can mean the race is lost, is infuriating, and the lack of rewind feels like a major oversight.

What Kylotonn have delivered here then, is a game that holds something special, a unique experience well worth your time if you’re a fan of the TT, bikes, or racing in general. Recommending it at full price to a wider audience though is a difficult proposition, as it clearly struggles to justify a full release on the scale of most of its contemporaries in the racing genre.

User Comments:

You must sign up for an AATG account and login in order to post comments

0 comment(s) in total.
NAIRI: Tower of Shirin Review (0) (09/01)
Point and Squee
Darksiders 3 Review (0) (21/12)
The Filth and the Fury
Call of Cthulhu Review (0) (08/11)
Fishy Goings On
Red Dead Redemption 2 Review (0) (07/11)
Wicky Wicky Wild Wild West
NAIRI: Tower of Shirin Review (0) (09/01)
Point and Squee
Darksiders 3 Review (0) (21/12)
The Filth and the Fury
Call of Cthulhu Review (0) (08/11)
Fishy Goings On
Red Dead Redemption 2 Review (0) (07/11)
Wicky Wicky Wild Wild West
Hearthstone Beta Review - Gather Round (1) (24/02)
Gather Round Blizzard's Latest Cash-Cow
Dream: The Hypersloth Interview - Part 3 (0) (18/11)
Fears before bedtime
Dream: The Hypersloth Interview - Part 2 (2) (17/11)
I can't get no sleep...
Angband Retrospective (4) (25/10)
Learn to fear the letter D.
Why TitanFall is no Call of Duty Killer (5) (18/02)
But it's still bloody marvellous
Gioteck's PS3 Controller Range - Preview (0) (01/08)
Striving for excellence
Havin' a Go: Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer (4) (27/10)
Don't cry wolf just yet...
Shank 2 Set to Kick Your Ass in Early 2012 (0) (26/10)
Not actually a protein. Go on, google it.

Better late than never, eh Ror?
Khanivor - In response to: Battle Chasers: Nightwar Review - 248day(s) ago.
Enjoyed this, cheers!
evilashchris - In response to: Reflecting on the Life of a Tomb Raider - 333day(s) ago.
Looks who's back. Shady's back.
GOD - In response to: Sniper Elite 4 Review - Xbox One - 663day(s) ago.
Micro Machines was my favourite!
ClaytonNotClive - In response to: Mantis Burn Racing Review - 705day(s) ago.
i agree chris, the Aliens table makes the others look bad.. because its so goood!! but they arent that bad.. haha! ...
neosalad - In response to: Aliens Vs. Pinball Review - 966day(s) ago.