Often clunky, glitchy and unrealistic, motorcycle simulation games haven’t been that great in the past. Some racing simulations such as the old Superbike games and recent MotoGP offerings have come close, but now there’s a road bike sim that completely raises the bar.
Ride 3, available on PS4, Xbox One and PC, is the Gran Turismo for bikes. Featuring hundreds of bikes from classics to Ducati's new V4 Panigale, you can re-live almost any era you like - whether that’s ragging a Suzuki RGV250 around Oulton Park or mastering the Nurburgring’s Nordschleife on a BMW S1000RR.
The range of tracks is impressive - 30 to be precise - including biking mecca Cadwell Park, Oulton, Brands Hatch and Donington in the UK, as well as Portimao, Monza, Imola, Vallelunga, Magny Cours, Road America, Sugo and the Nurburgring overseas.
It’s not just track riding either, there are several road courses too, including the North West 200, Ulster Grand Prix and Imatra as well as a number of fictional roads circuits designed to test your ability.
The circuits are eerily accurate, the level of graphics games have reached these days is insane – it is almost like you are physically at the circuit you’re racing through your television.
The physics are as good as any bike game gets; the throttle does what you’d expect it do and it's the same for the brakes. You can alter the difficulty for a greater, or easier challenge but the key thing is the bike behaves like a bike should, which has been a huge problem for bike games in the past.
You can edit your livery, tune your bikes to an unbelievable level and career mode takes you through a series of 50 magazines (we appreciate the nod to the media!) featuring different race challenges on different styles of bikes. You can lose hours…
For race fans, there are a number of World Endurance, road racing and BSB bikes available for purchase… so rather than trying to knock ten seconds off your lap time on a Donington trackday you can put yourself on Shane Byrne’s Be Wiser Ducati and try and beat the BSB pole record.
There are still some glitches, as with any game, and loading times are quite significant but overall, this is a fantastic product.