There hasn’t been much in the extreme sports gaming atmosphere for awhile besides a remaster for Tony Hawk 1+2 that released last year. Ubisoft looks to change this with Riders Republic. It ups the ante on action sports titles giving you not just one but three different ways to play the game. It invites you to bike, ski/snowboard, or literally fly our way through the various courses presented to you. But it is all fun though?

What is Riders Republic?

Riders Republic puts you in the middle of “Rider’s Ridge”. It’s a huge adventure park that shows you the rope of how the game is played. Here you can do things like customize your player with items you won or bought, select sponsors, and even practice some moves before you go out into the vast open world around you. You are essentially a rising star athlete coming through the ranks to make it to the top.

The game has a career mode that rewards you for winning races, scoring the most points, or even exploring and finding landmarks.  There are areas on the map that are only catered to certain sports like going in the snowy mountains will lean itself towards snowboarding / ski courses while going into more of the forest sections will be mostly biking.

These areas are seven national parks which are Bryce Canyon, Yosemite Valley, Sequoia Park, Zion, Canyonlands, Mammoth Mountain and Grand Teton which are all connected into one massive single map. Interestingly Riders Republic lets you change the Time of Day so you can play at Day, Night, Dusk, or Dawn if you desire.

How to Flip and Move

If you have played Ubisoft’s prior extreme sports called Steep you will feel at home as its rather similar in controls and utilizes Ubisoft’s Snowdrop engine. If you are biking or snowboarding/skiing movements are similar with buttons for acceleration and being able to jump and perform massive tricks to your hearts content without crashing and burning at the same time. With the Rocket Wingsuit it feels more like flying/steering a plane and maybe a bit of a learning curve (well for me as I tend to crash often). Besides the usual ways to navigate around the map and in the courses, there is also other fun ways to travel. These items vary from Rocket Skis, Rocket Bikes, Paramotor (like a power glider), snowmobile, funnel bike, and these are just things to start with.

Besides career mode there is multiplayer options such as Trick Battle Arena. I tend to like this as it’s a 6v6 competition with you and your team trying to score the most points against the other before time runs out. While doing so you are also taking over areas on the crazy designed course.  Its loads of fun especially if you are good at stringing along combinations for huge scores.

Now things get crazy when playing Mass Race. Think of it as Free Guys but replacing these funny running characters with extreme sports. It can get very chaotic as I see the game host up to 64 players at once. On the PS4/XBOX One versions its unfortunately up to 20. Either way it takes place over three rounds and will have you changing sports through the checkpoints in the course. So, depending on your skill you can easily be in the front and end up in the back by the end. Thing is with Mass Race though its randomly available so you have to catch and enter when you can.

Other modes are Versus mode which you can play with up to five other friends in career events while Free for All lets you battle out against 11 other opponents in playlist style career events.

Time Consuming Fun

Riders Republic has a massive map that awards you for taking it all in and exploring. It reminds me a bit of Forza Horizon 4 & 5. With the landscape being vast you expect some load times but its virtually instant hopping from one spot to the other or just traveling normally. This helps not take you out of the experience.  

There is always something to do in this game which will keep you busy. This means either going through the career mode or taking on opponents in multiplayer. Also, since this game supports cross-play through consoles and PC you will always find competition to take on.

Customization is pretty nice in Riders Republic letting you choose different sports equipment to use and just changing the look and gear of your character from the top down.

Score Online, Be in Zen Mode Offline

Riders Republic relies mostly on being an “online” based game. Meaning you can’t really play a lot or any of the courses offline. If you want to play “offline” you jump into Zen mode which, will you give you access to everything, but you won’t be tracking any progression.

Controls can be good at times but a bit finnicky at some moments. I wish the braking was a bit tighter and didn’t feel like you were putting so much pressure on at times. There is options to change the controls up a bit if you like.

Since its more arcade than simulation you can’t really fine tune your equipment like you want so even though the attributes are higher they still feel the same when you are upgrading from bike to bike for example.

Verdict

Playing Riders Republic over the past few weeks I have to say it’s a fun game to experience. There is a robust career mode and tons to do in multiplayer mode. It does lend more to those that like to compete online against other rather than those that like to do it alone and go solo.

If you are a fan of the extreme sports genre as I am or just want to pick up a controller and have some mindless fun give it a go with Riders Republic which is available on Xbox One S/X, Xbox Series S/X, PS4/PS5 and PC.

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