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Riders Republic Review (PS5): Setting New Standards for Extreme Sports Games

Ubisoft is trying to bring extreme sports games back to their former glory, and Riders Republic feels like a first successful step toward achieving that. It also helps that its only competition is its own games like Steep.
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What makes Riders Republic more palatable than other sports games is the freedom it offers to both newcomers and veterans of the genre. It also has the advantage of letting you play the way you want and for how long you want without making you lose progression.

In Riders Republic you get to compete in five main activities: mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, wingsuit flying, and rocket wingsuiting. But competition is just the hook to get you to take a stroll through one of the seven U.S. National Parks included in the game: Bryce Canyon, Yosemite Valley, Sequoia Park, Zion, Canyonlands, Mammoth Mountain, and Grand Teton.

These iconic locations have been faithfully recreated to meet the needs of outdoor sports enthusiasts and populated with all the tracks, roads, and pit stops they would need when venturing into the wild.

You can fly above these parks, ride a bike on some of the most dangerous-looking off-road tracks, or go skiing in their mountains. All these are without strings attached, so if your girlfriend/boyfriend does aggro you, there’s certainly no loss involved if you immediately stop playing.

When it comes to aesthetics, you will notice how well the different ecosystems blend together within the confines of a single, huge map. There are thin visible borders between the national parks when looking at the in-game map, but they’re strikingly obvious when you’re actually flying, biking, or skiing in the game world.

Riders Republic is purely arcade, so no player should have any issues with the controls. These are tight and responsive, although there are differences between different sports when it comes to movement. I actually believe skiing is spot on, whereas biking feels a bit undercooked.

If you’re looking to compete in Riders Republic rather than just riding or skiing on your own, keep in mind that not all activities in the game are actually enjoyable. Two competitions, in particular, got me hooked for hours in a row – Trick Battles and Mass Race, probably because they’re chaotic and, thus, fun. The former is a 6v6 team-based mode where you have to execute the best tricks to win, while the latter is the epitome of mayhem: a 50-player (64-player on PC) race where you’ll be bike riding, skiing, and wingsuiting through different environments.

Even though there are a bunch of bikes and skis that you can choose from before competing in an event, I doubt they are going to influence how you perform despite the fact that they have various stats that are trying to mimic their real-life counterparts.

That aside, there are a plethora of bikes at your disposal from a range of famous brands, including Marin, Canyon, BMC, and Devinci. The same goes for those who’d like to go skiing or snowboarding, as Ubisoft includes some official gear from Black Crows, Faction, Burton, and other manufacturers.

The game also features a store where you can get cosmetics that will allow you to race with style. This leads to some very weird races where everyone wears a chicken costume because it’s the cheapest one or the funniest.Conclusion
Riders Republic doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel, so what it does, it does very well. I do have my qualms with the narrative, which is almost atrocious, but that doesn’t really detract from the fun I had with the game.

Get involved in whichever part you like and ignore the rest; you’re definitely not going to be punished for that. With a decent range of activities available from the get-go, and many more unlocking as you progress into the Career Mode, Riders Republic is a pinnata of entertainment

Rating: 85/100


Editor's note: Review based on a copy of the game provided by the publisher.

 
 
 
 
 

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