Riders Republic is Ubisoft’s newest foray into the extreme sports genre. Instead of just focusing on one sport though you have a wide variety to choose from here. Once you get past the introductory part of the game you will be free to pursue a number of different career paths whether it is as a biker, skier, using a wingsuit, or something else. It is important to note that each career advances independently though. For example, if you have leveled up your career as a skier to level 5 that won’t affect your other careers. You can be a level 5 skier but be at level 1 on the bike. It is important to keep this in mind as you can plan out how you want to play the game and advance through the ranks.
Riders Republic is set in a massive open world. It uses some real-world locations such as the Sequoias and Yosemite as its backdrop. When you first start the game the world map is covered just like with most open world titles. As you explore you will be able to see more of the map and be able to plan out what you want to do. For example, the bottom portion of the map tends to be canyons while the top part of the map has mountains. Once I unlocked the ability to use the Rocketwing that immediately opened up the whole game for me as I could get anywhere I wanted to with ease. As you explore the map you will also unlock some fast travel points as well so you don’t necessarily have to traverse the whole map if you are on the top of a mountain but want to participate in a race taking place in one of the canyons. As the name suggests, the Rocketwing gives you the ability to fly around the map and you will need to do this to find some of the collectibles or get to some of the special landmark areas.
The career or “story” part of Riders Republic takes place through a number of disciplines. As you complete an event you will earn stars. As you earn stars and achieve certain milestones more events will open up for you. There are events if you like being on a bike. These can include a big race down a mountain, a freeride event where you can work on doing some stunts, racings through the Sequoias, and more. If you prefer to be in the snow you can take place in races on skis or a snowboard, or an event where you are trying to do tricks in a halfpipe, a race where you make a dash from the top of Teton to the Yosemite frontier, and much more. If you want to take to the sky you have events there as well flying through rings, zipping through the Sequoias, and flying through the canyons one moment while you might be in the forest in another moment but you need to make sure you have the proper elevation for each checkpoint to make sure you don’t fly into the side of a mountain or crash land on the ground because you are flying too low. There are also multi-sport events which can be a lot of fun. These events could start you out on a bike and then at one point on the course there is a ramp that will launch you into the air where you will automatically transition to wearing a rocketwing and have to navigate through the air for a while, and then finally getting to a point where you land on a mountain and have to make your way down on skis. I had a lot of fun with these events with how they changed things up and kept me on my toes.
The events in the game are not the only thing that will keep busy. For starters, there are a lot of collectibles for you to track down and some of them are located in places that aren’t that easy to get to. For example, there are 500 “RR” inflatables to find, along with some chests. You will see a white triangle with an exclamation in the middle of it at different points of the map which means there is a stunt course to try and complete there and some of those courses can be really challenging and will most likely require multiple efforts to try and pass it. There are also landmarks that you will want to find. These landmarks include locations like Half Dome in Yosemite, the Royal Arches, Moro Rock, and more. When you get to one of these locations you will learn a small portion of the backstory of the location and perhaps an interesting detail about how people might use it today.
Everything begins at the Riders Ridge outpost though. This is basically a hub world for the game. This is where you can go to manage all of the sponsors that are interested in you as make your way through the game. This is also where you can go to Trick Academy and learn some of the moves to try and get a higher score when needed or practice on learning that one trick when you get launched off a ramp during a race. You will also find the lab here where you can create events if you are someone who is creative and likes to do that sort of thing. If you aren’t then you can participate in events that other members of the community have created. There is also a shop where you can buy some in-game items either through the currency you earn playing the game or buy using real world money to purchase “Republic Coins”. The Riders Ridge outpost is also where you can launch some multiplayer action as well. From time to time there are live Mass Races that take place. When one of those is about to happen you can visit that area in the outpost and jump into the action. You can also engage in a tricks battle with other gamers or just go at it in a free for all if that is more your speed. Whatever it is you like to do, Riders Republic seems to have you covered pretty well.
While going through the different areas of the game there were definitely times I just wanted to stop and look at the environment. There are some breathtaking vistas here, which are highlighted by those landmark locations I mentioned early in this review. I had fun just soaring through the air with the rocketwing and not really doing anything in particular, just flying around seeing what I could discover. I enjoyed the soundtrack as well, as the development team at Ubisoft did a great job picking the right song to play while hurtling down a mountain on skis or just relaxing at the outpost. The customization options are nice whether it is developing your own event or simply your favorite piece of equipment to use in the upcoming event. For an extra level of immersion the sponsors that you deal with in the game are, such as being able to eventually unlock a sponsorship with Red Bull. Once you have some sponsors you will want to try and do their daily contracts whenever possible as well. Some of these contracts include items like landing a trick with three seconds of airtime, completing five snow events, completing eight events in general, and things like that. It is another thing to help keep you busy as you explore this big open world. By completing these contracts you will earn in-game currency and progress which will unlock exclusive gear and items.
Riders Republic is a great effort by the teams at Ubisoft. One thing I really appreciate about it is how approachable it is as well. If you are someone who likes these extreme sports types of games and you are really good at pulling off tricks then this is a game you should absolutely give a chance. If you are someone that is a bit more casual I think you should give this one a chance as well. There really isn’t much pressure to do much of anything here so if you just want to have fun riding your bike through the Sequoias or skiing down a mountain in Yosemite and not worry about anything else, you can do that as well. This game will basically be what you want to be whether it is a competitive title against other gamers or one where you can just have fun exploring the environments and tracking down collectibles. Riders Republic is a good amount of fun but I will warn achievement hunters about one thing. Over on the Xbox version, the gamerscore is weird. There are some achievements worth 32 gamerscore, for example, instead of being in multiples of five like almost every other game. I don’t understand why some games do this but if this is something that bothers you, you might want to play this game on PlayStation 5. Overall though, Riders Republic is a fun game to play and has an open world that I enjoyed exploring whether it was on the ground, on some skis, or through the air.
Originally posted on Gaming Target
Note: Ubisoft provided us with a code for Riders Republic for review purposes.