Do I like RiMS Racing? As a fan of motorbikes, I do. It’s hard not to appreciate a game that puts as much thought and attention into its core subject as this does. The question then is if I like RiMS Racing for its name? Well, that’s a subject I’m not going to broach, if only so my browsing history doesn’t take a turn to the pornographic… for now. The final, and far less important question, is if I like RiMS Racing as a game? Why don’t we find out?
In my preview, I spoke about my love of motorbikes since I ride them in real life. I also mentioned Audi drivers. If you are an Audi driver, I probably don’t like you on the road. The chances are that you’re an arse who, when they see somebody on two wheels in a red and black leather jacket in front of them, thinks they own the road, and you’re going to cut across lanes and wipe that person out. Please don’t do that; it hurts that person.
I They are scarred, literally.
What was that? The game? Right.
So RiMS Racing pays huge attention to detail. That is something I noticed in my preview and something that holds in the final release. The location of this attention to detail and how it fits in with the game will determine if this is the game for you. Outside of the racing, you can dismantle and put together any of your bikes in your workshop. It’s on the level of the Car Mechanic Simulator titles with how much it shows you. Only here, RiMS isn’t content with showing you. You’ve got every single nut and bolt to take off and put back on.
This can be arduous. It’s interesting, I dare say I’ve learned more about how bikes are put together by playing this game than I have in years of owning bikes, but arduous. Of course, every single component of your bike is important, and you’re going to be fishing through a fair few of them, deciding which to buy and put on, which will give you that edge on the track.
My concern of the amount of faffing about becoming tiresome wasn’t unfounded. It is. You rotate the analogue sticks to screw or unscrew and move the analogue stick while pressing a button or holding a trigger to remove or put in a part, not to mention the fact that you have to remove parts in front of another to reach what you’re replacing – as you would in real life – and then having to put every single last thing back together. STOP. NOW. JUST STOP.
Listen, developers. Not just Raceward Studio – also Rockstar Games after the perpetual time-wasting that occurred in Red Dead Redemption 2 every time you wanted to open a damn cupboard – I am a busy person. Many people who once had a large amount of spare time aren’t quite that fortunate now. We have full-time jobs, caring responsibilities, long-running plans to become the next Jack the Ripper, even a simple need to venture out into the open air. I appreciate the detail, I always do, but just put in a setting called “skip the indulgent bullshit”, or should that be horseshit?
Now that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the less indulgent and, as a result, more appealing behind-the-race aspect of RiMS Racing. You’ve got two upgradable areas, the Management Area Skill Tree and Research Area Skill Tree, offering various perks both on and off-track. One such upgrade, for example, is the ability to skip the QTE that dictates how good your pit stop goes.
Most upgrades are what you would expect in a racing game, such as increased rewards, discounts in the shop, and showing weather conditions for future races. As a result, it’s simple, easy and reasonable. It’s not intruding on your time to be having fun, only helping to enhance your progress in the game. Yes, upgrading your bike enhances your progress; it’s just a chore to do it.
These are what you’ll find in your career. You’ve got Academy Events outside of the career, which are duplicates of the same events that feature in the career and are only unlocked once you finish them there. These challenging you to get gold rankings in all twelve of them, which I can’t. I’m not that good. You also have private testing, which is a fully customisable run on the track, with no opposition. Essentially, it lets you get a feel of a bike, though it doesn’t let you get a feel of a bike with different parts. Finally, you have Single Race, which is a single race.
There are multiplayer options also, pretty much run of the mill beyond one particular multiplayer option. It’s a blast from the past. It’s split-screen multiplayer. Yes, split-screen multiplayer. That’s all I’ve got to say about that, honestly.
If I were honest, that’s all I’ve really got to say about RiMS Racing. It’s decent, but it just feels like the developers needed to balance what they worked on. There’s too much on the parts and fitting them, particularly when you think that the game has only eight bikes. The career mode is pretty detailed, giving you a fair amount to do, and the on-track racing is good, thanks to the AI keeping you on your toes at the best of times.
Keeping with the on-track antics, I have to credit Raceward Studio for getting the physics right. This is certainly more on the simulation side of the field. Even with the assists, you need to use a bit of sense when racing around the track. There’s a real feel of speed, something that not every game gets right. They got it right here.
So the real question is if I recommend RiMS Racing? If you’re into racing games, particularly those of the two-wheeled variety, then yes. For a first-time outing, I can’t help but think that this is on the right path. There’s certainly a fair amount to praise, even if there are aspects deserving of the criticism lobbed at them. Whichever way you look at it, it’s a racing sim in a market where far too few racing sims are released, and it’s a decent one at that.
PC version reviewed. Copy provided by the publisher.
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