Frankly, while motorcycle-based racing games sound sexy as hell to me and seem like they’d be super fun to play, the reality is that I haven’t played one yet that has moved my needle. Not even a tinch. Although in real life, motorcycles—especially racing ones—accelerate like bullets fired from a gun, and reach breathtaking speeds in little to no time, the wide array of games I’ve tried just haven’t been able to convey that same, realistic sense of speed. They always feel too “game-y” to me, especially the more arcade-type titles.
I’m not going to mince words here—indie developer Raceward Studio’s RiMS Racing (an odd name to go with, methinks) has pretty close to changing my mind about motorcycle-based racing games. It’s probably the most niche motorcycle racer you’ll encounter on Steam, or anywhere else for that matter. This is a game that seems to cater to hardcore motorcycle enthusiasts and dudes who fantasize about tinkering around with powerful, exotic racing bikes.
I must say that personally, my initial impression of RiMS Racing wasn’t exactly stellar. But that’s mainly due to not being a gearhead, let alone a motorcycle enthusiast. The level of complexity that this game presents to the average Joe gamer is astounding. Let me explain by dropping the game’s Steam page description (spelling errors and all):
“The first motorbike simulation that combines a realistic racing challenge with engineering and mechanics! Ride the world’s most powerful motorbikes and optimise their performance by swapping out parts and analysing data in real time.”
While I do agree that RiMS Racing is indeed a “realistic racing challenge,” it’s more of an “engineering and mechanics” game first and a racing game second. So, if you’re into spending hours tweaking and tinkering around with the eight racing motorcycles on offer, you’ll be in heaven with this title. But I have to admit, I’ve learned a lot about motorcycle mechanics just through this game (and lots of head-scratching).
RaceWard Studio’s went with the “less is more” philosophy because there are only eight motorcycles to choose from. But it’s nice to see that they didn’t waste anyone’s time by featuring a bunch of weak filler bikes. No, RiMS Racing only allows you to play with the cream of the crop. We’re talking about some of the most powerful European and Japanese motorbikes: Ducati Panigale V4 R, MV Agusta F4 RC, Aprilia RSV4, BMW M 1000 RR, Suzuki GSX-R1000R, Honda CBR1000RR, Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR, Yamaha YZF-R1.
RiMS Racing: career mode
In the game’s career mode, you choose a bike and it becomes your eternal companion throughout the entire game. You’ll have to look after it, maintaining it the same way you would in real life. As you continue to race, your metal mount breaks down gradually. On top of that, you can also get live-action updates when pausing the action that indicates how the various bits of machinery are coping under the intense stress of the various race conditions. It’s a nice attention to detail.
RiMS Racing is Tough but Rewarding
Simply put, there’s a great physics engine at play here and a real sense of heft to each motorbike. The braking—both front and rear, can be controlled precisely. Also, you can really feel the effects of disintegrating or damaged parts. Is your clutch going out? If so, expect slow starts. Are your tires wearing out? If so, expect to get into some wrecks, and soon.
RiMS Racing Conclusion
RiMS Racing is an absolutely beastly motorcycle-based racing game. Its unique combo of engineer simulation and fierce racing action is a breath of fresh air in the bike simulation genre, however niche it is. It also looks great on mid-to-high tier gaming pcs and gaming laptops.
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