Everybody wants to be the king. For years now, the top dog when it comes to racing games on two wheels has been Milestone. With series such as Ride, MXGP and the Official MotoGP game it's easy to see why Milestone has done so well.
However, things could be about to change, as a new challenger, RiMS Racing, developed by RaceWard and publsiched by Nacon, has entered the arena. RiMS is a bike simulator through and through, so its direct competition is the likes Ride 4. How does RiMS stack up though? We've got everything you need to know in our full review!
Champion in the making
After completing a quick tutorial, you'll be thrust into the RiMS career mode. This is where you'll have the opportunity to become RiMS world champion. From your headquarters, you'll aim to take on the world and become the best rider out there.
It's a long road ahead, but it's also a rewarding one. You'll quickly find out via tutorials that you'll have to pass quick-time button presses to have a good pit-stop. Some may not like this, but it harkens back to the days of F1 Championship edition and gives you a sense that racing is a real team effort.
What's more, is that you have to maintain your bike after each race. This is a true simulation in that each component takes on wear after each race. Something else that's cool is that you can pause the action and see what every part of the bike is experiencing. Basically, it's live telemetry, and we've never seen it shown like this in a video game before.
These are all things that technically minded players and bike enthusiasts will love. The casual player may not be a huge fan of them, but they don't get in the way to the point of becoming annoying. If you want, you can focus solely on the driving.
Quality over quantity
RiMS has a steep learning curve, but the tutorials help guide you through the basics. This is also true of the Academy tests too, which are all available in Career Mode, so they're easy to see.
Where RiMS falls down a little though is its content, or lack thereof. 19 tracks in total are all you have to play with and if you take out the different variations of the same circuit, you're left with a measly 14. The circuits are real and fully licensed, though, which definitely makes the experience more authentic.
As for the bikes, there's eight... That's it. They all feel great, and you can tell there's huge attention to detail here but being able to count them all on two hands isn't a great selling point.
There's always potential for future expansions, but right now, this isn't encouraging.
What is encouraging though is the simulation model used to ride these bikes. We're in no doubt that RiMS has one of, if not the, most realistic biking experiences of any video game. RiMS is brutal when it wants to be as well, going over the kerbs is a lottery, and the grass is lava, go on there and you'll be flying up in the air.
It's harsh for sure, but even casual players will get used to this reality in time.
Something else that isn't positive about the circuits is how they look. Compared to games like MotoGP 21 and F1 2021, the track designs in RiMS feel a generation behind. The frame rate when racing also isn't ideal, but this is likely an issue exclusive to the old-gen consoles.
We can see what RiMS is trying to achieve and it nails it for the most part. If you take its eight bikes and compare it to another game's eight bikes, RiMS wins every time. Quality is the aim of the game here, and RiMS succeeds. RiMS needs more circuits and bikes in the future to become the best out there as an overall package, but this is an excellent starting point.
Variety is the spice of life and RiMS just doesn't have that compared to titles like Ride 4. The lacklustre graphics don't help, but the experience is aided by great handling and sound. If RiMS expands via a DLC, this will be one of the best bike games out there. For now, though, it falls just short, but RiMS is a fun time and one that most bike enthusiasts will love.
RacingGames Rating: 8 (out of 10)
RiMS Racing is available to purchase now on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows PC, Series X and Series S, PS5 and Xbox One.
If you want to see more of a sneak preview for RiMS Racing, check out the official trailer in the video below: