Monday, 23 November 2015

Driveclub Bikes: PS4 Review

Driveclub Bikes: PS4 Review

Platform: PS4
Released by Evolution Studios

The first rule of Driveclub Bikes is you do not mention the launch of Driveclub that failed spectacularly last year but eventually found its feet.

The second rule of Driveclub Bikes is you do mention how incredibly well snuck under the radar it was.

Announced at Paris Games Week without fanfare, the game dropped as an expansion piece or standalone and is actually a reminder of why Driveclub is so brilliant but has been so overlooked because of its troubles.

Using tracks from the original game, throwing in the tour modes and adding a new level known as skill (where you have to do wheelies, stoppies and speed trials), Driveclub Bikes is actually thrillingly addictive because of its simplicity of racing.

Much like Ride earlier this year, the game's physical nature requires a degree of skill to get around tracks - and unlike cars, there's not as much wriggle room when you're slamming around corners. Mess it up and it's into a wall for you and game over. However, unlike Ride, the physics of the game don't seem quite as rigid. There appears to be no overslide which seems a little unusual but all in all, driving the bike is relatively easy.

Graphically, the game's on a par with what was before (as you'd expect) but to be honest, there's not as much time to appreciate it as this racing requires more concentration than normal and any moment of taking your eye off the road is fatal.

In game viewing is a bit tricky; the first person perspective through the windshield is nigh on impossible to negotiate, and to be honest, third person occasionally suffers from sunstrike, meaning you really do have to have your wits about you.

The good thing about the expansion is that it delivers some new cars to you unexpectedly as well, meaning you can dip back and forth between the games as you want. They were bonuses which were surprises and welcome ones and show that Evolution Studios is utterly committed to the community nearly a year on.

I'm still not wild about Driveclub's insistence on docking you points if you head off the road and taking corners (particularly given how easily bikes can do this) but the sheer annoyance of missing a target by seconds means you simply saddle up and do it again.

Thrilling and simply executed with a large dollop of speed Driveclub Bikes is well worth it - a game that shows when properly done, racers can be as exciting as the real thing.


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