Ah, the great outdoors. How long has the pandemic prevented us from practicing the extreme sports that we practiced a long time ago? Fortunately, we can now discover the country’s national parks without having to go outside. With the latest Ubisoft Original, Republic of the Horsemen, we can explore some of America’s most famous national parks, participate in extreme sports events, and socialize with other riders. But is Republic of the Horsemen all good? Find out in our Republic of the Horsemen review below.
Note: A revision copy has been provided by the publisher for this revision. The publisher did not see the content of this article until it was published. This review is based on a PS5 copy of the game.
What is Republic of the Horsemen?
Republic of the Horsemen is an open-world, massively multiplayer online extreme sports game developed by Ubisoft Annecy and Ubisoft Milan, and published by Ubisoft. He came out on October 28, 2021, on PS4, PS5, PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Google Stadia, and Amazon Luna.
Republic of the Horsemen at its heart is an extreme sports game. It offers six different sports: bike races, bike tours, skiing, snowboarding, snowboarding tours and wingsuit flying. The game’s career mode revolves around these six different sports. The main point of Republic of the Horsemen participates in different events, where up to 64 players can compete at the same time. Once you’ve won these events, you’ll start unlocking bigger events, including the game’s ultimate event: the Riders Ridge Invitational. Along the way, you’ll unlock new gear and rides, cosmetics, and sponsors.
At this point, it should be noted that the game is more arcade than simulation. However, that doesn’t mean realism is absolutely thrown out the window. All of the extreme sports featured in the game have similar controls, making it easy to switch between gears. The controls are simple: you have a button for rolling, a button for breaking, a button for sprinting and a few buttons for tricks. They are very easy to learn and not that deep to drown you in a plethora of control techniques. There are also computer aided controls such as auto landings that make the game more accessible. These computer-aided controls can be turned off at any time which can give you more control over your movements for satisfying tricks and higher points in tricks competitions. The controls are tight but forgiving, with a built-in rewind feature every time you crash or go off the track. This reduces the punishment for failed tricks, but what is important for Republic of the Horsemen is for you to keep your momentum and go fast all the time. This all culminates in the Riders Ridge Invitational, which involves a series of races brought together into one event, where you will change gears – for example, from biking to wingsuiting action – at different points in the race. All of these events are fun to play, very accessible, and forgiving, with plenty of challenges and times to beat for those looking for that extra challenge.
The game’s career mode will introduce you to cycling events first, and each of the other sports will be unlocked as you progress through the game. It will take you about an hour or two, depending on your performance in different events, before to unlock all the different sports offered by the game. This means that you will be stuck cycling around the Sequioa before you can start wingsuiting on the map. But you can also go directly to the game’s Zen mode, a kind of free play mode, where all the vehicles in the game – including some vehicles that aren’t available in any of the sporting events like rocket skiing and snowmobiling – are unlocked. from the start. These additional vehicles give you more variety on how to cross, which even includes a jetpack that really makes it easier for you to explore the world late in the game.
Which brings us to the open world of the game. The game uses topographic information from GPS data to render a map that seamlessly weaves seven different US national parks into one huge map. Let me tell you – this card is huge. However, never in all of our gameplay did we ever feel lazy going from cover to cover. On the one hand, there is the fast travel. But the aforementioned vehicles at your disposal to explore the scenery make the crossing really fun. While, say, you won’t like the game itself, it will make you wish all the games in the open world were this fun to explore. Vehicles really make exploration easy, and we kind of wish all of Ubisoft’s open world games would have them in the future. This is how you make exploring a fun open world.
The open world is also filled with different collectibles to find and complete. There are hundreds of them, in fact. Apart from these, the open world is also littered with different events.
As for the social aspect of the game, there is a social hub called Rider’s Ridge located in the center of Sequioa, where the player can find the in-game cosmetics store, as well as other fun activities that you can participate in. But outside of Rider’s Ridge, you’ll find other live players (or for the most part, their pre-recorded ghosts) riding all over the landscape. Even though most of them are ghosts – saved paths from other players uploaded to the cloud and uploaded into your game – they still make the world feel like the world is populated. Even as you run downhill in Yosemite, you may also occasionally see other runners who are not part of the run going up and down the area.
The overall experience comes in the form of exhilarating driving that never brakes. The initial in-game tutorial might seem slow, but it’s a necessary step in getting you into the game’s various offerings. But once you get over the initial bump, the game will rarely slow you down. Everything is fun and games from now on.
For a game that consists of having a lot of fun, Republic of the Horsemen is rightly taken easy. Being an arcade game, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. You are a new rider arriving at Riders Ridge, and your goal is to become the best rider in the world. To do this, you will have to master the six extreme sports of the game, proving yourself through different events and trials.
The story, of course, is not the primary focus of the game. Still, the game has a fun cast of somewhat endearing if not overly cheesy characters. It’s like being part of a big outdoor fellowship house – everyone is ready to party and everyone is supportive of your goal, helping you every step of the way.
The story of the game progresses as you complete major milestone events, all leading up to the Riders Ridge Invitational, where you’ll end up claiming the crown. But even after completing the story, the game doesn’t end there. You are free to explore the open world as much as you want, find collectibles, participate in new events, and even compete with other racers.
The game looks great on PS5. Taken as a whole, Republic of the Horsemen is a sight to see. However, several locations look too bare, and some elements have rough texture details. These are easy to miss, thanks to the speed of the game, but anyone stopping for a moment to take in the scenery might end up frowning when they start to notice these jagged objects. The biggest offenders are the shrubs that look completely ragged, as well as some trees that have noticeably pixelated foliage.
The art direction of the game, however, really focuses the fun on the visuals. It’s a colorful world, especially in events, and is also apparent in in-game cosmetics and skins for your vehicles. The character design is so-and-so, but that’s hardly a big deal for a game like this.
Music and sound design
The music is suitably upbeat. The sound design of the game helps maintain momentum and makes you feel like you’re really going down a steep cliff. What can be said about the sound design of the game is that it appropriately matches the high energy of the game. A game like this can easily fail if the sound design does not match. Fortunately, it is superbly implemented in Republic of the Horsemen.
The in-game controls are very accessible for pickup and play, with many different options to meet the needs of newbies, casual gamers, and newbies. In terms of accessibility options, the game also has a lot to offer – color blind modes, text-to-speech, language options, subtitles, and menu options to speech are all available. The game even starts by bringing you to the accessibility options menu, with the speech menu enabled by default. The only accessibility issue with the game is its always online connectivity, so your access to some game modes will be limited while you are offline.
Verdict – East Republic of the Horsemen worth your time and money?
All these different aspects of the game make Republic of the Horsemen feel very unique and exciting. There are a lot of things to do in the game and different ways of doing them. Collectibles are littered for finalists and challenges abound for skillful players. But at the core is an exhilarating experience that never slows down. It’s a fun experience like no other. And, dare we say it, Republic of the Horsemen meets all the requirements of a good open world game, a good MMO, and a good live game. With the promise of future content updates, it feels like Republic of the Horsemen is going to be a favorite pastime for many of us, extreme sports fan or not.
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