Milestone’s a funny little developer, hovering indefinitely somewhere above or just below adequacy as it churns out game after game. Ride 3 is its fifth title this year (fifth!) and the latest instalment in a series that started as recently as 2015. Back then it was a noble if limited attempt to give bike enthusiasts their own Gran Turismo; a spirited run through some of the most storied machinery on two wheels that made a few too many compromises along the way. I liked it a fair amount back then, though clearly there was still some work to be done for Milestone to make good on the premise.
In those intervening years – and after a quickfire sequel released in 2016 – Milestone has put a lot of work in, and Ride 3 is evidence of that. This is a generously featured racing game, boasting some 230 bikes and 30 tracks. And what bikes they are – from cafe racers to vintage rides, and from waspish 2-stroke 250cc with a sting in their tail to the more bullish modern racers – and what tracks, from the North West 200 to the Nordschleife via Oulton Park and Sugo. There’s a lot of game here, and it’s often stirring stuff.
The measure of any racing game, though, isn’t to be found in the sum of tracks, bikes and features, but rather how much you can extract from any single bike and any single track. Ride 3 acquits itself well here, and I’ve lost a good half dozen hours just hotlapping on my own, pushing a superbike to its limits around the impossible climbs of Cadwell Park – Lincolnshire’s own mini-Nürburgring.
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