Since the inaugural race in 1907, over 110 years ago, the Isle of Man TT has been a spectacle of endurance, sharp corners and superbikes, pushing riders to their limits. TT Isle of Man – Ride on the Edge, developed by Kylotonn and published by Big Ben Interactive, does well to amp you up for the races ahead in a stunning intro movie before throwing you into a game that feels like it took a wrong turn somewhere and is sliding off the edge of what we expect from a great racing title.
The biggest selling point for the game has to be the legendary Snaefell mountain course, as the developer has done something truly magnificent. They laser-scanned the entire course in real life and faithfully recreated it in the game, and the results are spectacular. All 37.74 miles and 264 corners of it come to life in full glory. It is with this grand track at the end of the campaign that Kylotonn has made the dreams of motorbike enthusiasts come true.
It took me over 20 minutes to complete the course and every corner, every detail, produced a thrilling moment. Combine this with 25 famous riders and 38 motorbikes, as well as tracks in different locations and even some fantasy tracks, and you quite a lot for fans to get excited about.
With that being said, if you aren’t a big fan of the Isle of Man TT, then I don’t know if you will find much enjoyment out of this. You see, there
The game asks you to create a character and pick the colour scheme of your outfit, name and nationality. That’s it as the customization options are quite limited.
Then, you head into career mode on your quest to become a TT legend. This quest, however, is boring. I’m not talking about the actual racing, which is quite intense and we will get to a bit later, but instead, the way the career mode is laid out. There were so many opportunities to make the career mode an exciting thing to play through, especially with the grand history of the Isle of Man TT, but instead, all you get is basically an email/schedule simulator in-between races.
After each race, you get fictional emails in the game’s menu and you have to read through them, schedule events and purchase new motorcycles to progress. Let’s say you want to enter a Yamaha event, then you need a Yamaha motorcycle to participate. These events are important because that gets you money to purchase new motorcycles with. Repairs, new motorcycles and everything else all come from your budget, which you need to manage in order to stay afloat. You even get a budget report after each virtual month passes by.
I started off by purchasing a Kawasaki ZX-6R, a powerful motorcycle with a top speed of 289 km/h and really enjoyed it, but my goal was to purchase and ride David Johnson’s beautiful Norton V4 RR, the fastest British motorcycle at the TT. Even after I did get the Norton, I wasn’t really satisfied, because it was just a pain getting through the career mode.
As I mentioned earlier, the actual races are quite intense, but they are also very difficult. The game is a simulation experience and that means even with assists turned on, it can be a daunting task to complete a course without falling over, multiple times. I do like the realism and after several hours, I became quite proficient at the racing, but it took a lot of time and slowly turning off some assists, like a line that shows you when to start slowing down and the ideal way to race.
This helps you get the hang of things and most importantly, learn the courses because no matter how good you think you are, the first time you go into a course blindly with assists turned off, you will have a bad time.
Speeding through the beautiful courses with the sun shining brightly on the road and seeing the leaves fall off trees, flags moving in the wind and the crowd cheering you on is an experience that pulls you in. Keep in mind that you can reach over 330km/h and the speed is so intense that I had to wipe down my controller more times than I would like to admit while playing the game. Even so, the racing experience does have some flaws.
The AI is, without a doubt, stupid. There is no other way of putting it and just racing in a group during the Mass Start mode felt frustrating. The AI just keeps to their trajectory and what you are left with is the need to try and overtake them at high speed, which more often than not resulted in me crashing into someone or just falling off my motorcycle when trying to turn.
There is nothing quite like narrowly missing an object close to the side of the road when you take a bend at the maximum possible speed and when you do pull it off, it feels incredible. The game also runs smoothly at 30FPS and I did love the point-of-view camera option as it felt even more realistic. Each motorcycle does feel different and adds a bit of variety to the experience, but only a little bit, as it is still the same type of racing after all. Couple that with tracks that start to feel boring after awhile and you get an experience that becomes less appealing the better you get at the game and handling the speed.
One positive thing is that the game doesn’t include any loot boxes or pay-to-win features, so that’s nice at least. Lastly, multiplayer is a bit of a hit-or-miss affair from South Africa. The game offers eight-player multiplayer where you can race against other players from across the globe. The multiplayer allows you to pick whatever track you like and between the TT or Mass Start race modes.
Unfortunately, it took me a long time to actually get into a multiplayer match, as the game just kept saying that it found a match and then that the session ended.
When I did finally get into a multiplayer match, the experience was okay, but not great. I could see some rubber-banding and even disconnected a couple of times. I checked and it wasn’t my internet going down. Hopefully the multiplayer will be fixed soon because that would be the only reason I would go back to the game.
TT Isle of Man – Ride on the Edge is clearly not a game for everyone. In fact, even though I have come to appreciate a good racing game in the past year, the experience with TT Isle of Man was still underwhelming. Sure, the graphics look great and there are quite a few superbikes to choose from and sometimes, the game does deliver a fun experience.
However, the lack of modes, a career mode that just feels smacked on with the need to read emails and a less-than-ideal multiplayer experience from South Africa makes TT Isle of Man a game that I find hard to recommend to anyone but the most hardcore of superbike enthusiasts. The high point here is, of course, the legendary Snaefell mountain course being faithfully recreated, but that might not be enough.
TT Isle of Man – Ride on the Edge falters in multiple ways, sliding off the track of what a good game should look like and include. However, the game does deliver some tense, sweat-inducing moments and those who love the TT Isle of Man event and superbikes might enjoy the experience. That’s if they are willing to pay the asking price for the game.
This review was based off a review copy of the game provided to us by Big Ben Interactive
Available On: PS4, Xbox One and PC | Reviewed