Riders Republic is Ubisoft’s latest massive open-world game, featuring action sports and a whole world of natural wonders to explore. It’s also a massively multiplayer online game where real players appear in your world all around you at all times, and multiplayer races and trick battles make up a major portion of the game’s content. Two of our writers saddled up and rode together in Riders Republic multiplayer before answering some of the following questions about their Riders Republic multiplayer experience.
Riders Republic is a massively multiplayer experience where real players roam around your same instance of the game. So how did it feel having other players riding around near you as you explore the game’s world?
Kyle: Being able to ride around the game world surrounded by actual players was a really neat experience. Watching other players travel with or around me while headed to new events really helped add to the atmosphere that makes Riders Republic so interesting. Plus, it was nice to see other people wiping out on really basic tricks, so I knew I wasn’t alone in being terrible.
Jason: At first, I thought it was pretty rad. Seeing other people in their wacky costumes crashing their bikes all over made it feel like the world was truly inhabited. Same with the world map and its constantly moving player indicators. But as I played on, I realized these people were just here for show. There is no way to challenge them to a 1v1 on the spot. There’s a way to party up but doing so with strangers seems a bit mid-2000s to me.
How does it feel racing exclusively against the ghosts of other real players throughout the game’s single-player mode?
Kyle: Only racing against ghosts in single-player mode was a little disappointing. Having real players in the world but then only racing against ghosts was a little jarring. I know it would lead to longer wait times for events to start, but I would’ve liked more opportunities to challenge real players outside of loading into the multiplayer events at the main base area.
Jason: Furthering my previous point, the ghosts are cool in that I like knowing they’re from the races of real players, and they’re fallible and beatable. But I really wish that the people I was racing against could actually be people. If the world is fully populated by other players while exploring, I wish those same players could enter my races too. I’d gladly wait a maximum minute or so for a race to populate and then fill the rest with ghosts.
When partied up with a friend, what was the exploration experience like?
Kyle: Partying up with a friend feels pretty interesting when it works. We had some issues where it took a while for us to get into the same instance, but it was pretty cool once we did. I like that each player can load into single-player events, too, and not drag the other person into it. My only critique is that the versus mode you can enter with party members is strictly between you and your party, with no other players or even player ghosts. That was a little disappointing but not a deal-breaker.
Jason: It took a few tries for us to get this even to work, but it was at least cool once it did. I like the idea that you can just roam around the game with friends, even if they can’t join your solo races like I wish they could. This lets you at least make the game a bit more social, knowing that you can just ride around and be with friends. The ability to play versus amongst a group of up to six is cool but doesn’t feel like a defining feature of the game.
How are the competitive Riders Republic multiplayer modes?
Kyle: Multiplayer in Riders Republic is relatively fun, even if the game modes are a little barebones. I really enjoyed the Tony Hawk, King-of-the-Hill-inspired mode, but after a little while, it started to feel kind of stale. I think more variety in game modes would go a long way, and I’m sure we’ll see more in the future.
Jason: Here’s the thing. I like the Riders Republic multiplayer modes quite a bit. I just prefer playing them solo. Racing against friends is really about who has better gear unless you purposely choose the most common denominator, and the trick battle gets stale quickly with only one map and one mode. It doesn’t feel like you’re either competing against or with your friends when you play these together, so I may as well do them at my own pace and time. Sure it’s nice to know a friend is there, I suppose, but I didn’t particularly feel Kyle’s presence or contribution while playing.
What was it like racing in versus mode against party members?
Kyle: As I mentioned before, the versus mode is really my only significant critique of the game. It wasn’t enough for me not to want to play at all, but the lack of options or any non-party members involved was incredibly disappointing. It also doesn’t help that gear disparity is a real issue. If you’re a new player and your friend has 300+ stars and all the gear that comes with it, you’re going to lose by default no matter how well you do. It would be nice if gear levels balanced out for a mode like that.
Jason: This didn’t do anything for me. Being so much further progressed and with no way to force me to pick worse equipment, I just crushed Kyle. I could probably have chosen something less fast and had a more even battle, but even still, I had been playing for many more hours, and this game doesn’t have the easiest initial learning curve. It’s a little bit fun to know I’m racing against another real person for once, but I just was left wanting the larger races to allow more real players at once. Yes, there is a single massive multiplayer race once every half hour, but it’s repetitive, and I lost my interest as a result compared to trying new tracks on solo.
The consensus at But Why Tho? indicates that Riders Republic multiplayer is great in theory. Still, without the ability to race real people outside of the few matchmade races and small party-only races, it feels like it’s missing out on the promise of a massively multiplayer game. It’s a heck of a lot of fun, to be sure, and multiplayer is undoubtedly worth the go, but it leaves a bit to be desired.