Skip to main content

Review: Riders Republic on Stadia is an extreme sports playground

It's about the journey rather than the destination.

Developer Ubisoft Annecy took the extreme sports theme and lessons learned from its 2016 game Steep and created its own Forza Horizon with Riders Republic. Similar to how Microsoft spun off its main racing franchise, Riders Republic shied away from the austerity of Steep and removed the restraints with more racing options, bright colors, and a never-ending extreme sports festival.

The game also takes a wider approach with how it can be played with a full menu of accessibility options, different ways to progress than simply winning, and cross-platform multiplayer to join up with friends on any hardware. Riders Republic launched on Stadia alongside PC and consoles, though may not be the best version due to some performance choices and the volatile nature of the streaming service itself.

At a glance

Riders Republic on Stadia

Bottom line: Riders Republic offers fun racing and tricks galore across dirt, snow, and air with a progression system that does not leave you behind in the dust, though the Stadia version may not be the smoothest experience out there.

The Good

  • Fun racing and trick events across snow, ground, and air
  • Good variety of wacky vehicles to complement regular ones
  • Progression is simple to understand
  • Multiple control and accessibility options

The Bad

  • 30 FPS cap can be too little in some situations
  • Limited camera view options

$60 at Google Stadia Store

Riders Republic: Gameplay, story, and presentation

Category Riders Republic
Title Riders Republic
Developer Ubisoft Annecy
Publisher Ubisoft
Genre Racing, Sports
Version Reviewed Stadia
Stadia Pro? No
Players Single-player, 2-64 Players Online Multiplayer
Cross-Play Yes
Release Date Oct. 28, 2021
Launch Price $60

Riders Republic is a racing game across different extreme sports on the ground, the snow, and soaring through the air within a giant sandbox combining parts of the western U.S. The large map can be traversed with bikes, snowboards, skis, snowmobiles, rocket-powered bikes, wingsuits, and jetpacks. There are fast travel points littered across the map in case an event or point of interest is too far to literally fly yourself there, but exploration is important at the start to de-fog the map, discover more things, simply take in the scenery, or watch dozens of other players speed past you in all different directions.

The various vehicles can reach blinding speeds, especially when careening down a mountain on a bike or flying dangerously close to a mountain in a wingsuit to earn trick points, but are not frustrating to control and feel great when you have a perfect run without any falls. Unfortunately, there is only a first-person camera view and a third-person view with the character centered on the screen that only zooms out when sprinting/boosting.

This was a little troubling as someone who plays racing games with the farthest view from the back of the vehicle. Open and snow areas were no issue, but it meant I missed sudden hairpin turns in low visibility areas. Thankfully, the game has a backtrack feature that rewinds you to a specific point to try again at the cost of some time. The feature also works outside of events and was handy for parachuting onto thin or uneven terrain. That meant flying in circles retrying the landing was not necessary.

The game's career mode is very simple to follow. You complete racing and trick events with all the vehicles, and more will unlock. While the dearth of racing options may seem daunting alongside a giant map filled to the brim with icons, the progression is very relaxed and more about honing your extreme sport skills. It's tied to stars, which are earned by completing events, optional secondary objectives within the events, discovering landmarks, stunt challenges, and more.

The system was shocking to me at first since completing an event for the first time automatically rewards one star, regardless of placement. It felt great not to continually retry the same event for a first-place medal. I could go on to the next event if I didn't like it or retry to earn more stars through the secondary objectives such as nailing a specific trick or placing in the top three within a certain difficulty.

The game does not discriminate against difficulty either. You can pick one of four difficulties at every event and it only affects your XP gain. XP is used to unlock more gear and currency for cosmetic outfits. Gaming assists like automatically landing tricks and manually grinding also affect XP gain, but I never felt like I was not progressing while playing with all of the assists.

Stars can also be earned in the Mass Race multiplayer events, which take place throughout the day and notify everyone in the game when one is about to happen because up to 64 cross-platform players can participate in one race. These multi-round races can switch between biking, skiing, and wingsuit mid-race. It is chaotic in a fun way to bounce off of over 60 other bodies trying to squeeze through a checkpoint, and you will still earn a decent number of stars even if you place in the 40s.

Other than the main hub, the map is largely untouched by the party-like atmosphere for the best.

The events are plentiful enough that there was always something new to try. I could also retry old events with new gear, or take a break with quick stunt challenges and discover landmarks across the map that also reward stars. The progression system really shows that there is no rush since the milestones cap out at 7,000 stars, and it only requires 750 stars to unlock the final Riders Ridge Invitational mega event.

The premise of Riders Republic is to work your way through the ranks of extreme sports to reach the Riders Ridge Invitational in this festival-like setting. Other than the main hub, the map is largely untouched by the party-like atmosphere for the best. It is nice to be somewhat alone on top of a mountain and not deal with the small cast of characters that use words that I'm not sure are actually words and awkward interactions. They fade into the background after the introduction and can be largely ignored when they pop up occasionally.

The game does feel like a giant party as dozens of other players' ghosts populate your screen as you explore. You never feel quite alone unless playing the game's progression-disabled Zen mode.

Fly high enough to see white person-shaped icons strewn below you, or access the map screen to watch hundreds of those icons traveling down specific paths like ants in a maze. It is not a very useful feature, since event and landmark icons are already displayed in the world, but it's absolutely mesmerizing to watch.

Riders Republic: Stadia performance and features

I had no performance issues or crashes with Riders Republic on Stadia, nor did I notice any glitches. Unfortunately, the Stadia version only runs at 30 FPS. In comparison, other versions on next-gen consoles allow you to play the game in 4K at 60 FPS.

This isn't the smoothest framerate for a fast racing game, but it's perfectly serviceable unless in a heavily forested area. Speeding down a forest path made turns difficult amongst the blur of brown and green, even with motion blur turned off. You also have to factor in your internet connection, which could impact performance if not fast enough.

According to my Optimum connection's Speedtest, I had an average download speed of 285Mbps and an average upload speed of 21Mbps. Google recommends at least a 10Mbps download speed for 720p streaming, 20Mbps download speed for 1080p streaming, and at least a 35Mbps download speed for 4K streaming.

Thankfully, Stadia offers a two-hour free trial of Riders Republic to try before buying at full price or subscribing to Ubisoft+.

Riders Republic: Should you buy it?

4 out of 5

Riders Republic is a racing game that offers extreme thrills while letting you go at your own pace. The progression never feels stifling if playing on the lowest difficulty, and rewards you for trying everything at least once. It is a sandbox to play around in, whether you enjoy finding a challenging dirt path, soaring through the air in a wingsuit made of cardboard, or shooting straight up a mountain in a rocket-powered bicycle.

It's overall a great game to play if you're into racing games without cars. Best of all, you can play with friends across any platform thanks to cross-platform multiplayer. It may be one of the best Stadia games, but is hard to recommend at its launch price if you own a capable PC, PlayStation 5, or Xbox Series X|S to ensure the smoothest experience.

Riders Republic on Stadia

Bottom line: Riders Republic on Stadia may not be the smoothest ride, but it offers fun racing and trick events across dirt, snow, and air with an easy-to-understand progression system.

$60 at Google Stadia Store

Source: androidcentral

Popular posts from this blog

How to get the Microsoft experience on a Chromebook

Microsoft's dedication to Android translates to a great Chrome OS experience, too. Once upon a time, to get the best experience for Microsoft services, you needed to buy a Windows laptop . If you were on a budget laptop with lower specs, though, performance was slow, all tasks were tedious, and your productivity suffered. These days, though, the best Chromebooks offer excellent performance and less maintenance at lower price points. Thanks to the way Microsoft has worked to improve Microsoft apps and services across all platforms — from Macs to Android tablets to phones — you can still get most of the Microsoft goodies on a Chromebook. In fact, if you're on a tight computer budget, a Chromebook could be the best machine for Microsoft users — something even Microsoft acknowledges as it preps Windows 10X to better compete with Chrome OS. From productivity to playing games, here's how to get the best Microsoft experience on a Chromebook. Best of Microsoft on Chromeb

FCC approves broadband 'nutrition labels' to help you shop for internet

The FCC is pushing nutrition labels for internet providers. What you need to know The FCC has voted to move forward with new rules for ISPs to display nutrition labels. The proposed rulemaking would mandate ISPs to display relevant speed and pricing information to consumers. This should make it easier for consumers to make an informed decision on their broadband. The FCC voted unanimously on a plan that would allow consumers to make better decisions about their broadband internet. The proposal will require internet service providers (ISPs) - including many of the best wireless carriers in the U.S. — to display "nutrition labels" that display relevant service information for consumers at point-of-sale. This includes internet speeds, allowances, and clear information on rates. "If you walk into any grocery store and pull boxes of cereal from the shelves, you can easily compare calories and carbohydrates," FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statemen

Follow these steps to connect a Pro Controller to your Android phone

Playing games on your smartphone is one of the best ways to entertain yourself. However, it can be tough to play with some games when you're just tapping on a screen. Fortunately, it's possible to sync up a traditional controller. That's where it's nice to connect your Nintendo Switch Pro Controller and get playing on the best gaming phones . By the way, the Playstation 4 controller as well as the Xbox One controller are also compatible with Android devices, if you'd prefer to use one of those. Note: You will only be able to use a Pro Controller if your phone is running Android 10 and if the game you're playing supports controllers. Additionally, the process for syncing the controller with your phone will be different from one phone to the next. How to use Switch controller on Android: Sync Pro Controller to your phone via Bluetooth Do keep in mind that some Android games — including some of the most popular titles like Genshin Impact — don't act

Duke Nukem is getting a movie from some guys who could actually pull it off

The one true Duke. I wouldn’t be surprised if you have no idea who Duke Nukem even is — that’s how hard the classic video game franchise cratered a decade ago. Today, the character is mostly known as a punchline for video game vaporware jokes, about how Duke Nukem Forever spent 14 years in development hell only to become a huge flop. And yet for years now, Duke’s corporate owners have been whispering that a movie is coming, culminating in The Hollywood Reporter ’s story today : Legendary Entertainment has tapped Cobra Kai creators Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg to actually produce a feature film. I don’t quite know how to react! As a gamer who actually quite liked Duke Nukem , Duke Nukem II and Duke Nukem 3D, I absolutely agree that this movie should never be made because Duke Nukem has no depth and no story and was always designed to be a caricature . (Side note: the famous quote about coming to kick ass and chew bubblegum and being all out of gum? Like most