Realism isn’t a bad goal when it comes to video games. Over the years as graphics technology got better, more realism was the goal of almost every game. So much so that it sort of got annoying. These days we have photo-realistic texture and some in-depth mechanics that really drive home that feeling of realism. Some games take it to the extreme with realistic physics and real-world mechanics. RiMS Racing is probably one of the most realistic motorbike racing games that I have ever played, but does that make it necessarily a good game? Sort of.
RiMS Racing is a realistic racing simulator from Raceward Studio, an Italian game developer who hasn’t so much carved out their own little niche as they have tunneled into the center of the Earth and gone to sleep down there. From their name to their first major game release, they’re very clearly all about racing. This is probably a good thing considering they’re chasing the dream of the most realistic racing simulator ever invented.
Into the Small Details with RiMS Racing
RiMS is about as realistic as it gets. From the physics to the designing of your bike, everything seems designed to work just like it would in real life. You have to make all the important decisions, from the model and make of bike you’re using to the actual individual components that go into it. If you’ve ever felt like you didn’t have enough options in a racing sim, then you’ve probably found your perfect game.
It’s a good thing too because I’m really glad that someone enjoys this stuff. The truth of the matter is that unless you’re already heavily invested in realistic motorbike racing, this probably isn’t going to do much to drag you in. The tutorial doesn’t do a terribly good job of explaining how you’re actually supposed to control your bike. You need to lean a certain amount but not too much, and RiMS Racing is very shy about telling you exactly how much this amount of lean actually is.
Physical Failure in RiMS Racing
Even with the physics pushed all the way down to beginner mode, I found it incredibly hard to even stay on my bike around a corner. I’m sure that the simulation is as realistic as anything, so if you know how to ride a bike in real life, you might have more fun here. However, without that knowledge, you’re probably going to be missing something crucial that’s supposed to make RiMS more fun. Even after trying for a couple of hours, I still can’t get my head around this game’s physics.
On top of that, the AI in the game is…troubled. For some reason, the other racers just seem to be completely oblivious to you. They’ll run straight into the back of you constantly, knocking you off your bike while they race onwards. Also, the Switch port doesn’t look or run the best, at least in handheld mode. Things are a bit better in docked, but still, if you’re here for realism, I highly recommend getting the PC version or at the very least a more powerful console version.
A Final Word About RiMS Racing
That’s not to say that RiMS Racing is a bad game on a technical level. Anyone who’s a hardcore racing enthusiast is probably going to have an insanely good time. You really do get down to the minute level with your bike. You need to upgrade individual components between races and minutely tweak your performance. If you’re the kind of person that can tell a sprocket from a kickstand, then you’ll probably enjoy this. Anyone looking for a more entry-level racing game is probably going to be left scratching their head.
Developer: RaceWard Studio
Publishers: Nacon, 3goo, BIGBEN INTERACTIVE
Platforms: PS4/5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Microsoft Windows
Initial release date: 19th August 2021
Gaming Respawn’s copy of RiMS Racing was provided by the publisher.