Be prepared to crash in TT Isle of Man Ride on the Edge 2 If you were to tell me that this was the premise of the game, then this would be the greatest game of all time as it would not disappoint.
Unfortunately, crashing into objects or coming off your bike is so frequent that I was wondering whether this was supposed to be a racing game or a true-to-life simulator that reinforces the message that these motorbike superstars are indeed immensely skilful.
There’s no debate that these riders are the elite, but considering the risks involved, I’m surprised that there aren’t more accidents in the sport and in some areas, the races make F1 seem quite tame in comparison. That’s the nature of the competition, however, and, understandably, the TT Isle of Man draws in an international crowd. It’s just a shame that it’s cancelled this year as I’ve found a new interest in the sport.
From Tiny Country Lanes To The Main Event
Let me make it clear before I go on: I love almost everything about TT Isle of Man Ride on the Edge 2 except one thing: collision detection – the inevitable falling off your bike. There’s even a trophy awarded once you come off after the 50th time. Surprisingly, I didn’t get that as quick as I’d thought, but crashing 50 times in the early stages is both embarrassing and infuriating.
But first, let’s cover the general setup. While the focus is on the Isle of Man, there are other locations in Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland that you can race in – all accurate portrayals of their real-life locations. And boy, do they look good. There’s nothing more thrilling than being able to tear it up in everyday places. It’s a bit like Metropolis Street Racer, only a focus on the countryside rather than the city.
Without having the comparison of the first instalment, TT Isle of Man Ride on the Edge from KT Racing and NACON Gaming, is a well-presented game, a rare title that has pretty decent crowds rather than the horrible cut-outs you see in most games. It’s going to take time for them to react realistically though; the number of times I crashed at over 80mph into a barrier, launching into the air to see the crowd of four or five fist bump the air made me think they’re either sadists or the technology isn’t there yet.
Making A Career Of It
The career mode in TT Isle of Man Ride on the Edge 2 echoes that of other titles such as the Gran Turismo series, WRC 8 and Project CARS. You begin in the lower ranks and work your way up to participate in the TT Isle of Man, and of course, win it. Good luck with that. To get there is a feat in itself as you work your way up the ranks, signing up with new sponsors, bigger and better bikers and gain the required signatures to get your name on the roster for the main event.
You begin with a supersport bike, followed by classic heavier bikes and the superbike. Here you can view multiple stats such as power and torque through to the weight, horsepower and braking.
Not knowing anything about bikes, I opted for a Triumph as it appeared to have the lowest specifications and also I knew that, in the olden days, T.E. Lawrence rode one. It doesn’t matter. Even if you rode on a BMX in this game, you’d still be going ridiculously fast, and strategy is everything.
After cutting your teeth, a few sponsors take a liking to you and offer you a deal. They’ll give you a bike fitted out with their custom livery and in return expect you to win some races. At first, you begin with the lower level competitions and work your way up, selecting events from the race calendar. Each race will have its challenges, and the greater the difficulty, the better the reward when it comes to perks and new parts for your bike.
Perks Of The Job
The perks in TT Isle of Man Ride on the Edge 2 can be game changers to some extent; ranging from better brakes to faster pit stops, but they do seem a little counterproductive to the realism in the game. I can wholeheartedly say that this is the best motorbike game I’ve played. Ignoring the potential for a crash, the bikes handle realistically so having these perks, while a slight incentive, do make some aspects feel a bit too arcade-like.
In the introduction to the career, you’re informed early on that you won’t have the necessary experience to progress in the TT Isle of Man. In theory, the path to the Tourist Trophy (I thought TT meant Time Trial) should take you a year to complete. In this case, you need to slug it out in the smaller competitions, build up your reputation and dollar to be able to go on and buy better bikes and the appropriate components to prepare it for the oncoming challenge.
There is definitely a strategic element to the calendar though as if you opt for one race, you may miss out on another. Equally, you’ll need to ensure that your bike has the minimum specifications for each race and configured to the max. The better the chances of winning improve your status and media coverage, but also you are more likely to win the available perks at the end of the race, at a cost, of course.
Following The Race Line
When you hit the course, it’s immediately refreshing compared to the usual oval tarmacs and lifeless scenery we see in most motorsports games. Sure, the lighting effects are great, there are real weather effects, and the vehicles handle well, but aside from a few landmarks here and there, a lot of the locations in other similar titles can be quite boring.
Not so much with TT Isle of Man Ride on the Edge 2. Take into consideration that you won’t be seeing torrential rain or other extreme conditions as the sport doesn’t take place in the wet, for obvious reasons.
As per the infamous Isle of Man course, the others in the game are also on real streets. There’s a decent variety and it’s clear these roads weren’t made for racing – all the more enticing to let rip. Hack it down a straight at 160+mph and check out that lovely little cottage on the right and you’ll be guaranteed to hit the deck, however. Not only can you crash into objects such as signs and curbs, but if you over-egg it on speed around a corner, you’ll skid off.
Without a doubt the landscapes are brilliant, but you aren’t here for sightseeing. Still, you can’t help but notice the impressive visuals – from the riders and bikes themselves, through to the varying times of the day and the way the light hits the stunning vistas. Even racing at dusk looks terrific, though the experience is far from pleasant at the speeds you undertake.
Do I Need Stabilisers?
Due to the nature of TT Isle of Man Ride on the Edge 2, it’s expected to rack up nose bleeding speeds along country lanes. While you’re concentrating on not coming off your bike, there are a few aids to help you such as ABS, traction control, wheelie control (you need it if doing a manual shift), stoppie control and the classic race line that overlays your path.
I’m not entirely sure if the race line is helpful or a burden however as when I followed the path, I was most likely to crash as you require precision timing and a lot of forward planning. As someone who used to partake in a little mountain biking single track, it’s natural for me to see the road ahead, but it’s so fast and so many things to pay attention to that any form of enjoyment gets flung off the bike the same speed as your body.
The significant lack of wheels means there’s a constant stability threat. I don’t doubt that the bikes handle as close to their real-life counterpart, but when it comes to gaming, TT Isle of Man Ride on the Edge 2 restricts its audience to those with lightening reactions or the patience to stick it out.
Additional Modes And Driving Tips From A Kid
Though crashes are frequent, they aren’t over the top like Burnout. The camera remains stationary, and you watch your rider catapult into the air, sometimes with hilarious consequences. However, TT Isle of Man Ride on the Edge 2 begs to be played, but this isn’t one for GTA fans looking to pull off a trick or gratuitous crash with an uber cinematic camera angle. There is a free roam mode.
Quite surprisingly, I enjoyed the free roam mode, available from the main menu, as it took off the pressure of trying to win and allows learning the roads and bike handling. In addition to the free roam and career, there are also quick races and time trials, plus various challenges throughout such as how much air you get, how many seconds it takes to get to 124mph, for example.
It did get to the stage where TT Isle of Man Ride on the Edge 2 had to be put to one side as I was getting frustrated with my inability to stay on the road. However, my daughter felt it might be worth having a go and seeing her slay the competition gave me hope to persevere with the frustrating collision detection.
The two things I learned from her that changed my opinion of the game were the choice of view. I prefer first-person, but the chase camera makes it easier to plan for the road ahead. Secondly, brakes aren’t for wimps. In many racing games, just flooring it and cutting a corner isn’t always the risk it seems to be, but in this game, it’s essential to brake, or you will hit the deck.