Whether you are a motorcycle racing veteran or just curious about RiMS Racing, our review of the game will help you decide if it’s worth it.
Before going further in this review, know that RiMS Racing isn’t just another mindless racing game—it’s also a motorcycle sim, with a lot of emphasis being put into customising, tuning and analysing your bike’s performance. Initially launched for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S and PC on Aug 18, 2021, NACON and RaceWard Studio just released a Switch version of the game.
Thanks to Ripples Asia for making this review of RiMS Racing possible.
RiMS Racing uses the KT Engine, the same game engine used by TT Isle Of Man: Ride on the Edge. Visually, the game isn’t that much different from say, Moto GP 21 or Ride 4. However, what I found really outstanding during my review is the audio of RiMS Racing. The running of a motorcycle’s engine and its various choices for exhaust pipes carries a lot more weight and realism. The sound of tires travelling across different surfaces like grass, sand or asphalt felt distinct for each one.
Besides that, the game features dynamic weather, which not only affects the game visually, but gameplay-wise as well. The resistance of riding across a wet surface as opposed to a dry surface is pretty clearly felt (but it also wears out your tires at different rates).
Career mode has players climbing up the ranks of the racing world, starting off small before eventually competing in the RiMS World Cup. Along the way, you’ll get to travel throughout the world, racing on different tracks while collecting various vehicles and accessories.
After completing the tutorial, Career mode starts by having to choose a motorcycle. For this review, I picked the Aprilia RSV4 1100 not because I was a RiMS Racing expert, but because it was the most familiar one to me in real life.
There is a choice between three levels of difficulty. They are beginner, amateur and expert. Depending on how familiar you are with the genre, each difficulty mode should cater to the player of that specific skill level (beginner is still demanding though, as per the norm of simulation games of this depth). It takes practice to nail challenging corners, just like in real life.
Motorcycle maintenance is a neat aspect of Career mode. Parts wear out with each race, and depending on how much abuse you place on your vehicle, its performance in future races will be affected. Understandably, while not everyone will enjoy having to constantly repair and maintain the condition of their bike, I enjoyed this part of RiMS Racing while reviewing the Career mode. It really adds to the realism, which is vital for a simulator of its nature.
However, one thing that took away from the realism is the CPU’s AI for the racers. The AI has a habit of ramming into my bike. Whether I fall off the bike or the AI is the one that falls, it’s still a frustrating issue to encounter during races. In Career mode, this means more damages on my bike, which is a pain.
As the name may suggest, Academy mode is where to go if you are looking to learn how to ride better. Players get to take part in lessons that will help them improve at specific techniques such as tackling a particular kind of corner. Completing a lesson grants players rewards such as money and even parts. I spent quite a fair bit of time in Academy mode—the difference for a newbie like me after taking a few lessons in Academy mode is as clear as daylight.
Single Player mode
Single Player mode is the closest thing to a traditional Arcade mode in a racing game. Players can adjust the settings and rules for each race. Above all else, the motorcycle’s condition will not be retained in between races. If you want to race without worrying that the accident caused by the AI will destroy your bike, this is the mode for you.
For those who wish to challenge smarter (or even potentially dumber) opponents, Multiplayer mode will scratch that itch. RiMS Racing has both split screen and online multiplayer. Sadly, I didn’t really spend too much time racing against other humans (because I keep getting last). In the few races that I was in, the experience was pretty smooth overall, thankfully.
Bike Maintenance and Customisation
Taking care of your bikes is as important as racing itself. This is where the game truly stands out. Maintaining a motorbike is like taking care of a baby. Ensuring that all parts are in working order is an effort that gets rewarded on the racetrack.
RiMS Racing features around 500 official spare parts and more than 200 accessories, giving a lot of room for customisation. Parts and accessories are purchasable with in-game money. Each part affects the motorcycle differently, and it’s pretty fun to play as a mechanic and fine-tune each part to suit exactly what I need. Of course, parts also wear out with use and/or abuse, so repairs are a must.
The game also has Motorbike Status Check (MSC) system, which allows players to pause the game at any time and inspect the status of each part. With readings such as disc brake temperature, tire pressure and more to consider, the data that is displayed in the MSC can be used to make adjustments on the road or when entering a pit stop.
It isn’t only just the bike that is customisable, but also the player! From racing suits to shirts and boots, it’s possible to come up with some interesting combinations. Unfortunately, there aren’t as many options for character customisation.
The game has 8 motorcycles. They are:
- Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10 RR
- Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory
- BMW M 1000 RR
- Ducati Panigale V4 R
- Honda CBR1000RR ABS
- MV Agusta F4 RC
- Suzuki GSX-R1000R
- Yamaha YZF-R1
Each vehicle has its own pros and cons, and will obviously perform differently on the track. The biggest drawback in RiMS Racing is the tiny motorcycle roster. Understandably, there will be players who will be disappointed that their favourite bike isn’t on the list. Hopefully, more bikes will be added to the game in the future.
Despite the small pool of bikes though, I can confidently say that RaceWard Studio put their heart and soul into these motorcycles. The amount of detail that went into not only bringing how they look in real life, but also how they sound and perform into the game is insane. Combine that with the customisation, and RiMS Racing is a motorhead’s dream, especially if one or more of the bikes on the list is your favourite.
RiMS Racing is the closest thing to a hardcore motorcycle sim that also provides a great racing game experience. The customisation options in this game dwarf anything I’ve seen before. If you love the idea of working on a bike and bringing it to another level through fine-tuning, this is definitely the game for you.
Note that the game is a lot more like the Gran Turismo games, and not a Need For Speed title. It takes time to learn how to ride a bike in-game, and the difficulty will definitely act as a barrier to entry. I just wish that there were more motorcycles to choose from.
For more details, visit the game’s website.
A worthy contender to the Moto GP series.
- Rich motorcycle simulation experience
- In-depth motorcycle customisation
- Challenging race tracks
- Tiny roster of vehicles
- Inconsistent AI racers
Would have gotten a higher score if there were more bikes