Why TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge 3 is unlike any other motorcycle game

The real-life Isle of Man TT event encompasses the most intense races in the world. Rider and machine, just a mosquito mustache from disaster, soar over a bumpy, cordoned-off road, whip past shacks and defy the laws of physics.

The racing equivalent of bare-knuckle fighting is so fierce that the orange or blue plastic wrap around racetrack lampposts is not intended to act as crash padding for competitors, but instead to help protect street furniture.

It deserves an equally unique, punishing, and brutal video game. With TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge 3, Milan-based studio RaceWard set out to do just that.

When we recently got to play an early preview build of the upcoming game, we were curious to see if it had created an authentic experience and were surprised by what we found…

The current state of affairs

Before we dive into the changes and new features for this new game, one of which came as a big surprise to us (more on that later), let’s quickly recap where the TT Isle of Man game series is located.

The Isle of Man TT first ran on the island in the Irish Sea in 1907 and received its first video game from Sega in 1995 – Manx TT Super Bike. However, things really took off with the PlayStation 2 title TT Superbikes Real Road Racing in 2005, which recreated the entire course and also received two sequels.

A lot has happened since the first TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge in 2018

Then, like a 14,000rpm Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR, we scream into 2018 with a relaunched official TT game – the original Ride on the Edge.

Developed by French team Kylotonn using their proprietary KT Engine technology, it featured the most accurately modeled version of the Snaefell Mountain Course and its surroundings ever.

Aiming to be a simulator, the bike physics were uncompromising. The same was true for the extended sequel two years later.

But since then nothing. Kylotonn has been busy with its best-selling World Rally Championship series before embarking on a reboot of the popular Test Drive Unlimited, due out later this year.

The actual event also went through turbulence and was canceled in both 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But now the event is back, along with a new video game, and this time from the former developers of RiMS Racing, the aforementioned RaceWard. While Ride on the Edge 3 uses the same fundamental technology as the previous two versions, it has a different motorcycle physics system and a feature that shocks the system…

It’s an open world

We could sugarcoat this, but instead we’re just going to release it. It’s still a serious platformer, but TT Isle of Man: Ridge on the Edge 3 is open world.

Yes, open world. The Forza Horizon of bike simulators, if you will.

The previous game had an area of ​​fictional Ireland, but that has now been jettisoned. In fact, there are now no other places than the Isle of Man itself.

TT Isle of Man Ride on the Edge 3 - Open World Map

However, there is not only the laser-scanned main route, but also the connecting roads. This means that you don’t just drive around, but through the island.

So you start from the start line towards Bray Hill, but then you can turn right at St. John’s and down another public road. At first it feels unnatural, like Guy Martin in a leotard.

TT Isle of Man 3 - Ride on the Edge 3, helmet cam

But it turns out there’s something comforting about being alone on the moors and exploring unfamiliar territory, which almost brings back memories of the Manx International Rally. We wanted to explore more long after our limited-time preview concluded.

If you want to know more about the development of the game, key decisions and what a true Isle of Man TT competitor thinks about Ride on the Edge 3, then we now have a new podcast episode available through your favorite app .

As you explore, you must find challenges such as: B. Time Attacks, Face-off Races and Task Events – the latter a race with three objectives to complete e.g. B. exceeding a set speed or avoiding accidents.

The nature of over 200km of roads means these smaller events take place on parts of the island you’ve never seen before. As a result, despite the lack of Irish and British routes, there seems to be more route options than in previous Isle of Man games. They’re just all within the confines of a larger site.

Lee Johnston, TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge 3 02

It also allows historical courses to be recreated, such as the St. John’s Course, used for racing between 1907 and 1910, and the Clypse Course, used for certain TT categories in the 1950s.

The challenges are optional, but you’ll earn XP to rank up – no doubt by unlocking trophies and achievements and showcasing your skills online – and also, crucially, Upgrade Points.

These are then used to, yes, you guessed it, buy new parts for your machine in a user interface that looks remarkably similar to RiMS Racing’s. However, there are some changes, namely the removal of parts mini-games are not present.

Motorcycle setup TT Isle of Man - Ridge on the Edge 3

But what about the main career? Well, the open world is the main career, but in it you can complete a Supersport season and a Superbike season in a linear progression. These are the orange events on the map and you don’t need to discover them to advance, fast travel is available or you can select them from the pause menu.

Simply complete race after race using parts of the island before upgrading to the main event – the Isle of Man TT.

The possibility of running a season for both motorcycle classes at the same time is possible – after all, many real competitors compete in several classes during a TT weekend, although it is a pity that there are only two motorcycle categories this time.

TT Isle of Man Ride on the Edge 3 - Superbike and Supersport Career Season

Their rivals are at least licensed, with representative riders, teams, manufacturers and sponsors from the 2022 event, with an update to the 2023 event currently planned for later this year in September.

Visceral driving experience

New game, same technology and physics from another title – so the key element of Ride on the Edge 3 is how it feels.

We’re happy to say, in our opinion, a definite step up from the second title of 2020.

The bikes have an improved sense of weight planted to the ground. Granted, if you hit a curb at 120 mph, you still have a plane crash.

But the previous games had a tendency for the bike to feel unruly, wriggling over small bumps like a bucking bronco.

Photo mode, TT Isle of Man Ride on the Edge 3

It sure was a tense ride, but was it as realistic as it could be? Maybe not. It also led to a steep learning curve.

We found this new game much more accessible, with three physical difficulty presets:

  • Beginner
  • intermediate
  • Realistic

It sounds a bit too narrow for those who are worried, don’t worry. You can tweak each one to your personal recipe, your rival’s abilities remain independent, and you can now change tools like traction control or the anti-wheelie system on the fly with the d-pad.

TT Isle of Man Ride on the Edge 3 – Driver Assistance

When game developers discuss lowering the barriers to entry and making something sound simpler, the hardcore fans can shake in the comments.

But so far the realistic physics setting is tough to master and rewarding when you do. It’s just that there are now stabilizers to help newcomers get started.

The key differentiator here is the suspension. It’s smoother. With the jump-strewn roads poised to catch the unwary, there’s only a few percent more clearance as shock is absorbed by the forks.

Clypse Course, TT Isle of Man Ride on the Edge 3

One element that the RaceWard team has worked hard on is the audio design, which visited the races last year to capture the images and sounds. Prior to release, we noticed missing wind noise when playing a pre-launch build, which added to the sense of speed in the second game.

You should also know that…

This is an ambitious project. We were expecting a quick polish of the previous installment, but instead this feels like a fresh start for the series. Yes, it has the number “3” in its name, but it’s best to think of it as something basic.

We understand it’s difficult to navigate when it looks visually quite similar to the outgoing title due to its shared technology base. The newer consoles and PC technology undoubtedly make it a step forward, but you can still see the quirks of the KT engine.

TT Isle of Man Ride on the Edge 3 - Rain

In addition to the open world area, a new career structure and completely different physics, there is now a photo mode and the possibility of it raining. During the main TT event it stays dry to match real life, but smaller events and free roaming can get wet, making the island feel like a living, breathing entity.

Online multiplayer is available for up to 10 players, and while it’s not cross-platform, it is at least cross-generational with a free upgrade from older platforms to the current machines. Except, of course, on the Switch, which we’ve yet to see in action.

Publisher NACON is also planning an esports competition where the finalists will have a face-to-face showdown at next year’s TT event.

TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge 3

As for your AI-driven rival’s performance, we’re awaiting final verdict for a full review just before launch, similar to how the grand finale will be replicated and if career progression lasts. Certainly all the right ingredients are in place to take home the senior trophy.

TT Isle of Man: Ridge on the Edge 3 will be released on May 11, 2023 for PC (Epic and Steam), PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, the aforementioned Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.

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