Developer: KT Racing
Publisher: BigBen Interactive
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
Rating: E for Everyone
TT Isle of Man: Ride On the Edge 2 is the successor to 2018’s TT Isle of Man: Ride On the Edge which was deemed notoriously rugged and difficult. Does this sequel live up to its reputation, or does KT Racing take a more user-friendly approach?
Violence: As with any Motorsport game, there is always a risk of crashing. In this game in particular, there is no exception.
A Brief Introduction to the Isle of Man TT Circuit
The Isle of Man TT is considered to be the most dangerous Motorsports event in the world. In 2003 Sports Illustrated branded the course as the “38 Miles of Terror.” Since its inaugural season over 110 years ago in 1907, it has been responsible for 258 deaths. 150 of these deaths came from just the Isle of Man TT event, while the combined number comes from the mountain course itself. Statistically speaking, this means you could guarantee at least one or two deaths each year as the racers line up to tackle the deadly circuit.
The Superbikes used in these races can reach speeds almost up to 190 miles an hour. Add in narrow roads and tight corners, and you have a formula for certain mayhem. Not only is getting through the rigorous 38-mile circuit a challenge, but some racers have to do it up to six times and all averaging speeds about 120 mph. Yet still, every year, people line up on their bikes facing the unknown for nothing more than their hunger for the competition and thirst for adrenaline.
Now on to the game itself.
Racing is one of my favorite genres of game. Nothing to me feels as good as driving your dream vehicle or race car at high speeds and mastering the tracks, all the while having your friends and family exclaim, “that’s amazing!”
One problem, however, is that I’m used to being on four wheels. When I got my hands on TT Isle of Man: Ride On the Edge 2, I knew exactly what to expect. I knew that reducing my wheels by half was going to throw me off and feel much much different than what I’m used to. What I didn’t know however, was just how much I’d be thrown off… literally.
Make no mistake about it—this game is not for casual racing fans. If you are new to any types of these games like Isle of Man or RIDE, then you are in for quite the rude awakening.
I cannot begin to tell you how many times starting out, I had fallen off of the bike. Even in the tutorial mode, I managed to slip out of my seat and paint the colors of my racing suit all over the asphalt. In the first race in career mode, I kept starting over and over just because I could not quite manage to take the turns well. The worst part is, if you start the race over in career mode, you get penalized!
I’m also used to racing in first person, but with this game, I simply could not. The way the bikes handle combined with my minimal experience made it about impossible for me to judge how to take any turn correctly. I had to switch over to the game’s third person camera to even begin improving. Then once I finally managed to get the hang of the track, I realized that I am racing against other competitors!
In the beginning of the game I felt the AI to be a bit unfair. No matter what I would do, I could never catch the guy in first place. Even if I was perfect around the course, he was no where to be found. The thing of it is though, is that I myself was way ahead of the pack behind me. I kept asking myself how everyone from third place and below were so far behind, but the guy in first is no where in sight. I had just about given up even trying at that point, but then I remembered this game offers a Free Roam mode!
I selected one of the games’ many riders and took to the roads to really get a feel and understand the physics of the game.
Once I felt my skills were honed enough, I went back to racing. As soon as I was able to decipher the game’s physics and AI behavior, I found myself having a little bit of an easier time. Before, I would uncharacteristically just settle for 3rd place, but afterward, I started to win races, some without even crashing! The added-in Free Roam mode is a much welcome addition to the series. Did it really work? Well, let the results speak for themselves:
TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge 2 offers much improved visuals and physics, though it is still rather difficult. Just the slightest mistake or misjudgment can cost you the entire race, and for the most part, they are not short. I have fallen off the bike for trying to race over the curb (something that’s commonplace in 4-wheel racing games), I have fallen off the bike for edging the ground, getting too close to another competitor, misjudging the brake line, or even sneezing! It can be really frustrating if you’re not willing to exercise dedication and patience.
Single Player Modes
The game offers a small variety of single player modes.
The career mode in this game is pretty much similar to career modes in other games of the racing genre. You start out as a nobody and race hard to work your way up to become the champion of various different circuits. In this game, that is much easier said than done.
You are presented with a calendar and must select in various events that range in difficulty and thus rewards. The more challenging the courses are, the more you will be rewarded upon finishing. With these rewards you can earn parts to upgrade your bikes and better your times. This plays a part in the strategy of trying to climb your way to the top. You can challenge yourself on the hard courses going for the rewards but risking not winning much if you do not perform well , or choose an easier circuit and focus on placing on the podium for a lesser reward. Once you’ve earned your keep, you will be able to move up to higher levels of competition to become the greatest champion of all time! I cannot however say there is a right or wrong choice because no matter what you choose, it will not be easy.
The game does help you a little bit along the way with a perk system. Before each race, you can use your reward credits earned to pick a perk to help either aid you during the race, or reduce reward penalties afterward.
If a full season of the most grueling races known to man seems a bit tedious to you, you can always just get right into the action by selecting Quick Race.
Do you just want to get straight into the action? Choose your bike, livery and circuit and head right into a race. The best part is, there’s no penalty for starting the race over!
Race against the clock rather than the competition!
Take your bike on the road to get the hang of your bike and get a handle on those tricky curves. If you just want to enjoy some of the game’s beautiful scenery, that’s OK too.
Play through the game’s beginning tutorial again.
The game also offers a couple of multiplayer modes:
Online mode: Race against others in a quick race via the internet
Offline mode: Race against friends and family locally via split-screen
There are also Leaderboards you can view to compare your best times with the best in the world.
When I first started playing the game I will admit that the “what have I gotten myself into?” thought had crossed my mind quite a few times. Once I was able to understand the physics of the game and was able to complete a lap without crashing, my experience got better. The game is still very challenging when facing new roads, but with persistence, overcoming the challenge and the winning factor feels greater and more earned than any other racing game I’ve played. I a newfound respect for those who compete in the actual Isle of Man TT circuit for if I can barely handle a video game simulation of the sport, I cannot imagine how it would be in real life.
The Bottom Line
In TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge 2, the updated graphics are visual candy and the upgraded physics and gameplay make this game a really fun and challenging title for all die-hard race fans.