- Developer: VD-dev Games
Publisher: VD-dev Games
Release Date: 22/07/2019
Price: $16.49/ £16.00
Review code provided by Area 35
Trying To Get A Rise Out Of Me
If there’s one thing we don’t get enough of these days, it’s arcade racers. With the Need For Speed franchise seemingly in limbo and Burnout long gone, there’s a gap in the market for a polished racer. VD-Dev’s latest offers some fresh ideas, but ultimately falls short of a podium finish.
Set in a future where new technology allows cars to travel on all manner of terrain, Rise: Race The Future uses this conceit to create vehicles which look like concept cars we could feasibly expect to see in our lifetime. All ten of them are unanimously stylish, but unfortunately, lack many defining characteristics – all of the stats feel arbitrary, as the supposedly slower vehicles seem to keep pace just as well as the fastest.
Thankfully, the course design is excellent. With the ability to drive over water or along cliffsides, the variety harkens back to the days of Ridge Racer. There are a staggering 64 tracks in total, each fitting into one of three categories – fast, intermediate, or twisty. They’re all unanimously well crafted, with wide stretches giving way to tight bends overlooking beautiful vistas. In fact, Rise: Race The Future is a really good looking game – with a steady frame-rate and some really vibrant locales.
In A Spin
Unfortunately, a poor handling model makes racing on those tracks in Rise: Race The Future a tough sell. While there are four difficulty modes available, even at the low end it’s all too easy to be thrown into a spin and end up facing the wrong way.
AI racers tend to make so few mistakes that it can be nigh-on impossible to catch up, forcing a restart. If you do manage to catch up, trading paint is only likely to cause another spin to occur, and then you’ll definitely need to restart. We’re all for unforgiving racers, but it turns every risky move into the wrong kind of gamble and feels at odds with Rise’s signature “our cars can handle anything” identifier – especially when almost every race requires a first-placed finish to continue in the championship.
Outside of championships, you can practice against ghost cars to improve your best time but again, getting your drift slightly wrong and spinning around can spell doom for any run. This could have led to some madcap fun in multiplayer, but it’s disappointingly absent.
It’s also a shame that despite the visual polish throughout, the game’s menus seem to have been left in the dust. They’re cluttered and unintuitive and can be tricky to decipher on the Switch’s handheld screen.
It’s a shame, because when you’re racing and things are going well, Rise: Race The Future just feels right. Be it in third-person or first-person viewpoints, Rise is sumptuous to look at and plays remarkably well up until it’s cars begin twirling after the slightest of contact. If you’d like a challenge, you may find a lot to like in Rise, but for the rest of us it’s fair to say that mileage will vary.
- Great track design (and plenty of them)
- Unique concept
- Poor handling model
- Lack of multiplayer
A good looking racer with disappointing drawbacks, we’ll need to wait a little longer for the Switch’s next great arcade racer.