The Nintendo Switch seems well stocked on racing games at the moment, from family friendly racers such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, CTR Nitro-Fueled and Team Sonic Racing to the more realistic and futuristic varieties of GRIP and Redout. Whether it’s two wheels or four, or even none, you’ll find something on the Switch to keep your adrenaline-fuelled need for speed at full tank. However, with such a traffic jam of titles, it’s going to take something special for any future racers to propel themselves into pole position with an abundance of tracks and locations, or a series of mechanics that produces something a bit different from the norm, like VD-Dev’s Rise: Race The Future as it transforms itself to release onto the Nintendo Switch.
The setting of this game takes place in a not too distant future across a series of locales that sees you racing over dusty deserts or snow-laden tundras and even above the water. You see, the extra gimmick within this racer comes in the form of retractable wheels that transforms your vehicle into a hovercraft-style car that propels you over ground and water filled tracks; á la Team Sonic Racing style. The mechanics of its racing style presents a quite generic feel, although there’s a distinct difference with the handling of your vehicle, depending on your model of car and the terrain with which you find yourself racing over.
The game presents you with three modes of play: Championship, Challenges and Time Attack. The first of these, Championship, presents you with a cup-style series of races that comprise of nine different races. However, should you fail in say, race number eight, you have an option to restart the race rather than drop your points or be forced to restart again due to a lack of points required to reach a podium position. In total, there are eight championships in which to participate; each of them offering a lengthy premise in their total play times. In terms of its structure, it plays in a very similar manner to the cup tournaments found within Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
The second mode, Challenges, offers sixty-four single races that are set over a total of eight seasons; each of which contains a number of pre-requisite tasks that need to be completed in order to advance. These can range from finishing the race in a certain position to completing a fastest lap, up to keeping your speed over a certain limit. These levels force you rethink your style or how you race, creating a decent challenge that changes from race to race. The more tasks you fulfil, the larger your fan base and the more races you unlock. The last mode, Time Attack offers a time-trial style of play. However, each of these races must first be unlocked by racing on their tracks within the Championship or Challenge modes.
In terms of content, there’s plenty here to keep your finger on the accelerator. However, there are a total of thirty-two tracks that reside within four different environments. It’s soon inevitable to find yourself racing on specific tracks more than once or within a certain environment that, although may contain a new track, contains a form of repetition with a similar visual setting within each location. To try and mix things up though, the game can also present you with a series of weather conditions that includes sunsets and rises, fog-laden courses and rain-soaked races.
Despite containing a wealth of content and a variety of game modes, the game can falter in some way within its mechanics of vehicle handling. Cars can feel particularly light when drifting around corners or fine-tuning your racing line. It’s something that becomes very prevalent should you make contact with the side-railings or another vehicle, as you slip and slide out of contention pretty quickly; especially if this should happen whilst racing over the water sections of each course. In this respect, the game can be pretty unforgiving and also difficult to catch up to the rest of the pack; something that can be frustrating when late on within a race. However, its floaty feel can become accustomed to with prolonged play and once you are able to compensate for it, or unlock the later ‘heavier’ cars, you can easily begin to challenge for the top spots.
One thing that the game does do well though, in its levels of performance. Although it runs at 30fps, it’s a steady frame-rate with some impressive looking locations that can go some way in showing what the Switch is capable of graphically. It’s something that is far more apparent when playing in docked mode; things do take a slight hit when playing undocked, but only in terms of a very slight blurring and the odd instance of pop-up. Everything here is fast and pretty responsive, especially when implementing the boost capability of each vehicle, with some nice effects such as lens-flares and water splashes on the screen when racing over the water.
Something which may be important to some players, is that this is strictly a single-player game only. There’s no local co-op or split-screen ability, let alone an online component on which to race. Unfortunately, despite its content, this is something that is sorely missed here, as its style would have transitioned well into competitive racing over the net. Despite this, there’s still plenty of juice in its tank and does provide an entertaining ride in its solo capacity.
Overall, Rise: Race The Future presents a solid racer which combines two forms of racing over the land and sea. There’s enough content to keep players racing over the long-term, although its lack of any multiplayer does limit its overall appeal. It can be a bit unforgiving at times, but once its floaty feel becomes accustomed too, everything soon clicks into place to produce quite a satisfying racer through some highly detailed and realistic looking locations; despite a generic palette in each of its environments. The more you put into it, the more you’ll get from it to, ultimately, produce an interesting and fun racer that may not lead the pack, but certainly stands on a podium position.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Switch code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Rise: Race The Future Review
Gameplay - 7/10
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 7/10
Replay Value - 7/10
User Review( votes)
Rise: Race The Future may not take pole position, but it’s certainly worthy of a podium position.