TT Isle of Man 2 Hands-On: Lightning, Unbottled

TT2_01

Let the good times roll, indeed.

KT Racing has done quite a lot of work on TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge 2 and it’s simultaneously quite a thrill and terrifyingly good so far. Major fixes to bike handling. road surfaces, lighting, weather effects and more all add an even more realistic feel than the first game, and the greatly improved Career Mode and an all-new open world area to practice (or just take relaxing rides) in make this a pretty superior sequel.  Taking a build of the PC version out for a spin, many of the changes were amazing right from the start. Bikes all felt much better and the the ground effects were excellent overall (as in you don’t automatically go flying off your ride of choice at a jump or bump in the road). You can still wreck at high speeds, but it feels is if it’s your own fault for misjudging your speed, deliberately slamming into things, or not paying attention to the road surface.

Overall control is much more responsive as turning the bike is a lot more intuitive. In fact, the new handling model in third person views requires you to pay attention to both the driver’s positioning and the beautifully rendered road ahead of you. In first person, the game has a view where braking lifts the rider up in a realistic manner, as well as a nice optional helmet camera that adds to the immersion factor. The game is easier to get into, but NOT easy, as zen-like concentration and learning each course in the only way to master the tracks here. If your bike is wobbling and weaving from your own handling mistakes, expect to wreck, as the game demands perfection, practice, and patience.

TT2_map

The open map stuff is pretty amazing, so go early and often as you learn the bikes.

I crashed a few times in the demo, but a few were quite on purpose to test out a few things with the physics. Yes, things like a low-speed hit to a curb don’t get you tumbling airborne, but that same hit when flying around a track will. You can also navigate some off-course areas and stay in the race if you manage to get back on the road and not fall or wreck into something. Overall. The game just feels more accurate but it won’t let you score any easy wins by just keeping at a safe speed around the courses. Novices will maybe want the racing line on until they’re confident with the racing experience, as running a bike at around 170 mph or so is pretty intense stuff and if you lose your concentration when things get hairy, expect to wind up having tarmac for lunch.

TT2_03

No time to stop and smell the roses…

There’s also a similar bit of leeway with other riders, as you can now very lightly contact them at lower speeds or breeze by with a slim space between and not wreck. I personally never ran into a race here where someone sent me into the grass or the side of a building with careless driving. The AI is aggressive and fast here, but not homicidal or suicidal. Speed and safety learned is a key here, as even when practicing in the open world map, rain effects aren’t part of the game from what I played. The real-world Isle of Man course is dangerous enough with the wind and 37+ miles of twists and turns that even as a virtual track, one gets a sense of respect for the fortitude required to pull of a successful run, and KR Racing’s overall improved game is a solid testament to he race,

In terms of speed, well – here’s a real racer from last year (hold on to something, please):

 

Thanks, Lockk9 TT Racing!)

 

And here’s a little bit of KT’s game for comparison:

 

 

I was pretty happy with what I played, but I’m a PS4 guy and want the console versions to be just as thrilling. That new Career Mode is going to be a perfect way to start based on the tiny bit I sampled, and as with the mighty WRC 8. will be one to spend some quality time with. Also sampled was the 2-player hot seat mode, which can be played online and offline with players taking turns in one or a series of race events.\

TT2_05

“I’m just going out to get milk, dear – I’ll be back in a few hours!”

One more promo video for the road? Sure – it couldn’t hurt at all. This one arrives March 19, 2020 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, with a Switch version coming in May.

 

 

 

-GW

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