Riders Republic - Before You Buy
And we're back with another episode of Before You Buy That Show. We give you some straight-up gameplay and, of course, our first impressions of the latest games released. As usual, it's me, Jake, and today we're talking about the Writer's Republic. This is a game that, straight up, wasn't really on our radar too much, but we saw the early access event earlier in the week and now we got our hands on the game and.
It's a lot of fun. It's a little messy, but it's a blast if you like these types of games. I haven't been a big fan of many Ubisoft games for a while. You know. Far Cry 6 started to kind of break that mold when I did that before you bought it, and this one here seems to scratch that extreme sports itch way more than I was expecting, and so you know, this gameplay footage here was captured on the PS5 version, but it's also available on all the other platforms except for the Nintendo switch now.
Writer's Republic is an always online, big, crazy, extreme sports, open world racing game with some games as a service elements. Once you unlock stuff, you're free to do basically anything on an absolutely massive open world map that serves as kind of an amalgamation of national parks and puts them into action.
You can ride downhill on mountain bikes, blaze through the snow on skis or on a snowboard, fly down mountains on a wingsuit, race through checkpoints with a jet pack, kind of like rocketeer style, or do a couple of other wacky things now. In a lot of ways, it feels like Ubisoft took what they learned from steep.
A game that had a lot of fans but I wasn't really into it, and the crew a game that also had its fans but I thought it was just okay here. Now there's progression. If you're playing alone, you can work your way through a career, winning races and completing sub-objectives within those races to earn stars to unlock things in your career and also level up your ranking.
By progressing, you're unlocking more race types, more challenges, and more stuff, and, of course, you're getting more gear along the way. The important gear is all the actual stuff. You're using snowboards and bikes and stuff, and you're working your way up to stuff with better stats, like, you know, say, a mountain bike with more grip on the road.
You can also just explore the map and find special points, collectibles, races, and secrets. You can use your gear or fun stuff like a snowmobile, or a fan parachute, or other weird things to get around. You can also just walk around on one foot, and all of these things can be swapped in real time, kind of like an equipment wheel.
There really is a lot of freedom now. You're also earning cash and stuff to buy yourself cool outfits to express yourself; silly masks, hats, clothing, you know, pants. Some of it can get pretty ridiculous. As you can probably see here, I mostly keep it simple just because I like the racing and I don't want to get too distracted, but hey, that's just me.
I'm boring the game does give you the typical storefront where you can buy in-game currency with real world money as well, if you want. You know, it's all cosmetic. The only stat increases are through the gear you get, like your bikes and your snowboards, and you can't buy that stuff, but you know it's there and it's worth pointing out.
The game also has daily different clothing items you can buy, and it seems like there's going to be a ton of content and races and seasons just trickling out all the time. That's the games as a service live service type stuff. This seems like a game where they just want you to keep playing. There are all these other types of little things to grind for too, like you can add sponsorships that give you kind of daily challenges to earn more stuff.
It's kind of endless. The game piles a lot on you, but you know, once you're racing and just having fun, you forget about all of it. There is a lot of content to progress through if you want it, but at the little town center where you get new clothing and all that stuff, there's also a ton of other fun things to engage in, like direct matchmaking.
For specific types of races, you know, there's downhill jams, trick attack style stuff. There's definitely a decent social element here. The world and races are always populated with players all over the place doing fun stuff, and cross-play is enabled by default. You can group up and do some head-to-head style challenge stuff, and there's seemingly a lot of good, friendly competition.
The whole thing reminds me of the more recent Forza Horizon games. You know, the party atmosphere with everyone racing and the game trying to throw as much fun stuff at you as possible at all times. Along with this party atmosphere comes the presentation. It's like a bunch of like, hey, cool types of people, telling you about races and introducing you to things, and it fades away after a while when you're just focused on racing and grinding, but that stuff, this whole presentation, is corny and it just kind of bounces right off of me, like nobody really acts like this and it's just awkward, so I wish they didn't bother again.
That's really just personal opinion stuff. I found myself wanting to skip a lot of the cutscenes and such. It's a racing game, but all that stuff, all the progression, the endlessly playing the career, whatever the actual gameplay here is, the core gameplay, the racing, is what left me really impressed, aside from a few things here and there.
You know, I'm sorry I saved this for last, but the gameplay This is the best part of the game and is worth the price of admission. The Writer's Republic is ambitious. You know, it takes on a lot of different styles of racing, but they all feel pretty darn good. There's some floaty physics here and there, but it's mostly for just a tiny bit of forgiveness for mistakes.
The different styles are executed by the developers, seemingly keeping each one fairly simple enough to not screw up but also just complicated enough to be perfectly fun. If that makes sense, you know all the different styles here are fun to play and easy to pick up, but a bit more difficult to master.
There are two main control modes, and there are, more importantly, two main trick control modes. There's a kind of auto-assist trick mode where you can spin and do tricks, but they will auto-rotate to land perfectly at the end. Think of doing a spin in the air in Tony Hawk where the game lines up the straight line landing for you.
You can use that or you can get higher scores and turn off the assists. Make sure you land the angles of your tricks and spins perfectly. Manually, it takes some practice to nail really perfect landings. I'm pretty bad, but I still have fun now. Grindin' on skis and snowboards is a bit floaty, but being able to hop off and combo out of them is really nice.