By Philip Dunkley
Bike games have never really been my thing, maybe because the large amounts of car racing games out there overshadow them, and one gets used to the more structured handling of a car than that of a bike. In fact, when Tourist Trophy was released a few years back, I was reluctant to play another bike racing game, because it was just no fun.
Enter SBK-08, Milestones second foray into the franchise, and a relatively popular title last season, and we managed to get pretty much finished code for the game to preview.
Now, when I first started this game and ventured into the Tutorials, I was rather underwhelmed by the gameplay, and found the challenges rather cumbersome, especially the one where you have to follow the racing line on the track, as one small mistake would send you crashing back to the beginning of the challenge.
After playing through these tutorials however, things got a lot more exciting, and I immediately delved into the championship that the game offers. I got involved in the first race weekend and headed out for my first free practice session, and did surprisingly well. After a all the qualifying, and stuffing that up completely, I started from the back of the grid, and had the daunting task of winning the race. Needless to say, I could not have had a more thrilling start in this game; I won the race on the final stretch, overtaking Corsa just before the finish line. The racing is actually very exciting, and weaving between riders is a very difficult and nerve wracking thing to do.
The game has all the features one would expect from the series, with Quick Race, Instant Action, Championship and Multiplayer (Not tested due to preview). The riders are all there and a decent amount of tracks are included as well, including Philip Island, Monza, Donington, Valencia etc.
The models of the riders look good, and bikes even better, with a large amount of effort put into the all the details. The tracks look good and clinical, a little sparse, but that might still be fixed in the final version. The bikes sound good too, and the roar of the other bikes add a great touch to the game, and the silence when you pull away even more so.
The game also offers hoards of tuning settings for the bikes, so the more simulation based player will enjoy the set-up options, but still leaves the game open to more casual players. There are also a few Challenge modes in the game, which offer a few virtual rewards, but are entertaining nonetheless.
It’s shaping up to be quite a neat little package, and for all bike fans out there, you’ve got something to look forward to this June. The game is scheduled for local release on the 26th June 2008.
Last Updated: May 30, 2008