Mad Riders is a white knuckle ride to mediocrity.
There aren’t many games out there with Gorillas driving ATVs but guess what, Mad Riders is one of them. Yes the developers behind Nail’d are back and while they tried to add some more flash, it seems that Mad Riders is just more of the same.
Single player is broken up into Tournament play (Campaign) and Quick Races. The Tournament has you globe trotting to a bunch of different areas and while the game states there are 45 tracks they all seemed to blur together. While the majority of the races are your simple 3 lap affairs, they do try to spice it up with Ghost runs, Stunt competitions and Arena based events. Winning each event rewards you with a star rating; 1 star for 3rd, 2 stars for 2nd and 3 stars for 1st. After gaining 10 stars in an event you unlock the next leg of the tourney. There are eight events in total and some “Offroad Elite” events to playthrough, but after finishing all these I wasn’t driven to want to go back and play levels in Quick Race mode. I guess that is pretty telling.
There are some RPG elements intertwined into the game. Winning races and performing stunts gains you XP which is used to upgrade your level. Reaching higher levels unlocks new ATVs and Buggies, different liveries and crazy riders. Yes this game goes all out with the riders. At the time of writing this I have a Ninja, Native American, Gorilla, Mummy and a whole host of different outfits. This was probably what keep me playing the game and trying to 3 star all the races, I just wanted to see what craziness was next. But like I said before after doing that I lost that drive. Maybe if they had a hint at what was next I would have been more motivated.
Speed is the name of the game here. Everything you are doing is trying to gain boost, collecting boost tokens, pulling off stunts and nailing your landings. Mad Riders is far more arcade than it is simulation. The physics in air are floaty which allows you to move your quad with an almost after-touch like ease. And it is tight enough on the ground to be able to handle yourself even at extreme speeds, which you will be achieveing most of the time while in a race. I think I had my finger mashing the boost at all times. Different quads have different stats, but after unlocking the later level ones you won’t be making the change much. The biggest issue I have with the game is the reset system. It seems to have a mind of its own most of the time. Barely rub against a boulder… reset. Go slightly off track while in air… reset. Land close to another rider… reset. It doesn’t help that the level designers decided to be huge dicks and place obstacles in the exact spots for this reset to happen more than it should. Really took the fun out of the game for me.
Besides the Single Player there is multiplayer for up to 12 riders. I didn’t have any problems with lag, but I rarely had more than 5 “mad riders” in a session. A new mode is added when playing online, Perfectionist. In this you have 8 minutes to get the fastest lap in a course and while it is fun, at the time of review it seems to be far to frequent when playing a random mix online. People seem to drop like flies when this mode comes up. I wish there was a way to choose which types of events the randomizer would choose from. Another problem I have with the online is that experience is given in small amounts. I have one trophy left in the game, Reach Level 10 in Multiplayer, and I doubt I will ever get it. At most you seem to get 1000 XP per win if you are good and with the rate at which the XP gap increases per level it would take ages to reach. In single player after getting 3 stars on all the races I was level 13, and this took about 5 hours. I don’t know if I have the will to do Perfectionist events for that long.
Mad Riders is just your average ATV racing game. If you come at it with this attitude you may find some enjoyment but don’t expect it to blow the mud off your racing jacket.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
Chris K's Score:
What I Like:
What I Dislike:
Release Date:May 2012
Players:1 (Local), 2-12 (Online)