As with previous installments of this realistic motorcycle racing game series, this year's model is strictly for serious riders. Like its predecessors and other games of this kind -- motorcycle or otherwise -- Ride 4 is a deeply customizable racing game that has you cruising both professional tracks and closed streets in a variety of events you can play on your own or against fellow racers online. Not only can you tweak the parameters of your bike like a real mechanic, but you can also customize the controls in a myriad of ways, and even (no joke) adjust the volume of the wind as it whips past you. It also, as usual, has a ton of real tracks, riders, and events -- more than enough to keep you occupied until its sequel comes out.
As for what's different in this installment, well, the career mode now features three lengthy sections -- "European League," "Asian League," and "American League" -- as well as an improved weather system that can add some real challenge. Though what's more interesting is the new "Endurance" mode, during which the races last hours and involve pit stops. What hasn't changed, though, is that this is still just for serious riders. Even at the easiest difficulty setting, and with all the assists engaged, this never feels like an arcade game, or even something arcade-esque. It's tough and unforgiving, and strictly for veterans of this series or real motorcycle enthusiasts. But if you're a serious biker, and looking for something when you can't hit the real roads, Ride 4 is a fun substitute.