Written by Derrick Smith
Identified as one of the most invigorating spectacles in all of motor sports, the Isle of Man TT has been one of those seemingly overly ambitious experiences, which racing developer have shied away from for years, and for rather obvious reasons. The almost countless miles of two-wheel non-stop racing a midst dense and pristine environments could present a challenge, yet developer Kylotonn has certainly stepped up to the plate, and in doing so has crafted a somewhat satisfying and demanding motor sport racer.
For starters, Kylotonn has absolutely brought an engaging degree of authenticity to the experience with an impressive layer of famed racers and bikes. While notable high caliber riders such as Ian Hutchinson and John McGuinness making up the list, the bikes themselves seems to steal the show as instruments of breakneck speeds, complimented by the islands myriad of narrow roads and sometimes frequent turns, daring players to open up the throttle.
Interestingly, the Isles of Man TT: Ride on the Edge engages players with a unique and appreciated fatigue factor, predicated by the tracks challenging level design of mastery. This is made quite evident within the longer races which can push your concentration to the limit. Of course, massaging the players mental focus is well supported by the games design and level creations. While the scenery is limited to a more intimate setting within the limited array of tracks, it certainly adds a cautionary yet eye pleasing edge to the ride.
With such a well presented racing experience it seem obvious that as a racer one would be tempted to look around at the other well designed bikes while racing or even take in the blurred environment sights as you speed past, however apparently Kylotonn opted not to allow players the option of looking to the left or right, or even offer a rear-view option. All too often I found myself trying to gauge where the other racers were as I made those all important careful turns. After playing for quite a while, while you may get use to this, it only compounds to making the affair feel more rigid.
The racing handling despite there being a varied degree of bike features and overall difficulty settings, again does feel slightly restrictive. This can be immediately realized after a few races as the handling might feel too precise for racing fans looking to have more control. Add to this equation the unforgiving collision detector and you might feel like you are playing a game of ‘Operation’ where every time you barely touch the edge you get buzzed or in this case player go flying off their bike, and unfortunately it does not matter how fast you are going, so stay away from those railings.
With some races feeling like a marathon these factors play a major role in challenging your racing resolve. Isles of Man TT does offers four difficulty levels with the option of customization, yet there is no braking or steering option allowing players to balance out the handling, which becomes a necessity when making those sharp turns just before trying to speed up. I sometimes found my bike sliding and falling over in these situations. Because of this it sometimes became frustration to try and find the sweet spot where the fun factor of pure racing meets the empowering satisfaction of mastery. With Isle of Man TT, while there were fun moments, it never quite brought these two elements together for a significant period time.
Isle of Man TT offers a standard career mode, with not much to chew on where you start out as new racers only able to afford one bike according to your limited budget. The more you win the money you make, adding new bikes to your stable along with an increase in fandom. Periodically, player will receive emails from their manager aligning you with upcoming races. Unfortunately that is the gist of it. As far as a meaningful and personal motivation for remaining in the career mode you might be disappointed. Once you’ve tired of making more cash and acquiring new bikes you may begin scratching your head.
While Isle of Man TT is visually impressive, don’t bother with trying to make comparisons to the likes of GT Sport or Forza 7. Yet, the game can be pleasing to behold in its own right. Bikes and character models look great and the sheer sense of speed is fantastic, especially when those crushing sounds of the wind makes their presence felt. However, where it counts Isles of Man TT does seem to just miss the mark with its lack of content despite there being an alluring and oftentimes satisfying ride.
If you’re looking for a challenging motor sport racer with exhilarating speeds that invite concentration and sometime patience, Isle of Man TT might be right for you. However, do remember that all that speed does come with a rigid playlist of features and handling.