Since its birth dating back to 1996, Milestone has been synonymous with racing titles, who remembers the legendary Screamer Rally? Despite some excursions on four wheels, continued for years with the WRC series and recently with the new intellectual property Sebastien Loeb Rally Evo, the Milanese development house has mainly linked its career to motorcycling titles, embracing a style of play rather inclined to the realism. While work continues on Ride 2, the sequel to the new franchise on two wheels that breaks the mold of classic racing for a freer formula, the team has taken advantage of the "know-how" gained from the game to produce a curious spin-off, Ducati - 90 Anniversary, essentially a very focused version of Ride, entirely based on the historic Bolognese house. The idea is interesting for the reasons that you will discover during the review: will Milestone be able to lighten the wait that separates us from the new Ride?
Will Ducati - 90th Anniversary be able to lighten the wait that separates us from the new Ride?
I see red
Ducati - 90 Anniversary already has an eloquent title: it is the celebration of the company's career, through its models that have characterized almost a century of life. Ducati was born in fact back in 1926, even if we have to wait thirty years for its debut in the world of mopeds. As can be guessed, this title is entirely dedicated to the racing cars of the house but at the same time has a close relationship with Ride, sharing many elements, starting with the circuits.
Milestone has created a new one, the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, for the rest it is all or almost recovered from Ride, with slight graphic improvements. The list of contents includes 13 circuits, with some variants that substantially double the number, and 39 motorcycles, ten of which recovered from Ride. Not even to ask, they are all jewels that have marked the history of Ducati, so it is clear that Milestone is a product dedicated especially to fans of the Borgo Panigale house. The presentation is quite aligned to the standards to which the development team has accustomed us, sober and characterized by a prevailing red and menus with a not exactly lightning-fast response. It cannot actually be said that the general style conveys particular emotions, even if for a title like this it is not a crucial detail, the options are functional enough and even small touches of class are appreciated, such as the loading icon. , often too derivative (the usual circle), but creatively resolved by Milestone. Unfortunately, however, the uploads still remain a thorn in the side from the times of Ride, resulting long and unnerving between the various races, but also moving between the same menus.
Relive history ... our way
The most appreciable feature of Ducati - 90th Anniversary is the career mode, or Historic Tour, partially recovered from Ride but revised for what the concept of this product is: reliving the Ducati years from the middle of the century, through a series of themed competitions focus on a particular model.
To move on to the next race it is necessary to conquer stars distributed to those able to conquer the first three places on the podium but this makes the structure more elastic than the classic formula of the simple win and continue. Some may turn up their noses at the simplicity of the structure not being able to talk about a real career but a predefined set of races, but in any case it is fun to review bikes and circuits, continuing through the years up to the present day. We are not faced with a production designed to entertain for a long time, but a tribute to the brand conceived for the most avid fans, who will find many stimuli in the amount of details bestowed by the game on the house. This does not mean that even the occasional player of this kind, or not too interested in the red, can take away his satisfactions by enjoying some raids on two wheels. Another appreciable detail is the tutorial proposed at the beginning, which tries to introduce the mechanics with the utmost softness, adapting to the player's performance.
PlayStation 4 Trophies
The concise nature of Ducati - 90th Anniversary makes it easier to conquer the Trophies, with fewer digressions that could lengthen the conquest times. Basically, even just the "first times" ensure a decent loot, it takes less than an hour of play, facing the main career to win over 10% of the Trophies, including a gold one.
Dreaming of the current-gen
The discordant notes arrive once you get to the track: it is not clear what there is to process in the long uploads that characterize Ducati - 90th Anniversary, probably not the graphics engine, certainly not among the strengths of Milestone production. The cross-gen origin of the engine is quite clear, at least for the PlayStation 4 version we tested, which is closer to the previous generation in terms of performance, with the only difference in the resolution used, which reaches native 1080p. The definition guaranteed by the additional pixels, however, is a double-edged sword, ending up amplifying the general aspect, rather spartan. The saturated colors give a somewhat plasticky effect, the effects are minimal and the pilot animations are woody and unrealistic. As if that weren't enough, the console version is locked at 30 frames per second, with no effects capable of somehow fluidifying the action. This is not a defect in itself, but it is really unacceptable to sustain a similar frame rate in relation to the proposed graphics sector. The situation does not improve too much on the gameplay side: the driving system is fun, with a substantially arcade setting but with simulative veins to take into account if you do not want to taste the asphalt. Mistakes are punished rather severely: getting off the track or touching opponents almost always results in a ruinous fall, the problem is that the collision system and physics are not always convincing, leading to dubious situations. In general, however, Ducati - 90th Anniversary manages to defend itself quite well on this aspect, as long as it is overlooked on the visual side.
CommentTested version PlayStation 4 Digital Delivery Steam, PlayStation Store, Xbox Store Price 19,99 € Resources4Gaming.com
Ducati - 90th Anniversary is a reduced version of Ride, offered at a budget price and specially calibrated to celebrate the history of the Bolognese company. In practice, it is a standalone spin-off suitable for enthusiasts, but which could also be interesting for those who prefer a leaner and more focused approach. The career is structured in a simple way and will keep you entertained, although probably not for long. The biggest problems of the Milestone production are technical: the uploads are nerve-wracking, the graphic aspect leaves enough to be desired and the frame rate is not exciting, but if you manage to overlook this aspect (and some uncertainty of the gameplay) what remains is a substantially fun to play and quite challenging product.
- Career is simple but guessed
- Lots of details on the history of Ducati
- Fun to play
- Technically dull
- Long uploads
- 30 frames per second on console
- Some uncertainty about collisions