Thursday 22 March 2018

One hell of a game to avoid

'Ride to Hell' for the PC.
'Ride to Hell' for the PC.

ONE of the only common factors that both terrible and terrific games share is that they are brilliantly easy to review. That's why the latest title to go under the knife, 'Ride to Hell', was an absolute breeze to critique.

This particular title is so unbelievably unplayable (seriously, you actually have to not play this game to not believe me), I'm going to save you all some time and tell you, straight up, that you shouldn't go anywhere near this title, let alone attempt to play it - unless you want your PC to develop post-traumatic stress and freeze up whenever it hears a motorcycle rev up in the distance.

The protagonist of this hellish torture software is Jake Conway, an emotionally scarred Vietnam veteran looking to make a nice, calm life for himself following his return stateside. Shortly afterwards, Jake's younger brother is killed by a biker gang, at which point Ride to Hell becomes an toe-curlingly embarassing cliched tale of revenge.

Every attempt at maturity devolves into shoddy melodrama. Even if Ride to Hell could pass as a broken and buggy parody, none of the characters seem to be in on the joke. Tragic moments are played out with all the subtlety of a plane crash and sexuality is dealt with as you would expect. Badly.

Even worse, the voice acting. Think Far Cry 2's hilariously bad voice acting, except done by random hungover people dragged off the street and made read their lines into a microphone wrapped in cling film. This is the stuff of nightmare.

At least some of these crimes against conscious thought might find forgiveness if Ride to Hell weren't such a technical disaster. Crashes, graphical bugs, disappearing audio, and many more issues are shockingly frequent. In some instances, enemies will appear and then die for no apparent reason.

Timed missions sometimes randomly end 30 seconds or more early, and your survival seems randomly determined. When playing Ride to Hell, you exist at the whim of some of the buggiest software ever released.

Gameplay wise, there isn't really much to talk about. You sometimes shoot people, and other times you hit them. This is combat in its most basic, distilled form - boring.

Outside of killing folks, there isn't much to do. There are a few hubs, and there's an open world that supports some degree of exploration, but Ride to Hell completely misses the point of having an explorable landscape. For such an interesting setting, the game is populated with virtually nothing of interest.

There's a shop where you can buy more weapons, and there are a few characters to talk to, but more guns means more awful combat, and more dialogue means more tragic storytelling and unbearable voice acting.

So, that pretty much sums it up for this week. Don't buy this game or play it.

Enniscorthy Guardian