Starting October 21, Ubisoft has opened the doors to its brand new open-world extreme sports game. Republic of the Cavaliers. The free trial provides up to four hours of time for biking, skiing, snowboarding, and even flying around a mashed version of America’s most iconic national parks. After doing everything we can in that time, here are our practical impressions of the trial.
I want to ride a bike
The ordeal begins when you cycle down a mountain and that’s easily what I enjoyed the most. I spent a large part of my test doing things on my bike. One of the areas where biking really shines are stunts. These are small courses in the game where players must reach the finish line before the time runs out. The acrobatic cycling routes are by far the best because they are extremely imaginative. Even the bike races feel high level, as some of them even got me donning goofy outfits like T-Rex costumes as I tumbled downhill.
Flying is surprisingly boring
If you’ve played Steep, you’ve probably been introduced to rocket costume before. It’s a costume with a small jetpack attached to the back. Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? Well, it’s okay. The races are straightforward and the only stunt course I found didn’t differ much from the races. I would say the rocket suit is great for getting around, but the world is covered with fast moving points. You can also get to most events and races quickly, so that doesn’t have much use. Unless you’re dodging rocks and tree branches, flying through rings in the sky is so much fun.
Alternative means of travel
Riders Republic offers alternative means of transportation. I have already mentioned fast travel but sometimes you will need to cover certain distances. One of the first things the game offers players is a snowmobile for getting around snowy areas quickly. I realize that I rejected the rocket suit, but the snowmobile is a lot less bulky to use when you go smaller distances. There was another way to travel, something that involved a parachute but honestly I didn’t use it. You will unfortunately have to read about it in our review when it comes out.
No freedom in customization
Unfortunately, Republic of the Cavaliers seems to carry on Ubisoft’s tradition of incorporating an incredibly lackluster character creator. It sounds a lot like Breakpoint in that there is very little to choose from. There are maybe four or five face types, skin colors ranging from light to dark and then to green at random, and hardly any hairstyle. You also can’t choose your clothes, so everyone starts with the same outfit for every sport. You can make money buying new clothes, but they’re ridiculously expensive to encourage monetization of the game. I find it odd that a game touting a sense of freedom is so restrictive in this regard. Again, I’m not surprised either. If you want to create a skinny, hipster Hulk, you’re good to go.
The big and beautiful world
The world is huge and fun to play. If you want to take a break, there are plenty of hidden rewards to look for and landmarks to discover. At one point in the test, one of the courses I unlocked was in the lower corner of the map. Although I could have traveled quickly, I saw it as an opportunity to cycle there. I descended snow covered mountain slopes, across grassy plains and finally off a cliff into a deep, dark canyon. Along the way I picked up a few collectibles and even met a guy who gifted me a great bike or two!
Overall I had a great time with the Republic of the Cavaliers trial. I wasn’t able to unlock all the sports during the trial so I can’t wait to see what else is there. If you are thinking of purchasing the game, I highly recommend that you give it a try. The introduction is a bit long and it takes a while before you take full control. The progression also continues and the trial is completely free. There really is no reason not to play it and experience it for yourself before it ends on October 27th.