The International Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) Race is an annual motorcycle sport event run on the Isle of Man in May or June of most years since its inaugural race in 1907. It’s widely considered the hardest, most dangerous but exciting motor event in the world…and the game is truly a carbon copy of reality.
So lets get this review underway. The introduction is so spectacular it really does get you into the mood for burning some rubber. The sound and the images are so pleasing; it makes your hairs stand up on end. However, don’t come here expecting an easy ride; there’s a hell of a learning curve. I am experienced racing gamer with what I considered a decent level of skill. That was until I ran into this monster.
The racing style is utterly brutal. I have ridden a few motorbikes on real world roads and this is as close to that reality as you can get in game. Make a mistake and you’re going to have more than a few skid marks in your pants. Take a corner too fast and you’ll soon learn to slow down next time or you’ll find yourself in a field with some sheep and your bike nowhere to be seen.
The game play itself is a breath of fresh air. The way the bikes handle around corners is so much fun. There is none of this “hold down Y to rewind” when you crash which has become the staple in some other racers and the game is all the better for it. The graphics and surroundings are some of the best I have seen in quite some time – even if you are rushing past at 100mph. The colours really pop and give you the feel that you’re on a bike.
The sounds the bikes make around the course only add to this feel – all sound exactly as you’d expect. I do feel they could have made one concession to this being a game – in the sound department. Now I know that real TT racers don’t have access to music when they’re riding, but there isn’t really a reason why we couldn’t have a decent soundtrack, sat at home on the sofa. Races can take a decent amount of time and some background music wouldn’t have gone amiss.
Your choice of motorbikes is decent, with each make and model coming with it’s own perks and feeling different around the island. For me personally, it’s all about fast bikes. Then, it’s all down to whether you can handle them or not. New racers or those unfamiliar with the genre could perhaps start with something a little slower, until you understand how the game works and just how far you can push yourself before the bike becomes unstable.
The game itself has 6 or 7 game modes which will have you entertained for a few hours. I put most of my time into the career mode and in my opinion, most gamers will be doing the same. The challenges presented in this mode, time trials and smaller scale races to unlock new bikes really kept me coming back. I only really scratched the surface in the online mode but the servers had no problems while I was playing and everything seemed to stay stable.