The Isle of Man Tourist Trophy is one of the most famous motorcycle racing events of all time, but it is also one of the most dangerous. Since it began in 1907, there have been a total of 265 riders who have lost their lives across practices, qualifying, and the main race itself, not to mention the tragedies involving spectators over the years. Playing TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge 3, it is clear to see just why these tragedies occurred, with tight corners in claustrophobic pockets of the island, all while racing at over 200kph to achieve success.
The competition was stripped of its world championship status in 1977 because of the sheer number of deaths, and now racers participate because they want to, not because it is a part of winning a title. As high as these risks are, and as punishing as the courses can be, people still participate. Whether it’s down to the thrill of the race, bragging rights, or pure unadulterated passion for the sport, RaceWard has encapsulated this world renowned TT in all its glory, laid bare for players to see. From the moment you’re let loose on the island, the dangers present themselves, and the adrenaline is what kept me so enamoured by it.
Handling in TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge 3 is superb, but the learning curve takes time to master. It feels like you’re handling something both delicate and powerful, and managing the high speeds on the longer stretches with sharp turns amid dense woodlands and busy streets is no easy task. Bikes are weighty, and every turn requires precision and careful consideration so as not to cause an unnecessary crash. The animations of when you do clip something, or miscalculate manoeuvring and fly into the scenery are brutal, highlight just how fragile it can feel when racing.
When you do start to become familiar with the handling and the layouts of the courses, it’s very rewarding. It took a good few hours to balance the speed and power of the bikes, but when you’re going so fast aware of the dangers, yet are still managing to stay on your wheels, it’s one of the most exhilarating experiences I’ve had in a racing game. Sometimes it can be a little too sensitive, especially when riding over the edge of a muddy embankment or some gravel, causing you to almost lose control and even fall off, but it will start to click. Learning the nuances of the courses and the different bikes is thoroughly enjoyable.
TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge 3 gives you a ton of freedom to explore the island when not racing, allowing you to get familiar with every road, straight, and chicane. While the visuals aren’t as impressive as other racers, there’s been a lot of detail put in to recreating the Isle of Man. Truth be told, you don’t have a lot of time to enjoy the scenery anyway, given you’re so focused on trying not to fall off your bike. As you do explore the open roads and participate in various time trials and races, the sound design is fantastic, especially with how the DualSense has been used on PlayStation 5.
The throttle roars through the controller’s speaker, and the vibrations when speeding across the terrain can be felt in the palm of your hands, helping to immerse you in the thrills of competition. Every gear change feels like a pounding heartbeat, and the power of the bikes connect deeply with you as you’re playing. It’s yet another step in making you aware of both the excitement and the dangers of the TT, while showcasing the improvements made on the previous entry in the series. A fair amount of work has gone into making players aware of the competition and giving them enough to do in the process.
As you make your way across the island, there’re various icons that represent something for you to do. You can participate in either the Supersport or Superbike 2022 Season, and once you’ve decided if you want to race with a lighter or more powerful bike, you’re free to participate in a variety of challenges. Face-Offs see you race against a single component; Time Attacks give you the opportunity to beat a set time; Temporary Challenges don’t last forever, but give you another opportunity to set your best time; and Custom Events created by you or others can be undertaken as well. On top of these are the unofficial qualifiers and race events that make up your season until you’re ready to go for the iconic race itself.
The island is also filled with Discovery Points that provide background to the Isle of Man TT and its famous location as well, celebrating the rich history of the event. There’s plenty to do in TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge 3, and you’re rewarded for you victories and achievements, allowing to upgrade your bike’s components such as the chassis, suspension, and engine, increase or decrease the amount of fuel in the tank, and more. Having a better bike means a higher chance of success, and the reward loop is as satisfying as it gets.
TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge 3 is both brutal and thrilling, highlighting the dangers of the races you’ll find on the island whilst giving you one hell of a racing experience. It is difficult to begin with, and even after getting familiar with the gameplay, it still has frustrating moments, such as spending over 20 minutes in a Time Attack only to fail to beat the time. You’re putting in a lot of time into certain events because of the distance they cover, however, practice leads to success, and as you start to get better, there are few racers out there that make you feel as good as this.
Fun gameplay loop
Tricky to master