TT Isle of Man 2 Review
So just what is TT Isle of Man exactly? You might think oh, this is a bike racing game. You’re not wrong, although I found the history behind it to be very interesting. The Isle of Man TT is run in a time-trial format on public roads closed to the public. The event consists of one week of practice sessions followed by one week of racing. It has been a tradition, dating back as far as the 1920s. More importantly…it’s now a video game.
Typically I’m not one to be drawn to racing simulator type games – give me a Forza Horizon or Mario Kart any day and I am good to go. I work with many other folks who are drawn to these styles of games, so I had no real idea what I was getting myself into.
The game premise is pretty easy as it’s structured in a Time Trial format as mentioned above, so no real pressure to be the first one to cross that finish line. Your objective is to have the best time as possible, and try not to fall off your bike. (Spoilers, I fell off a lot).
As you compete in practice sessions and various races you of course, in standard game format, unlock more money to upgrade, enhance and customize your bike and crew. There is a pretty good depth to this mechanic with a lot to choose from and even “classic” bikes you can unlock to take to the track.
Speaking of this track, the game designers spare no expense nailing this course down. They actually laser scanned the race to make sure it was accurate. The scenery is accurate as well, as I noticed while racing you can take time to note standout landmarks that exist in real life along the course. The expanded career mode, as well as the classic bikes addition mentioned above, give a little more reason to keep coming back to and finding other ways to enjoy this game. There is also a free roam track where you can take the various bikes out and have fun however you see fit, or practice to nail down those tight turns.
One of the things that always made me cringe while watching bike racing in real life is how they take turns, keeping their knee inches away from the ground. TT Isle of Man gets this perfectly and gave me the same anxiety while playing. When controlling the bike, you are always seconds away from eating asphalt. Just like in real life, if you are going 100 mph on a bike and you hit or brush up against a different surface, you will come off your bike. You can tell they spent a lot of time researching and testing crash physics in this game as they are legit and brutal. Oh yeah, in case you were wondering, this game is HARD.
The visuals are truly a sight to see and are very well done, you get a real feel for the speed that you are traveling. The environment does a good job at feeling alive with crowd reactions, beautiful landscapes and lighting effects. The sound design is masterfully done from the roar to of the engines to the sound of the wind going against you. They even faithfully recorded the sounds of the classic bikes from a historical bike event. The developers really deserve a bunch of credit for lending as much authenticity to TT Isle of Man as they could.
Overall I had a really fun time with this game, it has a steep learning curve but feels rewarding as you get better and better. But it’s also a great game to watch others play and enjoy the ride.