Ubisoft’s new extreme sports game brings 50-player races to next gen

Ubisoft’s newest game is called Riders Republic, and it looks like a massively multiplayer mashup of the company’s Trials and Steep franchises, set in the United States’ most scenic national parks. It launches Feb. 25, 2021 on Google Stadia, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.

In the announcement trailer revealed Thursday during Ubisoft Forward, viewers were shown wingsuits, mountain bikes, snowboards and other popular means of conveyance in the great outdoors. Races look huge, with dozens of competitors aboard different rides, jumping and tricking as they go.

“It’s really an extreme sports fantasyland,” said Manfred Neber, a designer with Ubisoft Annecy, which is leading development. The studio was also behind 2016’s ski-and-snowboarding racer Steep. A follow-on presentation showed Riders Republic with X Games and other real world extreme sports brands licensed to appear.

A news release from Ubisoft said Riders Republic will feature PvP races of more than 50 other players, with courses running through America’s Bryce Canyon, Yosemite Valley, Sequoia, Zion, Canyonlands, Mammoth Mountain, and Grand Teton National Parks.

In addition to the huge free-for-all races, players will also find six-on-six team events, an online leaderboard challenge, and a progression system with accompanying bling, gear, and other rewards for created athletes.

Riders Republic will run at 60 fps on next-gen consoles and display more than 50 players simultaneously live on screen,” Ubisoft said. “With the game’s very intuitive character and camera control combined with an innovative trick system, all players, casual and hardcore, will have the chance to experience untapped joy from the very beginning.”

Ubisoft claims it’s working to address reports of harassment, sexual misconduct, and racial insensitivity at the company, in the wake of employees speaking out about a longstanding toxic work culture. Since those stories emerged, multiple executives have resigned or been fired from Ubisoft. The company’s CEO, Yves Guillemot, issued a public apology in a video released ahead of the company’s latest Ubisoft Forward presentation, saying he’s “fully committed to leading the change at Ubisoft and to ensuring we always uphold and exemplify our core values.” Guillemot’s comments were notably not included in the live Ubisoft Forward presentation.

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