TT Isle of Man – Review

I have always said that I am a fan of racing games, and I am, I love the adrenaline that comes with racing games, those hair-raising moments when you make an epic overtake on a bend, so I was excited to give TT Isle of Man a try, never been one for bikes, I have to admit, so I thought this would be a refreshing change from the norm.

When you start the game up and get going, it asks if you would like to take part in the tutorial, I decided that I would do the tutorial, just so I can see what the game feels like to play before I go balls deep in a career or other mode within the game.

After playing through the tutorial, I noticed that it was very basic, and I mean basic, it shows and tells you what to do, so right trigger accelerates, left trigger brakes and everything else it includes, but there isn’t much more beyond that. You learn about changing gears, using the racing lines etc, but I felt as though it wasn’t extensive enough. I know you can’t really get more exhaustive than starting and stopping a bike, but there were elements which felt like I needed to be in that scenario to actually get to grips with the game and this particular instruction that I was being asked to do. After you have completed the tutorial you can go back to it at any time as the option is in the menus, but I felt like it was a little pointless to do so and that I learned much more from just racing in events etc. After all, you learn from your mistakes right? And flying off a road on the final bend to end up last when you were first is a mistake to learn from!

I will admit that the game does look stunning, the graphics are sublime and the detail in each race is brilliant, and whether you’re going through the majestic hillsides of Wales, small English villages or the rough and ready roads of Scotland, the scenery will take your breath away. The sounds of bikes screaming as they reach 150mph, the wind blowing at you and feeling every bump in the road, this games gets that spot on and I loved having that experience.

However, what I didn’t enjoy about the game was the mechanics, the actual driving element of the game for me wasn’t there, it seemed very hit and miss. You can try to play the game without any assists on what so ever, but the game will punish you for it. Do you want a fast start? Forget it, the bike will simply fly from underneath you and into the guy in front or the bush down the road. Want to try and take a corner quick to get the edge over your opponents? Forget it, the bike will more than likely fly from under you, or you will topple or go too wide, regardless of how slow you go into the corner, and when you do start to make progress, the slowness that you eventually have to head into corners and make it out alive just shoots your chances of competing right down!

Even with assists and following the road markings, sometimes doing what it says to get that perfect turn won’t allow you to compete, even when you’re on straight roads and you’re flying down, you never get a safe gap with your opponent, they will always be there and one mess up and you’re at the back of the queue. All your hard work goes down the pan. There never seems to be a steady medium and this is what frustrated me most about the game, with or without assists you’re on an uphill battle with the game, yes it looks fantastic, but the mechanics just don’t cut it I’m afraid.

There are several modes on offer for you to play, you can have a quick race if you’re after a quick fix, you can have a go at a time attack, or start your own career. There is also a multiplayer option you can try, but I have to admit, I didn’t try it due to the fact that the game frustrated me in single player mode.

One highlight I will point out is that there are the official licenses within the game, which means bikes, sponsors etc are all there to add to the environment within the game.

It’s a shame that a game which offers so much for an iconic event like this is let down by the bikes acting like Torville and Dean and skating all over the place. If the mechanics were better, this would be a top-notch racer to enjoy.