Rise: Race The Future review for Nintendo Switch, PC

Platform: Switch
Also on: PC
Publisher: VD-DEV
Developer: VD-DEV
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

Rise: Race The Future could easily have been a disaster. After all, it?s a futuristic racing game built — in its own words — around drifting and sliding, only the drifting and sliding here are kind of lousy. It?s never a good sign when your game?s core mechanic is an impediment to its own success.

And yet, somehow, Rise succeeds despite that fatal-seeming flaw.

What makes the game work is that you can simply ignore what it wants you to do, and do your own thing. If you just treat this as a straightforward racing game, rather than one where you have to go on long slides around neverending curves, it kind of works.

Admittedly, this can still lead to frustration. The cars here have almost no weight to them, which means that getting bumped can be disastrous, since it?ll send you spinning off to your doom. Of course, this also means that you can ruin your opponents with a well-timed bump — but if you?re close enough to your opponents that you can do that, then your chances of winning are already in jeopardy, since this isn?t a game where you want to be stuck inside the pack.

Luckily, Rise also makes it possible for you to go very, very fast — fast enough that you can zip past your opponents, and fast enough that, if you do it right, you don?t need to worry about bumps. It takes a bit of luck, to be sure, and you?re never so far ahead of your opponents that you can let up (do that, and they?ll definitely catch you), but if you want speed, Rise has it.

And good thing, too, because that?s pretty much a must for any futuristic racing game that borrows from F-Zero, as Rise is. It?s not set quite so far in the future as that franchise, but the spirit is definitely the same. The cars her all look like cars, only with all-terrain tires that take “terrain very literally”, and allow you to take your racing onto lakes and rivers.

Of course, when you get there, you?ll find that the iffy handling makes the game far less enjoyable. The water portions of any track here are the kind of thing you endure, rather than enjoy.

But if you can get through them, as soon as you get back on solid ground you?ll remember that there?s a racing game here worth playing. Rise: Race The Future could definitely be improved, but there?s a good enough base here that if you?re looking for a fun futuristic racing game, this one (mostly) delivers.

VD-DEV provided us with a Rise: Race The Future Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: B