Harley Davidson – Race to the Rally Review for PC

Harley Davidson racing is back in Harley Davidson – Race to the Rally

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jun. 03, 2008

Harley Davidson racing is back in Harley Davidson – Race to the Rally. Exclusive to the PC and Playstation 2 systems, Race to the Rally is published by Activision. If you have played previous Harley Davidson games you will know what you are getting yourself into, budget title games with low review scores – Harley Davidson Race to the Rally unfortunately continues this tradition.

The whole point of the game is to race from the southwest side of the United States up into Sturgis for the massive biker event. Beginning in Big Slur California the player will race through fifteen different locations all the way up to the Dakotas into Sturgis. The game presents itself in a tour mode; the player must get in the top three of each event section in order to unlock the next area. Once this section is beaten then the player can go back and re-race the section in a newly opened feature. Players expecting a true to life Harley Davidson experience don’t bother. The game is mixed with both realistic features such us upgrading ones bike to buying different Harley Davidson’s and true to life land locations. And then come the unrealistic features of the game which include doing certain objectives per race such as making near misses with traffic, hitting wheelies or going head on to traffic all of which earn you boosts. The player is able to hit jumps and knockdown other opponents as well to increase this boost ability, which when used will blur the screen and increase the bikes speed for a short period. All sounds like fun but it truly is not, and not very realistic.

Game Details

Published by: Activision
Developed by:
Release Date: November 28, 2006
Avaialable on: PC, Playstation 2
Number of Players: 1 - 2

Harley Davidson: RttR has a very arcade-ish feel to it, but not enough to make it enjoyable. The game comes of as a confused child that doesn’t know if he wants chocolate or vanilla ice cream so gets a scoop of both. Although it may be good to get both, the game should have stuck to its guns and picked one solid style and saved the next style for a future game. The controls in the game are easy to use but become frustrating when traffic is thrown in. Expect AI traffic with little to no reasoning, as they will quickly switch lanes for no reason, swerve in front of you and just blatantly hit you. This will cause a crash sequence, which is little to be desired for, as your bike will go flying with debris and your body will be thrown around like a rag doll with no rhyme or reason. From this point the rider and bike are quickly restarted and off to race again.

Motorcycle.com found the tracks to be interesting at first but by the end long and boring, seeming like the end of the race would never come. The game includes a checkpoint system and players must pass through the checkpoint within an allotted time, yet it does not tell the user how many checkpoints are left. We found ourselves three quarters of the way through a race wondering if it would ever end, having much preferred shorter sections than long ones – why not break them in half?

The amount of customizing is fun but seems pointless at times. The speed and driving increases from upgrades or even from bike-to-bike purchases but are few and not overly noticeable – it’s more of a visual appeal if anything. Players can also choose different bikers depending on their mood and progress in the game, a nice feature but expected.

The graphics once again match the arcade style of the game. The colors are rich and vibrant to the point they look unrealistic. The traffic is boxy and detailed just enough to look acceptable. However the game does feature detailed bikes, impressive lighting effects and little slow down. The graphics overall are acceptable neither adding nor subtracting from the overall experience.

The sound effects are typical and as expected for this type of game. The music is fitting for a Harley Davidson type game.

Overall Harley Davidson Road to the Rally is an arcade game that hasn’t found its true form. Visually it looks like an arcade game and suites the style of game very well. The controls are easy to pick up and jump into and have a few races. However the game is fairly short and can be beaten quickly. As well the traffic will prove to be frustrating and annoying time and time again as they get in your way and do anything to make you lose. With the ability to customize each bike and a variety of tracks the game will keep you playing until its beaten or you get bored. A decent arcade bike racer that should only be considered at a discounted budget title price and for die-hard Harley fans.

Gameplay 6.5 / 10
  • Fun arcade bike racer
  • Lots of tracks and true to life US areas
Graphics 7.25 / 10
  • Arcade looking graphics
  • Standard graphics that are neither wowing or disappointing
Audio 7.5 / 10
  • Standard run of the mill biker music- it fits
Lasting Appeal 4 / 10
  • Not many races with nothing to come back for
  • Beat it once and never come back
Overall Score 7 / 10