The action looks very nice, all crisply rendered bikes and recognizable locales. One nice touch is when you’re in first-person mode, peering over the top of your bike’s windshield. You’ll notice your rider’s hands at the edge of the picture, dabbing at the brakes and flicking through the gears. You’ll also find that the view is jarred by the countless imperfections in the surface, making it a real battle to keep your eye on the road - just like the real thing. It’s easily the most thrilling way to watch the tarmac rattle by. But it’s pretty dangerous.
There will be 14 teams featured in SBK 07, each featuring two riders from the World Championship. Five bike manufacturers provide the rides for the teams: Suzuki, Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki and Ducati, the only non-Japanese maker involved in the series, and unsurprisingly the best bikes on hand. There’ll be a limited amount of tuning parameters available for whichever bike you select, but what’s really up for modification here is your own riding style. Practice really does edge you closer to perfect. What might seem bastard-hard at first will slowly reveal itself to be a very comprehensive and addictive simulation of two-wheeled racing.
To get the most realistic experience possible, you’ll want to switch off all of the rider aids as soon as you’ve got the basic concept of not falling off your bike in a shower of flaked leather and scorched skin. There are three stages of preset rider aids, imaginatively titled novice, intermediate and professional - although you can further customize your experience around those parameters. Ultimately, you’ll need everything switching off to get your head around what this game will do best. And what it does best is challenge you, never letting you settle into the gas-brake-turn routine it’s so easy to fall back on with four-wheeled games. If you decide that you’re up for the challenge, then SBK 07 will reward your patience and dedication.