SBK-08 Superbike World Championship Updated Hands-On

Milestone has jumped back on the bike for a second season with SBK-08 Superbike World Championship. We checked it out to see if it's a podium contender.

Last year's official SBK game was a successful outing for developer Milestone, and a game that managed to cater to both the simulation and arcade markets. This year's title makes the jump to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on June 1, and we got our hands on a preview copy for the latter format. The racer provides customisation options, allowing for varying levels of realism and difficulty between arcade and simulation play. It will also include 12 real-life tracks (11 on the Xbox 360 version) including the well-known Phillip Island, Valencia, Monza, Donington, and Magny-Cours.

Go head-to-head with SBK champions including Troy Bayliss and Max Biaggi.

As SBK-08 Superbike World Championship is a fairly realistic game, it's beneficial to spend time in the five tutorials to help bring you up to speed. They involve challenges such as passing through a series of checkpoints at certain speeds, or completing a lap in the wet within a given time frame. Unfortunately, the tuition style proved more autocratic than we'd have liked, and veering even slightly off the track resulted in us being kicked back to the beginning of the lesson.

The menu system is quite similar to that of TOCA Race Driver, with the game's various options presented through a virtual garage. In addition to the usual game modes such as Quick Race, Time Attack, and Championship, SBK-08 will offer bonus content including pictures of races, trophies, and umbrella girls. There's also an online multiplayer mode for up to 16 racers, although we were unable to access this on our preview build.

In addition to the racing season, there are 20 challenges such as reaching a checkpoint within a limited time period, overtaking the race leader on the final lap, or making your rear tyre skid at a certain point. Successfully completing a challenge will earn you a virtual gold medal--not quite an oversized bottle of Mumm champagne, but a reward nonetheless.

Racing in SBK-08 is challenging and rewarding, and there are plenty of options to tweak on each bike should you find it too easy with traction control, braking assistance, or other such aids turned on. If that's not enough of a challenge, there are also four levels of opponent AI ranging from rookie to legend. While we've never hurtled around a grand prix track at breakneck speed, the game offers a good sense of speed, especially given the motion blur effects. The controls are solid and not overly sensitive, but you'll still require quick reflexes if you want to brake sharply at the end of a straight and avoid flying off into the gravel pit.

What motorsport race would be complete without a few grid girls?

Overall, the environments look good and appear to be re-created faithfully. The racers and bikes look authentic, too, right down to small logos on the bikes and leather suits. The tracksides seemed a tad sterile and lacking in smaller details, but the background vistas looked great, with detailed clouds and distant mountains on certain tracks.

SBK-08 still needs some polishing before it's ready to be wheeled out of the garage, as the version we played was missing music and had long load times and some glitches in both the menus and heads-up display. Despite this, the game is looking near to completion, and we hope to see the minor issues ironed out when it launches next month.

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Luke Anderson

Former staff writer for GameSpot.co.uk, now marketing guy for a certain major online retailer....
SBK Superbike World Championship

SBK Superbike World Championship

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39 comments
jason300zx
jason300zx

I got but it but it said there is a error

kevinya331
kevinya331

so hard to control !!! but very good in graphic !!

sikla87
sikla87

ok but we wait for it!! 1 august i come !!

Peppotheboom
Peppotheboom

This game's graphic seems really good compared to other psp bike games, but I don't think i will ever get it.......

IsmirZone
IsmirZone

Yeah the girls gain a few. Look at thes legs.

i_got_you60
i_got_you60

those chicks look ugly and its about damn time a good bike racing game came to the pc

tig1979
tig1979

Yeah i agree with philosoph, 2001 still one of the best sims about, but at least blackbean have picked up the license and are starting to do something with it, last year's effort was the best effort we have had in a long time, although it's not without fault's i agree, hopefully they will keep with it and we will end up with a next gen version of 2001! :)

Philosoph
Philosoph

funny, i've never seen my world turn all blury when riding MY bike, never really digged that whole "we're going fast, lets make EVERYTHING on screen go streaky and non-sensical", started with NFSU and now seems to be a prerequisite for a good racing game. on track graphics look good, but why do the trees still look flat, and why does the modelling on the grid girls look at least 2 years old? maybe i've got a chip about this series from the 2001 release but these guys have to keep up, yeah it's a racing simulation but why not try and make it a bit more than up=go?

tig1979
tig1979

Yes there is a Moto GP 08 coming ARROW89- How can you say TT is better than this? This game isn't even out?!! GAMEFROG1- thats like saying how is command and conquer different from warcraft, same as all the other RTS' out there, or whats different about CoD4 and Postal 2 they are both FPS

GAMEFROG1
GAMEFROG1

looks boring.whats new about this bike game from others.

FabioPizzini
FabioPizzini

I'm tired too tired to see the same game ... for xbox360 and ps3. If the business will be make same game for both consoles, tell to sony and m$ to make an console together e bye bye ... I'm really tired to see poor graphic and poor gameplay because the game it is made for TWO console!!!

viet1125
viet1125

Why don't they put some real hot girl into the game? Just like NFS did with Krystal Forscutt.

viet1125
viet1125

Why don't they put some real hot girl into the game? Just like NFS did with Krystal Forscutt.

viet1125
viet1125

Why don't they put some real hot girl into the game? Just like NFS did with Krystal Forscutt.

Tclev
Tclev

Does anyone know if this game is coming out in the US or is a European exclusive?

CharlieFubar
CharlieFubar

someone should make a next gen Jet Moto... and include updated versions of ice crusher and nightmare lol

shamim101
shamim101

i would like to know can i control the bikes easily!I played 2001 version its was too hard for me!lol

be_41asif
be_41asif

hmmm To Much Crazy and nice Graphical Game SBK, WoooowwwwwwW

vinceaux
vinceaux

I'd like to see if the online version is ok...

checampbell
checampbell

MOTOFAN 87 - do you know if moto gp 08 is coming out ? i read the last one was the last one - studio been bought over and making a kids racer.

loveexousia
loveexousia

I was play old road rush. Still have CD. I dont know why stupid people give minus rate for people who talk about road rush. What is stupid rate gonna do, make you father happy ?

arrow89
arrow89

tourist trophy is still better than this.....

dutch777
dutch777

the grid girls look good though!!

revelations
revelations

They have a high level that was set before them by Moto GP. Those were easily the best Cycle-Sim racing games I've ever played. Still, I'm all for any racing games coming out since they're so rare, even on the 360.

motofan87
motofan87

can't wait...first one rocked. Next best thing till MotoGP 08 is out...

Terick
Terick

Im not a fan of these racing games ( other than Raod rash haha) but these graphics got me saying daaaaam, at first site. they are crazy

kweeni
kweeni

hmm...never actually had a motor race game before, but i did rent one ones however that was like years ago. i think i'll get this one for psp but first i'll wait till it will cost like 20 euros or maby less

tig1979
tig1979

I would ahve preffered if a company like this got the Moto GP license as well, none of the Moto GP games we have had have been worth anything really, GP500 by Microprose was pretty good though, otherwise poor showing of arcadey rubbish

AdrianWerner
AdrianWerner

Ermm...debut for Milestone? They've been making racing gamers for a decade. Including the only case of motocycle racing game that got 9.0 score at GS

wildnine00
wildnine00

Yeah I haven't played a SBK game since 01. Hopefully tig is right and they borrow a lot from that game. I want full realism. Moto gp was just too arcade for me.

OPOLO
OPOLO

Im not sure I will get this yet! I've been playng MotoGP for so many years, I don't think I need two cycle games at this time. I'll wait until the used price is around 30 bucks

burn791
burn791

i used to have SBK 07 for PSP and i spent a lot more time playing that than moto gp so i hope the 360 version is as good.. the gameplay & graphics was'nt the only good thing about the game was the girls on the menu & loading screens helped to pass the time waiting for a race to load!!

tig1979
tig1979

Cant wait for this, the devs been saying they have listened to the fans saying they want more of SBK2001 etc so hopefully it will be a big influence with this, last year's effort was pretty good, hope they build on it and give us a killer game this year, wish someone would do BSB too though, those tight little circuits and crazy overtake moves would make an awesome games!