Ubisoft’s big new extreme sports game Riders Republic isn’t out yet. But yesterday, Ubisoft opened the beta up to everyone. So I was able to jump in and experience some of its open-world multiplayer action before its release later this year. I went in expecting big jumps and cool tricks. Instead, I found a terrible cover of “Gangsta’s Paradise” that stopped my virtual avatar in their tracks.
Last night, I was focused on riding my bike through the mountains of Riders Republic, still trying to figure out the controls and get a feel for how these virtual bicycles work. I was so focused that I almost didn’t notice that a new song had started to play in the background. That was until a part of my brain recognized the lyrics and made me lose control of my biker, crashing as result. I got up and stood there, shocked, as I listened to a folk acoustic cover of Coolio’s 1995 classic “Gangsta’s Paradise.”
Dear readers, let me tell you I was stunned by what I was hearing. Up until that point, the soundtrack of this game was what you would expect. Fast rock, some EDM, and some generic instrumental tracks. So this cover caught me totally by surprise. I’ve played more of the beta since hearing this track and I haven’t heard it again. Maybe there is a lot of music in this game? Maybe I’m going crazy and this never happened? But you all hear it too, right? So I’m not going mad. This is a thing. It was made and then put into this game for...some reason.
I’ve reached out to Ubisoft about this cover and who performed it as I can’t track down this version online. I did find other folk and acoustic covers of the song that were equally awful but not this particular disaster found in Rider’s Republic. Also, white people (especially white women who own acoustic guitars), please understand that not every song needs to be given the Mumford and Sons treatment. Please.
Rider’s Republic’s open beta ends on August 28. The full game releases on October 28, 2021 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC, and Stadia. Will “Gangsta’s Paradise” be in the full version? I hope not!