ENTER THE BRIGHT NEON LIGHTS OF NIGHTTIME NEOKYO –
This was Zwift’s worst kept secret and compared to RGT Cycling’s ability to create a multi-verse of courses – Zwift takes it’s time to drop a new map. Was this one worth waiting for?
Today we look our first look and I took a sneak view of Mike Lister live-streaming yesterday – as soon as the new map dropped.
As a long-time and keen Zwifter, it’s easy to get excited when these new routes are campaigned by Zwift HQ. What is the course like in real life?
It’s important to remember that whatever route that you are on and whatever virtual cycling platform you use, you are still sitting still on a smart-trainer in your garage. It’s also important to remember that if it wasn’t for Zwift, we would all be probably still riding on much inferior indoor trainers and following a training plan. Club-mates would still say ‘I tell you what, I managed 46 minutes on a turbo the other night and it was the longest time that I’ve ever managed on a turbo – it was hard!’
We can therefore forgive Zwift of many things. The thing that I was having to try and forgive them for was the planet killing graphics that were being promoted by ZHQ right smack in the middle of COP26! I had visions of this being a world that was one that would be one of the last dystpoic visions of humanity before we all wipe ourselves off the face of the planet through our wanton acceleration of climate change!!
Riding the course today and I was very pleasantly surprised. It’s rather lovely in parts and shows the the beauty of Japan. It’s still Zwift’s slightly cartoony graphics and on my gaming PC, they looked pretty good. I enjoyed riding past a gold course and market traders selling their wares. It was all rather pleasant. It was also good and unusual to see more riders on Neokyo than on Watopia – is this a first?
The flat loop is ideal for the Pace Bots and it would be a very welcome upgrade for Zwifters to have the Pace Bots more on this the world map – we’ve been on Watopia far too long.
Other than the obvious graphics – the course reminded me in so many parts of London and Yorkshire – Fox Hill in particular looks like it was dragged and dropped into this world map and had a a refresh on the graphics. I’ve noticed this on previously new worlds. The only one for me that still makes me wonder are the adult themed ‘love toy’ rocks on the Tempus Fugit course!
Will this new world map rock your world? Probably not, but it’s got to be better than Richmond and also London. Personally, I subscribe to happiness comes from being in greenery. If I can’t be in it IRL, I want it as close enough in doors. Neokyo ticks those boxes in many way.
I’ll probably avoid the urban neon sights going forwards and from a riding stationary indoors goes – my Elite Director X and Elite Rizer combo (IMHP the Ferrari of smart trainer set ups) worked brilliantly, ascending, descending and steering. It was as if the course was built and tested using the combo!
With Zwift’s marketing budget and power-house PR, you might have missed what I think was the biggest virtual cycling news of the week and that was the new RGT Cycling one-app. All my moans about RGT were taken away with one app. As a. cycling review team with no affiliation (or funding) from any of the virtual cycling platforms, I can tell you that RGT might not have the crowds, but it’s some training platform.
In summary – the new world map on Zwift is very good. There are lots of interesting thing to look at and Zwift was also dropped some nice little features in as bonus items to the new world.