We take a look at Milestone’s latest two wheeled racing game to hit consoles and PC and give it a good thrashing as we hit the jumps, tear up the track and compete in some dastardly racing. With all things being quite muddy in MXGP The official Motocross Videogame, how well does it stack up and more importantly is it worth a purchase. Take a look at our MXGP The Official Motocross Videogame review for the full lowdown.
MXGP The Official Motocross Videogame review:
Today we’re taking a look at Milestone’s off road racing game and official rendition of motocross on consoles and PC in MXGP The Official Motocross Videogame. Following a standard formula as seen it its other games such as MotoGP, this muddy offering provides all the usual suspects including a quick race option, Grand Prix, championship, Time Attack, Online play and the meat of the single player game in a career mode.
To begin, players are shown the ropes with narrated menus and a number of optional tutorial videos which whilst intrusive are worth paying attention to as the gameplay requires a slightly different control approach to what other games employ. From the offset, the dual stick control makes sense as players use one stick to control the position of the bike and the other to shift the position and weight of the rider. Under normal racing conditions these aren’t so important, but due to the uneven nature of the authentically reproduced official tracks means that positioning and balance are extremely important if A you want to stay on the bike going over various humps and B if you want to stand any chance of winning.
The dual stick approach takes a little time to get used to, and in some instances only requires light touches to be effective, but when coupled with front and rear breaking means that players have full control over their vehicle and rider which feels pretty spot on. There are several things to be aware of when racing around the tracks aside from the other aggressive riders who might get in your way, or even knock you off in an untimely collision. These amount to taking tight turns with the correct positioning, speeding up or slowing down over massive jumps, performing scrubs in mid-air and as mentioned, leaning backwards or forwards over bumps to optimize the bike’s grip to maintain speed. It’s certainly a more technical game than what initially meets the eye and ends up being heaps of fun to boot.
The career mode is a good place to start the game as players choose a rider, perform a bit of customization, select a manager, then rise up the ranks on the pro circuit. It’s here where players can tailor the meets to include full weekend events which allow for practice, qualification and then the two main races, or skip the extras and just dive into the racing. The default sets the game on easy which is a good start, but once players get the hang of riding like a demon, becomes rather too easy with players leading for most of the race which feels less competitive. Upping the difficulty raises the challenge making for a more rounded play experience. Between events players can select various options in the base of operations, and its here where emails can be checked, teams can be signed up to and even a nose at the social feed to see what other riders are saying about your performance. It’s a neat hub of sorts which works well in context and adds a bit of realism to the post race.
In terms of its looks, MXGP looks fairly decent although isn’t the greatest looking racer from Milestone who previously have done a grand job with their MotoGp series. Whilst events are a little more muddy here, there are some noticeable dips in frames and a look which overall isn’t a polished. Things like riders falling into the dirt rather than on it, raise some eyebrows, but these oddities can be easily forgiven. What is neat though is how the track gets carved up as the bike wheels churn up the dirt, although this does feel more cosmetic more than affecting things like traction. The bikes and rides look the part too, although overall the interface is functional rather than slick and well presented.
Audio is fairly solid here with some authentic bike sounds, ambient effects and minimal intrusion of music. There’s no commentary, making the aural sphere well focused on the bikes, just how it should be really.
In terms of longevity, there are plenty of circuits from around the globe to race on in the many events on offer, and with two classes of bikes means that single players won’t be running out of things to do for a while. For those online connected, there’s single races and championships to partake in, with a few other online racers to contend with. Races are naturally thrilling and tense, making for some fine online moments to cherish, if you can get into the games and find enough opponents.
To conclude, MXGP handles well and represents a fine, fun filled technical rendition of the sport that should be appealing to fans and non fans alike. Whilst perhaps lacking in overall polish, the game is still worth playing and maintains its momentum with thrilling races that you won’t find in any regular racing game. If you’re after something different and have never shown an interest in motocross, then this is a good place to start as the game is accessible, and tailored to suit the beginner to seasoned pro. The sport might not be as popular as the grander MotoGP series but is well worth a look.
Score 8/10 – Review by Robert Cram
Review code supplied by Xbox.