he world of racing games is pretty cut and dry when you get down to it. The basic premise is based around you going up against various individuals in the hopes of reaching the finish line first, which (if you’re successful) will result in you going up against another set of individuals in the hopes of placing first once again. Riveting stuff through and through. So, if that’s the case, why do we as gamers bother playing different racers at all (assuming you do, of course)? Well, I suppose the answer is in the spectacle.
Spectacle is something that can be summed up as, at least in racing game terms, a thing that’s really, really, cool. For example, Burnout Paradise has awesome crashes, Gran Turismo has stellar visuals, and MX vs ATV: All Out has both of those things but to a much lesser degree. Honestly, this may be a bit harsh but MX vs ATV: All Out has to be one of the most okay games I’ve ever seen.
So yes, keeping with the spectacle aspect, MX vs ATV certainly has it, but it’s not really consistent. There was never a point playing where I went; “Whooo! This is awesome!”, instead, it was more so a; “Yeah, alright”. The gameplay is fine, pulling off tricks is fine, the courses are fine… for the most part, there were a couple of tracks here and there that were pretty basic, but I assume those are more for practicing your corners rather than actual racing. Still, all in all this title just has the air of ‘fine’ around it.
Actually, taking a look at the game’s design, it feels like the developers at Rainbow Studios went about making the game with a sequel or DLC structure in mind, as in, as long as the base game comes out okay then they can build/add-on for the future. That being said, the Anniversary Edition of MX vs ATV: All Out does come with some neat features like a few more challenging courses and a couple of nice design options for your bike or ATV. At the same time, however, these are nicer additions to a base game which, as has already been established, is simply okay.
Credit where credit is due, though, as the added tracks from the Anniversary Edition are pretty rad (look at me with the hip lingo). How so? Well, let me answer that question with another question. Have you ever wanted to race on a course that was hosted by a one’s and zero’s version of Slash? Of course you have, it’s Slash! I mean, personally, I would have preferred a digital version of A Flock of Seagulls performing “I Ran (So Far Away)” but beggars can’t be choosers. Anyway, the Slash courses are quite entertaining in that hectic, adrenaline rush sort of way that most of the other tracks seem to lack. As well, there’s a decent amount of skill required to make it across the finish line first, which is always a plus as far as replayability goes.
Courses aside, I want to discuss a very specific aspect of MX vs ATV that any fan will be bound to notice. Oddly enough, it’s not the gameplay, which you think would be an important part of the game, but really it’s just sort of there. It exists (cue the confetti). No, what I’m talking about is the soundtrack. Now let me just say, since I’m a garbage person that likes early 2000’s hard rock, the soundtrack to the MX vs ATV games has always been my jam. However, in MX vs ATV: All Out, instead of having groups like Shinedown, Papa Roach, or Celldweller playing their sick licks, we have…. The Offspring. Well that’s fine, which is par for the course in this game I guess. I felt there was definitely more that could have been done in this department, but I also understand that licensing music can be a real pain.
With these things in mind, is the MX vs ATV: All Out Anniversary Edition worth picking up? Well, I’ll say it’s worth picking up as opposed to the base game, but not something worth getting in general. There are just better titles out there that have done more interesting things with the racing genre. Hell, there are better MX vs ATV titles that have done more interesting things with the racing genre. So yeah, unless you’re a huge, huge fan of the series, then I wouldn't go all out on this one, as the developers certainly didn’t.
MX vs ATV All Out Anniversary Edition (Reviewed on Xbox One)
The game is average, with an even mix of positives and negatives.
Unless you’re a huge, huge fan of the series, then I wouldn't go all out on this one, as the developers certainly didn’t.