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MXGP2: The Official Motocross Videogame Review

MXGP2: The Official Motocross Videogame Review

There was a time in extreme motorsports when Monster didn’t sponsor every single thing they possibly could. Advertisements were free of that little green M, and the sport was a fairly niche affair. Monster need to make sure they have somewhere else to promote themselves, which is why we have MGXP2.

It’s been two years since MXGP: The Official Motocross VideoGame, a game that got mixed reviews but held a lot of potential. The general consensus was that the next MXGP release from Milestone S.r.l. would be the one to elevate it beyond the usual crowd of hardcore bike fans.

One of the biggest complaints with the last game was the lack of control over the bike and the rider. Momentum and physics play a big part of motocross, so having full control over your movement is vital to ensuring an authentic experience. Milestone S.r.l. have nailed the bike physics this time round, giving players separate control over the bike and the driver. The rider's weight is mapped to the right analogue stick, and can be used to help the bike through tight corners and adjust to bumps and ramps in the track. The left stick controls the bike, along with clutch controls on the shoulder buttons with the standard brake and accelerate.

It was quite jarring to begin with as the level of multitasking expected of you is daunting at first, but after a few hours of wrestling with the control scheme, I started to find my flow. Acclimatizing to the way the bike handles is an enjoyable experience- it was similar to the first time I played Skate. A system that was unlike anything I had ever controlled before, finding myself frustrated to begin with before eventually becoming obsessed with getting over the difficulty bump.

MXGP2 comes with the standard bread and butter of all motorsport games- a career mode alongside other various real world events that only Motocross fans would likely know or care about. The career mode is pretty much what you would expect: pick a team, race for them loads, pick a better team, race for them loads, rinse and repeat. It’s not the most exhilarating gameplay loop, but one that works well enough for racing games. There’s some other shallow stuff added on top, like social media accounts and emails, but they ultimately add nothing to the experience. There’s also a multiplayer mode, in which players can race against each other. I couldn’t find a lobby during the times I tried the multiplayer, which is likely an issue that can only get worse with time.

The licensing is one of the game's most impressive features, everything from bikes to racers are equivalent to their real world counterparts. Big fans of the sport are going to enjoy the level of realism on offer here, much like fans of football enjoy the yearly offering of FIFA. I dare say there’s a good chance that some people playing MGXP2 might find themselves interested in the actual Motocross events, as the game does a great job of conveying the action and drama of the sport. There is a huge selection of bikes, along with an equally impressive amount of customisation options. There’s plenty to get stuck into if you like creating specific bike builds and performance options.

Track deterioration is also a big part of MXGP2. Milestone S.r.l. have set about creating a realistic simulation of how mud and earth reacts to the constant battering it takes. In turn, the bikes react to the ground, with deep crevices being created all around the track. It adds an element of unpredictability to how the bike controls and reacts, which can be a positive or a negative, depending on your dedication to the sport. I found myself using the rewind feature in MGXP2 more than any other racing game I’ve played. This is partially down to the random reactions the bike has to mud on the track. It often just feels unfair, and a few minor mistakes can lead to poor race results.

The races themselves aren’t actually that hard. I actually found qualifying to be more of a challenge than racing the AI. Although getting stuck among the other drivers can be a bit annoying sometimes, I ended up arse over elbow on more than one occasion having been nudged by the AI. This, along with the random track physics make for some pretty frustrating gameplay at times.

Once again, I feel MXGP has fallen short of its full potential, but that’s not to say it isn’t a great game. If you are a fan of Motocross, then this game is pretty much perfect for you, but those who aren’t might be a little hard to persuade. Regardless of this, Milestone S.r.l should be happy with the excellent control system they’ve created. I was initially infuriated, but I found myself enamoured with its complexity. If you love bikes, MGXP2 is for you; if you don’t, the gameplay is solid enough that you might still find some enjoyment.

7.50/10 7½

MXGP2 - The Official Motocross Videogame (Reviewed on PlayStation 4)

This game is good, with a few negatives.

MXGP2 is a step forward for the series, not a huge leap forward by any means, but the improved bike and rider controls bring enough to the table to keep things fresh. Motocross fans are likely to be pleased, but those not into the extreme sport might not find it as enjoyable.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Thomas Hughes

Thomas Hughes

Staff Writer

I like to play games, find me writing about how yer da hates season passes

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