Every year there are a certain series of games (FIFA and Call of Duty being the main culprits) where developers just churn out the same old stuff year after year but repackage it to look like it’s an all new game. However, the usual boredom that kicks in after playing these games for a few hours never happened with Moto GP 13, I was glued to my seat the whole time in what has to be one of the best racing games I’ve played in a long time. It’s been a while since the last Moto GP game and the current one unlike its predecessors is developed by the guys at Milestone, with Moto GP 13 being the one and only official game of Moto GP, Moto 2 and Moto 3; filled with all the official tracks, teams and riders. It requires the speed and skill of a true Moto GP rider and contains all the emotions too as you build up your profile as a racer, starting as a wild card for any team that’ll take you in Moto 3 to riding on the best bikes with the likes of Crutchlow, Marquez and Rossi in Moto GP.
Now there aren’t any silly story modes that you get with some racing games or the arcade modes that you’d expect to play in a back street bowling alley against your friends, Moto GP 13 is all about racing at its finest, just think Forza meets motorbikes. You have several game modes including World Championship, Career and Multiplayer. It’s up to you how difficult you make each mode with a wide range of difficulties to select from and numerous driving aids available such as traction control and driving assistance which tells you when to accelerate and decelerate. Turning off the aids can and will make the game more difficult but also more rewarding knowing you’re doing everything yourself.
World Championship is a highly customizable mode that allows you to choose the settings of a campaign that you can create from scratch in order to become the World Champion. You can choose which championship to race in out of the three available (Moto GP, Moto 2 and Moto 3) and it allows you to select your team and the tracks you race on. The mode requires you to pick a minimum of four races (maximum of eighteen) but you can choose individual tracks that you prefer, meaning avoiding death traps like the famous Corkscrew drop in Laguna Seca, something that catches me out every time and sends me skidding across the tarmac.
Career is much like any sports game nowadays you create yourself and starting from the bottom try to make your way to the top to become the best. The only negative point about the career mode personally is that although you create a profile for yourself and you start your own personal journey through the MOTO GP circuits, you can’t personalise what you look like, you only get a basic selection of some pre-set faces to act as the cover for your profile. Now I might just be getting picky because practically 99% of the game you have a helmet on riding around a track so it’s not really important, but that said it would’ve been a nice feature and made the game more personal to the gamer. Some of the more detailed things I like about career mode though are aspects like during races you’ll spend your time in a Motorhome which allows you to check your social feed to see what fans and rivals have to say about you, and allows you to customise your driver with new unlockable content such as helmets and pictures.
The multiplayer mode allows you to race online and pit your racing skills against some of the best gamers around the world with up twelve players allowed to play online in any one race (up to six if you’re going to be playing on the PS Vita). But if you’re just looking to take a friend on head to head then you can invite them round for a bit of one-on-one. Again you can customise settings to change the weather, number of laps and so on as well as being able to select many of the already established racers; some others you need to unlock as you gain fans in career mode. Apart from those three main modes you also have the options to do time trials or race in a single grand prix to perfect your laps on your favourite tracks as well as real time events that you can take part in as the 2013 season goes by.
One of the best things about the actual races though is how the tracks evolve through the races. Now you won’t notice this if you’re only doing 15% races (3 laps) but on longer races the weather can change and means if you have the wrong tyres on you can end up in a bit of a mangled mess as you fly across the gravel. You’ll also notice in the longer races as you wear down your tires, rubber is left behind on the track and all of this can seriously affect your handling as you go around bends. This just shows how much work Milestone have put into the game with the physics engines making it one of the most realistic racing games in years. Pull a little too hard on the back break and your back end can spin out, or pull on your front too hard and you’ll be sent over the top of your bike. Everything is just so sensitive and that’s why it feels so realistic because if you’ve been on a motorbike before you know how a simple misjudgement can cause you to crash and lose control, and that’s exactly what it feels like on Moto GP13, at any moment a slight error can be the difference between winning and losing a race.
As for the graphics and sound again it just adds to the realism of the game. The sounds have been recorded from the actual bikes from the current and previous season, giving a truly authentic experience of riding these powerful machines around your favourite tracks, and if that wasn’t enough they even have official commentator Gavin Emmett doing all the voice over commentary. On the other hand the graphics are equally as impressive with the tracks being built in great detail with the help from thousands of pictures taken of the tracks and their backdrops. Add to that the shadowing and lighting effects as the sun moves across the sky, and the shading on the track of where the rubber builds up, Milestone has given one of the most realistic environments for Moto GP13.
Overall if you’re a bit of a petrol head you’ll be sure to love this game as it is by far one of the best racing games that I’ve played in years. It takes everything back to the simple days when it was all about the racing and beating friends, allowing you to gloat in their faces, rather than trying to overcomplicate the game by adding unnecessary features. Definitely worth buying.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.