As a newcomer to the MotoGP™ scene be it the real deal or the game itself, I immensely feel the intensity of the heat and that lingering feeling of disappointment and rage in the comforts of my seat as each turn can be the last. Notorious for crash and burns, the game offers realism for the hardcore fans that needed that extra bit of challenge and the casuals that just wants to experience the rider seat for their own… and who wouldn’t? Ever since starting my first ever race I’ve been in last place for a couple of races before I can claim the top podium spot and man! That was quite a thrilling ride! The rage-inducing crashes and off-track blizzard of agony just made me want to get better or at the very least spam the rewind button.
At its core, the game itself gives you options to which kind of player you are in order to guide you in which experience you’re after. Casuals have the option to activate riding aids like auto-brake when entering corners, joint brake, putting up ideal trajectories be it fully-on or just along the corners to even having a rewind button which lets you fix your errors without having to lose time between start-ups. While our veteran friends can enjoy the game with a thrill as they focus their full concentration like the pros that make up the scene that even includes weather effects, bike damage, tire wear and using the penalty option to get rewarded with higher bonus points to rank up their rider cards. The AI rivals aren’t a walk in the park either with riding aids on however as they still feel very competitive even at 20% which is tagged as very easy. Making your career mode just a little bit more challenging and making yourself grow better to rise up to the real challenge.
My full experience has been nothing but good in terms of gameplay with Unreal Engine 4 making a huge step towards better performance and physics when I decide to take a huge leap towards the audience stands. Something that I honestly enjoyed more than anything aside from snatching trophies and intentionally bumping into rivals ‘til they fall off. Although it’s not perfect as while you can drop-off the bike pretty easily, there are times (A LOT OF TIMES) that crashing into a slowing down rider from their back tires doesn’t seem to do any effect in making them fall off while you get thrown off and splat face first towards the asphalt.
And while performance has been a very good boy just like my pet dog, quality-wise hasn’t taken me to the park yet. The environment itself feels lifeless as the roaring sounds of the crowd just isn’t there to be heard with the loud and crackling sound of my roaring thunder, my motorbike for short. Commentators will never be heard again as soon as the race goes on while the people and greenery is just a little bit low on draw distance as the detail just doesn’t pop in until I’m already about to pass them which in fact isn’t exactly “realistic” or so to speak as it felt a bit rushed making their faces go between reality and cartoony paired with eyes as dead as a cow’s udders as it gets sucked by her hundred young’uns but the saving grace here is the drivers and their bikes are well-polished and gets affected by dirty tires when going off-road and some visible bike damage after suffering from a crash which is the most important thing. NOT THE CRASHING BUT THE DETAILS! Or the weather which makes driving a tad bit more of a challenge with rain fogging up the scenery, making the track slippery as well as droplets gushing down in your helmet’s visor.
And considering the fact that this is MotoGP™ and not in any means to be confused with other games like battle royale for some reason just because you can crash into someone doesn’t really mean you have to. There are a few modes like career mode in which you take control of your own “slightly unique” player (10 face types) to join teams and win championships which is a bit too repetitive after a few dozen of races that can be set as low as 3 laps and as much as 27 with a secondary option to choose from a full weekend which includes test sessions, qualifiers and the race itself, and the other two options that would just make you do the qualifiers and race or the race on its own but get forced to start from the back spot if you pick the last one. But in case that isn’t your thing, there’s a Grand Prix, Time Attack and Championship also available for testing out the 19 tracks available in the game and 24 riders to play as. Multiplayer is also an option to which you can create your own rooms or join public ones whether it’s a single race or a championship route.
On the other hand of the handle is where bike management goes into place. This option lets you tweak your ride to get that ideal setup to send off rivals to the gravel. Oh sorry! I mean the grave! With options for tire compound, suspension, steering adjustment, gear ratio, brake system and ECU you can be the best tweaker in the world… but you’ll fall off soon enough as I force you down the sand! And as a newcomer, there is an auto-setting included which makes the whole experience easier to handle after answering a few questions to understand the problem in your handling so it was a breeze to handle the bike after a few test runs. While another option is also available in the career mode which lets you upgrade your bike stats from the engine, brakes, suspension, frame and aerodynamics using your development points earned for every race as long as you meet the minimum placement required.
Overall I find the game a pretty good interpretation of the real thing which I just watched on Youtube for the first time! A full-hour long session from the riding to the crashing and all that rage-induced ground pounding as each rider drifts away to the grassy plains as their bike gets thrashed as they reach the final spurt. As I tweaked my controls to the real deal, I had felt all that adrenaline coursing through my veins as I get wiped out on the very first corner while bringing a few racers with me along the way. (That was a good run!)