Milestone is back, this time with MXGP, which have just received the port treatment from PS3 to the PlayStation 4. This game is based upon the FIM Motocross World Championship, still being spartan minimal, pretty much cloning MotoGP 14 in this manner. Is it worth getting this game?
Additions to the PS4 version
Despite going towards the end of 2014, don’t forget that this game is based upon the 2013 season. It’s not really much of a surprise, as the PS3 version was released about half a year ago, it took some time to port the game to the new Sony machine.
There’s a valid reason as in why didn’t Milestone release it alongside the other versions. The PS4 edition doesn’t have 14 games, but 18: the four new levels are Italy’s Arco di Tento, the Bulgarian Sevlievo, Loket in the Czech Republic and the Dutch Lierot. There are two other additions by the Italian developers: as in the real series, the championship leader will have a red numberplate, and the DualShock 4’s LEDs will follow the engine’s revs.
There’s other updates as well in the PS4 MXGP. Let’s start by the fact that there’s now 22 riders on the circuit in a race instead of 16. This means more people will make tracks on the circuit, which is being processed real-time. You can clearly see how the circuit „wears down”, as well as our rider’s clothes and bike gets dirtier and dirtier. Speaking of these two: the character models are improved, and the models of the bikes are updated too. The latter sounds better as well. The lighting by Yebis 2 is also a definite improvement over the PS3 version, making the graphics a bit more crispier, but it’s still a little ugly.
Still the same
New generation aside, Milestone‘s game still uses the menus from WRC license games. What about the tutorials then? Well, prepare to just see these. You won’t get a chance to practice like in MotoGP 14. Go practice and if you feel comfortable, start racing on Normal difficulty, as you will end up winning on Easy despite making several mistakes per lap.
But back to the menus: this really hasn’t changed since the past three or four games. As usual, there’s always going to be an audio commentary first describing what menu point you are in at first. And the description of the career mode could be easily just be copied over from the MotoGP 14 review, but I won’t do it, because it would be easily spotted: you get to choose from a fixed amount of profile pictures and managers.
They should learn from NBA 2K15‘s face recognition – sure, it’s buggy, but it’s an improvement. Also, changing managers change absolutely nothing in the game. Create your pilot, who will gain levels, again, just getting a few helmets and pictures, but at least it opens some teams. There’s no movement in our office, the MXGP magazine yet again has just the cover, the social feed is basically the same since MotoGP 13, but at least the game managed to make my bike disappear before the race, so my mechanic is working on an invisible bike. It’s as beautiful as my driver’s limbs going through signs. Great!
But how’s the game itself?
Motocross requires a different riding style than a MotoGP bike: here, jumps play an essential role in the game – they require a good pacing, otherwise you can lost a few tenths over the space of a lap. And if you take the turns tightly using the tracks on the circuit, then you can surprise the otherwise okay AI. You can choose from several difficulty levels, including the physics itself – the latter one can be base, intermediate or pro, after a few races it’s recommended to chuck the AI difficulty up to Normal, and maybe the physics too. There’s plenty of differences among the three levels. Don’t forget: there are two races per GP, not just one!
Good, so they adapted both the MX1 and the MX2 categories, it’s honorable. But tell me, why does the game load the textures and the tracks in front of me every time? It might be the result of the real time physics. But it’s funny that I always get almost immediately teleported back to the road if I go (or jump) off course. Our rider can’t get injured, motivation is basically in the online game. There’s no extra in the career-championship duo. Why not participating in some official photoshoots or „demos”? It’s boring in the long run, especially because there’s no background music during the races yet again. And if you end up on the podium, you’ll see one of two or three animations between the rider and the mechanic, who doesn’t speak at all. This is the genre that could have been made into a game much more freely. Why no freestyle motocross between races?
+ Motocross World Championship
+ New levels in the PS4 version
+ Anyone can be successful from novice to pro
– The menus are just copied over from other Milestone games
– The level up system for our rider is not motivational at all
– Dated graphics
Genre: Motor racing
Published: 2014 October 17