MotoGP 18 – Another Year Of Devolution

REVIEW – YES! Variety is the spice of life or something like that. Another early summer day, another step closer to just quit altogether after playing Milestone’s annual license adaptation. I’m not saying that I wish I didn’t take this offer, but I’m damn close to say that…


I have to say that this scenario has happened to me only twice: I got a code to review the game before it launches, so I cannot talk about POST-RELEASE patches and their effects; I’m translating these lines from Hungarian on June 6, at 6:38 PM, while the game launches on June 7, and that’s when the embargo for the reviews are gone as well. (LOL! Milestone is afraid of the reviews if they don’t allow us to publish it before the launch day…)

Get ready because while I’m effectively screwing myself over with this unnecessarily long discussion (and there’s nothing in it for me either) before E3, which I hope I DON’T have to do all on my own, but tossing my wrist’s future aside, once in a blue moon I end up shitting a few thousand extra characters out even with an entire lack of motivation.

Unreal Engine 4

Now, I got a press release that I’m going to follow – why? Because roughly four hours after getting a 3.4 gig patch (so was I playing an unfinished game then? nice), I found a few things to mention.

Unreal Engine 4. Indeed, the game finally made the switch (and the Switch!) to it, which did help the visuals to improve a bit, and it’s especially noticeable in the rain. However, MotoGP 18 continues to bear the problems this engine brought along. The textures WILL load right in front of you almost all the time, and, in some cases, it might not even load whatsoever (like at the start-finish line on Philip Island), leaving you with some ugly, low-quality textures. Also, the lighting is questionable in its quality – the game felt darker than before, and while this might have been an intentional move by the Italian team to make the game look realistic, I still think (in fact, I and the editor-in-chief, as we discussed the subject) that the game seems somewhat ugly.

3D scan technology: all MotoGP riders’ faces were scanned. Only the MotoGP riders’, as Milestone did not want to waste time for their parc ferme cutscenes. Everyone looks about right, but honestly, it’s not something that should be in a press release. There are „cut scenes” as well, touting over thirty. Yeah, I saw just ONE for the MotoGP podium celebration. (Moto2? Moto3? Red Bull Rookies? One yet again, but no podium celebration – forget about the other riders’ face scanning! Lazy! Did they give a crap, honestly?) Walking into the pits, one scene. Talking to the engineer. One scene. Spectator mode, finally, an addition that the online lacked – we can now watch others race via several angles. Also, there is a TUTORIAL now. Sure, it is quite basic with its Brno circuit and the three difficulty levels, but it is better than nothing. The hardest, professional, gives you no riding aids with the task to follow the proper line (I think), the semi-pro one (if I remember correctly) checks your braking timing, and the amateur, easiest one asks for a lap time, and I think it had speed traps, too. These tasks will be also part of the free practice testing programs as well – I’ll get back to this subject later.

Realistic physics: indeed, I notice some improvement, and, as usual, it is customizable for the amateur riders as well. They also tout an improved AI, which does have a point (default difficulty is 50%, the hardest is 120% on extreme, you can scale it by percentage), but on a few tracks, the AI is on your neck, while on others, you quickly have the better of them. Wasn’t this an issue a year ago? Or two years ago? There’s also a scalable damage system, which could be severe: on paper, you can get a scratch or even total your bike, but you can turn it off. It also applies to the tires. You have to manage your sets, or you might end up racing or qualifying on old, scrubbed sets, causing you a disadvantage.

The career mode is the same as before: you start out in Red Bull Rookies Cup, and after completing the seven races, you will get offers from Moto3 teams – I think this initial portion of the game is longer than before. If you perform well in Moto3, you can get an offer from a Moto2 team after maybe six races (after Mugello, I believe). I couldn’t get to move into MotoGP after the next proposals – I had to win the Moto2 title, which I clinched at the last race with a bit of luck despite missing a third of the season, lol. Even with a title, I could only join KTM. Why? Reputation plays a role: the better you perform, the more reputation you get (especially in higher categories), which is necessary to have an offer from a stronger team.

That’s all in regards to discussing the press release (oh well, it still took me over 1.5 pages…), so before I start the second lap, I’d like to point out the manual start. Excellent addition! If you time your clutch and acceleration right, you might have a rocket start! Also, finally! No more voice tutorials in every single menu point…


I’m sad to say that MotoGP 18 offers LESS than MotoGP 17, which itself was already cut back after Valentino Rossi: The Game (which was MotoGP 16 with a Rossi theme and focus). I’ll list the game modes: career, then under quick modes: Grand Prix, time attack, championship, and tutorials (seriously? why not put it into the main menu?!), multiplayer (private and public race – it works like before, so I’m not going to go into detail with it), MotoGP eSport Championship, and the main menu also has your MotoGP ID (the stats the other riders will see online), as well as the options.

So, eSports, eh? I see MotoGP follows F1’s footsteps, but how about… ADDING THE MENU OPTION LATER WHEN IT WORKS? I clicked on it, and all I got is „come back later.” Pointless – the tutorials could have temporarily taken its space. Where’s the goddamn logic?!

Beginners will be successful in MotoGP 18, as you can set the AI difficulty, the tyre wear, the „damage” of the bike, or the penalties… as well as reducing the weekend to the race only, and with a little experience, you can win on the default 50% difficulty level with no problem. At least they managed to fix the career mode, where last year, the upgrades’ remaining time to completion went into negative weeks. Instead, you can do some testing during free practices (lap time, trajectory, braking, speed traps) to get development points which are also handed for your results as well – you’ll get them all after the end of each race. These points can be spent on four categories (engine, brakes, suspension, frame), and some of these also have subcategories, all with one to four levels. They aren’t cheap.

Now that I mentioned upgrades, you can get levels in two separate ways. One of them is for your rider’s skills (braking, body position, cornering, and throttle control, like last year), and the other one is for your ID’s level that usually gets upgraded each weekend.

And the rest

And this is the point where I start going into dissing the game. First of all, WHERE ARE THE OLD RIDERS AND BIKES? In 17, you could still find them (including Olivier Jacque, whose name was typed as Jaque by Milestone…), and this year, they were en bloc cut out! Sure, we get Buriram, a new circuit that we can ride before the official riders, but we can kiss the extra content goodbye. After VR46, I think even 17 dropped our rider’s stamina meter, which didn’t make a return this year either. There’s no extra challenge mode that could have expanded the offline longevity of the game. No, they focused on eSport instead, which will gain the support of one part of the community but likely piss the rest off!

I already mentioned a typo regarding Jacque before – guess what? Milestone did it yet again with another rider in the „social feeds” (LOL…): Emilio Alzamora, who won the 125cc championship in 1999 without a single victory that season, was written as Alzamore. CONGRATULATIONS! That stupid social feed is still there, which is nothing more than a pre-programmed Twitter light where you cannot respond AT ALL – you will see this on loading screens. There’s no interactivity, and there’s a bit of lack of cutscenes, but you can still ride through the advertisement boards on the trackside without problems. The game still feels lazy, which has been the problem of the MotoGP titles for YEARS. Like last year, there’s no background music this year, and the music in the menus are frankly the typical boring stuff from Milestone. The bikes seem to sound better (and not the same for all manufacturers) like last year(s), but a few of them, like the Red Bull Rookie one, sounded grating after a while, prompting me to listen to some background noise while racing. The sounds are still outdated, and this year, TT Isle of Man has shown how it should be done. (At least they fixed the issue where my bike went silent if I looked back!)

+ I intentionally tried, but while the „health bar” degraded, it worked just like before. It probably will get patched or something, but for ME, it did not seem to be changed. At least I figured out this way that if my rider happens to fall over the trackside rails, he will drop through objects behind the fence as they are not modeled to function as objects. Then, my rider teleported back onto his bike… like always.

MotoGP 17 had a managerial career mode. Forget about that as well, as Milestone has cut this, too! All you have to do is to race, and now, teams will have expectations (finish the race on X place, or the championship in Y, qualify at least Z, finish in front of your teammates, etc.), and if you complete these, you will become the first rider of the team, allowing you to get more development points. (This sounds like F1 2017…)

What else, what else… oh! During the rainy Argentinian weekend, I decided to do a flying lap start and not go through the pit exit procedure. All was fine until I thought I should have a drink in this heat, so I slammed on pause before I got teleported out there. However, my bike was standing up, and my rider seemed to have stood behind it, and when I hit Resume, I bailed! I got teleported to the track to bail! That explained something I have noticed before: I usually did this quick Flying Lap option to save time, and I saw several times when I was put on the track that other riders have bailed. All I can say to this bug is LOL.

With Unreal Engine 4, you would think that you could create your rider from scratch. No. Again, you will get preset models, and now, there is no unlockable helmet, boot, or glove, as all of them are available from the start. Decent, but again, the game missed potential with the lack of character creation. I shouldn’t go even further as I’m already nearing the bottom of the fourth page.


Last year, MotoGP 17 got 48/100. This year, it’ll get 47. It improved but shrunk further. I’m now asking even the fans of MotoGP NOT to buy this game for full price. This game does NOT feel worthy of paying 60 bucks for it. It’s unbelievable that Milestone has decent results with other games like Gravel, but with MotoGP, it shows constant devolution.

I’ve had enough that the developers get money only because of the hardcore bike racing players and the fans of the championship, and while they change a thing here, they take away two functions there. There’s still a way to improve, but if they do it by removing things from the game, then I’m just going to repeat myself: „please Dorna, take the license away from them!”

Thank you, Magnew, for supplying a review code.



+ Manual start
+ Spectator mode online
+ Unreal Engine 4


– More things were removed (managerial career mode, old riders, and their bikes…)
– There are still minor mistakes, bugs and flaws… and tons of them
– I’m afraid that the focus on eSports might mean that a lot of players who are not hardcore racers or fans of the franchise might leave the game quickly…

Publisher: Milestone

Developer: Milestone

Genre: MotoGP license video game adaptation

Release date: June 7, 2018

MotoGP 18

Gameplay - 4.7
Graphics - 5.2
Physics - 6.1
Music/Audio - 6.1
Ambiance - 1.4



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Grabbing controllers since the middle of the nineties. Mostly he has no idea what he does - and he loves Diablo III. (Not.)

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