PREVIEW – If it were 2022, or any year before, the latest installment of the annual game adaptation of Grand Prix motorcycle racing championships would have been released by now. Still, Milestone has slightly altered its plans this time, taking a similar direction to that seen in RIDE 4 with this year’s MotoGP. Is it worth waiting an extra month and a half, or should we leave the bike in the sand?
It should be pointed out that the game is not ready yet, and you can only comment on its beta without giving it a score at the end!
MotoGP 23 looks significantly better, but hopefully, Unreal Engine 4 will keep the developers from going overboard. (The other day, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, which is also on UE4, showed how shader caching could degrade performance when it happens during gameplay.) Of course, the visuals are to be expected when running on a current-gen console or PC, but for the PlayStation 4/Xbox One/Nintendo Switch trio, they may be just revamping the older parts there. In terms of sound, you might have initially feared that the quality would remain below average, but the Italian developers have also shown that they’ve got their mettle. Not everyone sounds like a lawnmower, and you can sit on more unique-sounding vehicles. All this is only the surface; the main thing is how the game offers multiple difficulty levels with different help. On Rookie, you’re primarily in charge of the throttle and steering, but you can quickly get bored of that level.
Yes, indeed, but perhaps after RIDE 4, it’s the case here that it feels too big a jump up. It needs some fine-tuning because, until then, it’s OK if your bike takes the corners on its own, but after that, the next stage shouldn’t be to slide and not find the right line, which will wear your tires out within laps! And you can complicate things even further by balancing your body weight. You better spend some time in tutorial mode (academy) because Milestone has shifted the experience away from the more arcade-like style. It’s perhaps no coincidence that MotoGP 23 is parallel to RIDE 4. The career mode (which wasn’t available then) will also be revamped and include challenges: MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3, and MotoE categories, with around 80 riders across all tracks. If we want, we can start in Moto3, where we can work our way up, but we can also switch between teams, manage the development of the bike ourselves and even become a legend. You can also start in MotoGP, but you’ll need some knowledge. Turning Points keeps track of how good and loyal we are. Once on the track, remember that there’s dynamic weather, and you may have to change wheels, or you’ll fall in a corner (because the bike will be unstable and slip out from under you) that it won’t be pretty.
Those who don’t want to play alone or offline can also play on a split screen (it won’t be on Nintendo Switch). If you’re competing against drivers of equal ability, you can use Ranked Races to compete, and yes, there will be an international ladder to climb up the ladder to get on the grid with better drivers. But the success of it depends on the player camp (but there will be cross-play). If there are a lot of players, it will be easy to get together to compete; if not, it will quickly die out. But beyond that, we could go into the commentators. There’s not much to complain about with that; it is good to hear. It’s even worth returning to a new feature, the Neural Aid System, an artificial intelligence-based system to help with handling, braking, and steering. It needs to be fine-tuned (not by the developers, but by us so that we have a sufficiently free hand without spoiling everything).
As this is a beta, it should not be highlighted, for example, that the artificial intelligence for the CPU riders is half-baked (if the retail version starts to make everyone look at the first corner, as was the case a few years ago, it will be a bit funny).
You can customize your engine and motorbike to look a bit like your own with the graphics editor, and flag-to-flag can be a serious race when you have to change bikes in the pouring rain. Career mode will also have a role for social media (rather than static stuff that’s been typoed in some places), the AI can upgrade its bike, our opponents will have unique personalities on the tracks, so there will be innovations here, and things that have been anticipated for years by fans of the franchise will be coming to MotoGP 23. June is not far away.
Is it promising?
MotoGP has gotten some pretty harsh reviews in the past, but this year they may have come to their senses at Milestone. It’s rightly not rated, but it’s not impossible that it could be a seven out of ten when it’s released. Not everything is in place, but you can anticipate that it won’t be a bad experience. Audiovisually, atmospherically and gameplay-wise, it’s improved, and the physics still felt correct despite its half-baked state. But on PC, it might be a better idea to play on a controller rather than a keyboard…
This is why it can be good:
+ There are also innovations in multiplayer and career mode
+ Audiovisual tuning
+ Offers a tougher experience
Because of this, it can still be disappointing:
– I wonder what will be left of it in MotoGP 24?
– How much can the shortcomings of Unreal Engine 4 harm the frame rate?
– What do you play in career mode?
Release: June 8, 2023.