Genre: Racing, Sports, Simulation
Platform: Nintendo Switch (reviewed), PS4, Xbox One, PC, Steam, Stadia
Age Rating: Everyone
Release Date: 23.04.2020
Price: – Rapid Reviews were very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
Switch racing fans have been spoiled. Not by the abundance of racing titles available, although we are definitely getting there, but by GRID Autosport. An absolute masterclass in how to optimise a racer for the Nintendo Switch, the development team at Feral Interactive have set the bar incredibly high. A chorus of ‘it doesn’t look as good as GRID though’ can be heard at every turn when a new racing title is released, and the same can be said for MotoGP™20.
The third iteration to be released on the Switch, the visuals of the previous two have not been worth writing home about. MotoGP™18 was particularly bad and MotoGP™19 a little less so. It is excellent to be able to report that MotoGP™20 is a lot better. It doesn’t come close to the graphical fidelity of GRID Autosport, but it is likely that fans of the series aren’t here for that – and nor do they need to be. The same can be said for newcomers to the series too.
Before delving into the different game modes on offer, it’s important to discuss the staple of any racing title: the handling. MotoGP™20 feels great to play. It’s a true racing simulator with a plethora of driving aids, customisable support and a sliding scale of difficulty from 0 to 100%. The bike itself is excellent too – it feels weighty, responds accurately to the twists and turns of the track and doesn’t cope well off it. After a period of time making the adjustment from car to bike, racing the latest Honda around the Red Bull Ring will feel like second nature.
As was alluded to earlier, there is a lot of support to make this an accessible racer for everyone. Many of the modern-day advances in racing games have made it into MotoGP™20 with a dynamic racing line and rewind functionality being the most important of them all. That being said, it remains a challenging title that will test the limits of one’s racing skills.
Those skills will be required most often in the Career Mode and the Historic Races – two excellent game modes that deserve your undivided attention during your time with the game. The Career Mode is far from ground-breaking, but it does all that’s required to keep players invested and offers that extra bit of variety with the management of staff and upgrades to your bike. The User Interface and in-game menus are easy to navigate, detailed but simple, and ultimately serve as the perfect companion to the on-screen action. This is where you will want to spend most of your time, and it is great that the game encourages you to do so.
MotoGP has a rich and varied history, and MotoGP™20 offers a unique insight into this with the inclusion of ‘Historic Mode.’ Here, you are presented with three different challenges that are progressively more challenging, and you are rewarded points for placing on the podium. These points can then be spent at the Historic Market to purchase riders and bikes from bygone eras. It is a superb inclusion and feels very fitting for a milestone release in 2020. Again, even the ‘Easy’ challenge is no mean feat and the level of challenge in MotoGP™20 is a recurring theme.
Outside of those two game modes, you will also find a selection of ‘Quick Modes’ which include ‘Grand Prix’, ‘Time Trial’ and ‘New Championship.’ These are exactly what they say on the tin and are a welcome addition even if they do take a backseat to the main event. The inclusion of Global Leaderboards is superb and is a step towards the online integration that, unfortunately, MotoGP™20 is lacking.
The Global Leaderboards also provide more realistic competition than the AI players, which is one of the only complaints of the single player experience. There are a number of inconsistencies which can detract from what is otherwise a thoroughly enjoyable affair. Examples include one rider crashing four times during a practice session, and some riders veering completely off course on a straight road. These can hopefully be patched out in a future update.
Another feature that would be most welcome during a future update is online multiplayer. The disparity between home console counterparts has never been felt more than with a lack of online, and considering the MotoGP™ series offered online racing back in the Xbox 360 days, it is very frustrating that it is almost fifteen years later and this is still something to consider when making a purchase. MotoGP™20 is not alone in omitting this feature from the Switch version of their games, but Milestone are a flagship company and MotoGP™ is an ‘AAA’ racing series.
Whilst MotoGP™20 isn’t the most visually striking, Milestone haven’t shone away from this and have still included a number of customisation options including liveries, stickers, helmets, colours and the like. For the avid racing fans among us, it’s an excellent inclusion. Better yet, the Photo Mode brings it all to life with the chance to capture those perfect in-game moments. Though the Photo Mode may not be as detailed as what we have come to expect, it does allow for some striking pictures to be taken. The gallery below is a selection of shots from Lonegamer (@M1TCH80) who is getting stuck into MotoGP™20!
Rapid Reviews Rating
MotoGP™20 is the most complete version of MotoGP™ to have released on the Switch to date and feels as though it has benefited from the versions that have come before it. Lessons have been learned, improvements made, and the result is a thoroughly enjoyable racer that encapsulates all that is good about MotoGP™. Whilst there are still some concessions that haven’t made it to the Switch version, this one is a worthy addition to the Switch catalogue.