Developer: Milestone SRL
Publisher: Milestone SRL
Genre: Motorcross, Racing
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 16/12/2020 PS4 14/01/2021 PS5
A code was provided for review purposes.
Developer Milestone has been releasing the MXGP series of games for years. As a newcomer to both the sport and the games, how does the first PS5 edition of this Motorcross series fare?
I’ll start this review by establishing that I have never watched Motorcross before. I know the difference between tyres and handlebars, but asking for more than that may be above my knowledge. I will not be commenting on new sponsors, new manufacturers or the arrival/departures of specific racers because, quite simply, everything in this game is new to me. This review comes from someone who has a general love for racing games and a PS5 to put MGXP 2020 to the test.
Can you handle this?
With a racing review, it’s always a good start to address the handling of the vehicle because regardless of the game mode or track layout, if the motorbike doesn’t handle well; then the experience will be poor across the board. Fortunately, handling in MXGP 2020 is extremely responsive offering two weight modes. Drifting around corners and landing jumps all relies on both the position of the bike and the rider, with the two analogue sticks independently controlling the duo. As a newcomer to the series, I played with gears and weight distribution on semi-automatic which allowed me to focus more on the handling of the bike, rather than also juggling the racer’s position.
Enabling semi-automatic was great for me as ,riding around the track and jumping over ramps, I could relax about precise movements but I was still able to move my racer slightly so that I didn’t land on the front wheel; stopping myself from flying off course. It took me a few hours to fully get to grips with the handling of MXGP 2020, as I struggled to find a fully explanative tutorial. As a newcomer, my first few races in career felt more like a time trial as my fellow racers accelerated and jumped into the distance whilst I quite literally was stuck in the mud. Some practice over time has made my most recent races end in a podium position but as a new player, even on the very-easy difficulty, the game’s challenge initially felt highly difficult. As mentioned before though, if you decide to buy this game and are a new player, I promise that after a few hours you’ll feel significantly more confident.
The Dualsense controller features are present with haptic rumble providing a starting line purr before vibrating in full force as the wheels slide over the dirt track. MXGP 2020 also uses adaptive triggers. The implementation of adaptive triggers in MXGP 2020 puzzled me as, throughout the entire race, the pushback on the triggers remained at full power with a rattle effect used when off-ground. With races taking around seven minutes at the minimum to complete, the only impact of a full trigger pushback was a tired finger with not much adapting. The rattle when off-ground is excellent but perhaps this would be better if this effect came alongside a normal trigger.
Both the rumble and adaptive triggers can be toggled to various degrees and I ended up decreasing both effects to ‘low’. I’m not equipped with exact frame rates or resolutions but on my 4K TV, the game looked superb with an incredibly smooth frame rate. In fact, at one point I thought my game had a graphical issue as my lion sponsorship icon flickered in and out. When I moved closer to the screen to inspect this, I realised the movement was the ripple of the fabric in the wind. An impressive detail indeed! The game also uses the PS5’s SSD and whilst loading isn’t instant, it’s a matter of seconds and not minutes to get in the race.
MXGP 2020 offers a Forza-style rewind feature which is greatly appreciated as it’s incredibly easy to misjudge the speed going into a turn. Drifting off track can cost you your place on the podium so this recovery rewind is excellent. I mostly used the rewind for when I misjudged a jump or corner as I was surprisingly good at not hitting other racers. For new players, it’s a great feature which allows some experimentation in handling but for experienced players of the series, this can be disabled and enables a higher collection of in-game points.
Norway is your playground
On offer in MXGP 2020 are the standard racing modes I’ve come to expect in racing games: a sponsor-led career, time trials and Grand Prix’. It’s worth noting that MXGP 2020 also offers multiplayer but I was unable to find any online activity pre-release. Surprisingly, MXGP 2020 also offers an open world and track editor. Set in Norway, I loved driving around the hills and seeing the biggest jump I could, or for most of my attempts, couldn’t land. Scattered around the hills are beacons to start time trials or small races and there’s also an opportunity to create custom waypoint-led races around the hilly terrain.
If creating your own races has piqued your interest then there’s also a track editor on offer. This was pretty standard with different track pieces of obstacles and turns able to be connected and I created ‘Rapid Review Raceway’. Perhaps this has been explained in previous instalments but, try as I might, I couldn’t “finalize” my track as whenever I tried to finish my loop, I was given a red error tinge to the track piece. I’m sure that when the full game releases, I’ll notice what I’ve been missing by playing other people’s tracks.
Overall, MXGP 2020 offers a Motorcross experience that is excellent in both visuals and handling for newcomers and experienced players alike. Whilst some more tutorials for the track editor and general handling would be appreciated for those new to the series, I had a lot of fun with this racing title.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase MXGP 2020 on the PlayStation Store for £49.99
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