MXGP market themselves as being the official Motocross videogame, its just a shame there is no competition in this market as Motocross is a sport that is great to watch, but even better to load onto a console and play for yourself. Milestone have always brought the Motocross world to life with their releases of the games, but they do seem to get better and better each time.
The FIM Motocross World Championship is a serious off-road dirt bike racing world championship, with professional riders taking on many different tracks around the world and close battles across two tiers of rider skill and bike power. All riders and most of the tracks are represented in the official game, alongside other additions such as a playground, track creator and online multiplayer.
Last year I got my hands on Monster Energy Supercross again by Milestone. I liked the game, but it just lacked something that their Motocross series has always had, I just couldn’t really put my finger on it until now. It lacked simplicity, the ease of being able to load the game up and get right down to having fun. It would also throw you off your bike at any given chance leaving you feeling frustrated at the best of times. MXGP 2019 doesn’t do that as much, but will if you’re not paying attention to whats happening on screen and under your wheels.
By under your wheels, I mean that as the riders are racing and tearing up the dirt below they leave tracks in the mud and you do notice that, especially if you are caught in a deep track and wanting to adjust your line for the next corner. Subtle changes to your steering line will not work to get you out of the direction you are heading, you will need to really try to move, but that can then throw you off line completely, but its in the corners where they become much more apparent. I had a few occasions at first where I would be turning in a corner and my front wheel would dig into a deep track left by another racer and throw me from the bike. It didn’t tend to happen too often as this game is much more about the arcade feel rather than simulation, but they do like to bite you in the ass from time to time.
The great thing about the game is the physics, they all work brilliantly, but couple that with the feedback from the controller and although you may not realise it, that controller is giving you so much more information about the ground underneath you as well as the bikes reactions, throttle response and deep puddles when its raining you don’t realise it until you have a chance between races to sit back and take it all onboard.
Move away from the regular career modes and online multiplayer and you have the playground which has been introduced to the game, something that was a part of last years SuperCross game. It allows you to ride around with full freedom and get used to the bike before going into competition, but also gives you some challenges that will test your skills. All the time you are in the Playground you will earn credits and XP for your profile so that its not just a place to waste time.
There is also a track editor which is unbelievably easy to use and I found that I could easily get lost in this making a very challenging track with lots of bumps, jumps and turns.
I have played various titles in this franchise over the years, and without doubt this is the best to date. I know, every release in a franchise should be better than the last but even down to the little details of the members of the crowd watching the races at the side of the track make it great. With most games that show people at the side of the track there is no reaction from them, rather a set program of movement where they are apparently cheering on. On MXGP I flew into a barrier at one point and the crowd did actually react by trying to get out of the way.
As good as the game is, there is still issues that I found. Music lags on loading screens which is highly annoying, but the same issue was there in last years SuperCross release. Milestone obviously haven’t found a fix for that. Also, the more bikes that are on screen at once, the heavier the frame rate drop becomes and is very noticable.
Online runs smoothly, the servers handling traffic well. I didn’t find any drop out issues when I played however my major complaint is that due to the amount of tracks you can choose from and other options before you start a race, I did feel very rushed in selecting various things like my rider etc, I would have loved a little more time to get everything to my liking setting up.
Its great to see that Milestone are improving as they go along though and learning from previous releases. They are close to getting it all right, but there is still a way to go with some things. All that being said, its great fun riding around the courses and getting covered in mud as you go. Play the game in helmet camera and watch your visor get muddy as you go along and the game starts to become difficult, but it is a great camera to use for an added challenge, especially when its raining on track.
For me, MXGP deserves a 7/10. Its a great game but there are still the issues listed above that stop it from being a game that you just have to go out and buy. It holds up well for any fan of the sport to enjoy.
**PLEASE NOTE: AIR Entertainment were supplied with a review copy of the game. This has in no way influenced my views on the game as per our Review Policy**