Review – MXGP 2019

The last motocross game I played was the Switch version of Monster Energy Supercross, released on early 2018. I hated it. I knew the game itself wasn’t that bad, but the Switch version was beyond unpolished, with terrible graphics, framerate, and optimization. I had decided to avoid getting another motocross game for the Switch, opting for a normal console version in order to see what I have been missing. MXGP 2019 is out now and I can now understand that I was just playing these games on the wrong platform. This is a great racing title and the best motocross game I’ve played ever since Excitebike 64.

MXGP 2019 - The Official Motocross Videogame_20190820122213

I’m only at 29mph, but I’m still terrified I might crash.

Following the current season of MXGP, this game contains both MX1 and MX2 categories, licensed rider names, a ton of real-life sponsors, and excellent recreations of the season’s tracks. The career mode allows for you to choose your sponsors, customize your gear, and tinker your bike. You can also race in the same calendar as the real season, which is comprised of eighteen rounds of two races each, totaling thirty-six races a season. It’s a lot.

The season is lengthy, the amount of racers per track is huge, and that means that riders will constantly go up and down on the season’s standings. I thought that having to race twice in each track would be a bit boring, but it ended up being the opposite. The game also features an open playground mode for you to fool around, explore, and create waypoint races. It’s a bit like the open world map available in Monster Jam Steel Titans.

Being a racing game, the most important thing in here is knowing if the game plays well or not. After the massive disappointment was was Monster Energy Supercross, I was worried. Then I started playing MXGP 2019 and realized that the problem was lying mostly on the Switch version’s bad framerate and lack of analog triggers, as those made a total difference in here. Given how realistic the physics are, if you shove your finger into the accelerating trigger too hard, you’ll either spin or fall down.

MXGP 2019 - The Official Motocross Videogame_20190820132410

The open playground mode is huge and beautiful.

Motocross isn’t about going as fast as possible, it’s about knowing how to carefully transfer your body weight into these tight and slippery corners. The framerate is always constant at 30fps, which might be a bit disappointing for a racing game, but given how it’s not exactly the fastest of sports, it still works. It’s not very easy at first, I can guarantee you that, but you’ll steadily learn how to play the game. There are way too many races in each season, so even if you end up finishing in a bad position during your first few races, you will still have a lot of time to recoup those points.

The game also allows for you to customize the level of realism in your gameplay. You can make it feel more like an arcade racer or more like a simulation by tinkering settings like automatically leaning your body when you do a curve and not needing to hold the clutch in order to change gears. I recommend starting out with the game’s default arcade-friendly settings and gradually increasing the level of realism as soon as you get used to the controls and physics.

MXGP 2019 - The Official Motocross Videogame_20190820133347

I’m a simple man. If a game has a level/map/track creator, I’m happy.

There’s more in here than just a lengthy career portion, a sandbox, and some online modes. One of MXGP 2019‘s most interesting features is its track creator. This mode is a powerful tool that allows players to create super long tracks in a near infinite number of ways, with tons of different corners, obstacles, and sceneries to choose from. The mode is complex, so I totally recommend looking at the very helpful tutorial that accompanies it. You can share your creations online, as well as download tracks from other players. MXGP 2019‘s replay value is off the charts.

MXGP 2019 - The Official Motocross Videogame_20190820122328

Look at the dude in the left. Tee hee hee.

MXGP 2019 is not a game that might entice everyone at first glance due to its niche appeal and initial difficulty curve. But I can guarantee you that if you grew up playing Excitebike on your choice of Nintendo’s platforms, or if you’re just someone looking for a very good racing game in general, this one is absolutely worth checking out. It has the visuals, it has the controls, it has a ton of replayability, and it offers a surprising amount of bang for your buck.

 

Graphics: 8.0

It doesn’t run at 60 frames per second, but it does feature a very steady framerate. With the exception of some late texture loading issues, the visuals are crisp, most notably the dirt tracks and the motorbike models.

Gameplay: 7.5

It’s not an easy control scheme at first, as you’ll need to learn how to use your weight in order to perform sharp turns. The physics are realistic and challenging, but you can customize the amount of “realism” in your overall experience.

Sound: 7.0

All you’ll hear during races is the ear-piercing noise of the bikes’ engines. All you’ll hear when on menus is a handful of surprisingly catchy hip-hop beats.

Fun Factor: 8.5

MXGP 2019 features licensed drivers, tracks, challenging yet fun gameplay, a very deep track creator, a huge playground mode, and much more. It offers a lot of bang for your buck, and what’s included in here doesn’t feel like a waste.

Final Verdict: 8.0

MXGP 2019 is available now on PS4, Xbox One and PC.

Reviewed on PS4.

A copy of MXGP 2019 was provided by the publisher.