Review – MotoGP 20

You can say what you want about the reduced output of racing games in this current gaming generation when compared to ten or twenty years ago, but motorcyle racing fans surely can’t complain. Between the motocross brilliance provided by MXGP 2019 or the absolutely ridiculous real-life premise offered in TT Isle of Man, we do have a more than decent assortment of motorcycle racing games to choose from. Out of all franchises from this wide spectrum, not a single one is more appealing than MotoGP, however.

This kind of competition is to motorcycles what Formula 1 is to cars. The pinnacle of engineering and speed, with bikes roaring at 210mph on a lot of the same tracks used in a traditional F1 season. Completely crazy pilots perform the most gravity-defying turns in any type of vehicular racing championship, risking their lives at every corner. Thankfully, we have a video game that perfectly encapsulates how intense (and difficult) this racing category is: the brand new MotoGP 20 by Milestone, the same developers behind MXGP 2019.

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Somehow, I didn’t finish last!

MotoGP 20 starts off like basically every other racing game by Milestone. Your first task is to create your own pilot with a very shallow character creator. With that out of the way, you’re free to do whatever you want, but I highly suggest going straight to the trial trial mode to learn how to handle its controls. Just like other motorcycling games, the physics and the tricky cornering are the most important things you need to get used to, since this is, above anything else, a fully fledged simulator. Turning might sound the simplest thing to do in a racing, but your ability to properly enter a corner at the right angle and speed, which is easier said than done, will determine whether you’ll reach for the podium or if you’ll simply fall on the floor.

If you’re a newcomer to the genre, I won’t lie to you, you’ll have a bit of a rough start, but MotoGP 20 does feature some assists to make the adaptation process less traumatizing. It does feature your staple assists like automatic braking, a rewind button, and a suggested braking line. It also features the option to make the physics a bit less realistic, meaning that you won’t always fall if a mere breeze touches you. There are also assists and gameplay-altering features for veterans, as you can fully customize your bike’s traction control, aerodynamics, and much more.

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A Deadpool-themed helmet is currently what I want the most in the world.

MotoGP 20‘s list of modes is what you would expect from your typical Milestone racing simulator. There are quick races, time trials, championship creators, online races (with private lobbies!), and the crown jewel that is the career mode. Be it from tackling it with assists or as a full-fledged simulation against a brutal AI, there’s a lot to tackle in here. All of the tracks and pilots from the 2020 season are here, as well as entry-level categories. You’re able to either join a real, fully licensed scuderia or create your team from scratch. Besides the career mode, MotoGP 20‘s other interesting feature is the ability to partake on challenges with historical pilots such as Wayne Rainey and Mick Doohan.

Technically-wise, MotoGP 20 follows the trend set by other AA racers in the market. It looks absolutely gorgeous, but it’s stuck to 30fps instead of the ideal 60. It does manage to run at a semi-constant framerate at all times though, and you can customize the amount of motion blur shown onscreen in order to increase the game’s overall performance. The sound design is also what you should expect from a game like this, being all about ear-piercing engine noises, a competent narrator that gets the job done and some neat tunes whenever you’re in a menu.

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Donnington Park is in the game, and that’s never a bad thing.

I know I might sound like a scratched record with this verdict, but MotoGP 20 is basically like the other recent motorcycling racers that have been released on modern consoles: extremely competent when it comes to graphics, sound and content, with more than enough to keep you invested for months, but you’ll need to get used to its very realistic and newcomer-unfriendly controls first. If you’re into this kind of game, however, there’s just nothing on the market that can beat MotoGP 20 on its home turf, just like trying to beat Marc Marquez on the Catalan Grand Prix.

 

Graphics: 8.5

Even if it does feature some graphical issues, namely in the framerate and off-racing assets, this is one of the best looking AA racing simulators I’ve seen in a while. I appreciate the customizable amount of motion blur.

Gameplay: 7.5

It’s a tough game to get into if you’re not used to its physics. Once you learn how to properly brake and turn, everything will become a lot more fluid.

Sound: 7.5

It features what a decent racing simulator should have when it comes to its sound department: realistic engine noises, a decent sports commentator, and some menu music tracks.

Fun Factor: 7.5

This is a fully fledged simulator. It’s not exactly recommended for the uninitiated, but MotoGP fans and people with some knowledge of how motorcycle racing works will have a blast with its deep career mode and tons of content.

Final Verdict: 8.0

MotoGP 20 is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Switch.

Reviewed on Xbox One.

A copy of MotoGP 20 was provided by the publisher.