MotoGP 20 Review
Available now on Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch and PC
Version Tested: Xbox One X
I have to admit I’ve never really had any interest in MotoGP or motorbikes in general but thought I would give something new a try, I’m already glad I did!
After the first couple of minutes on the track I was left frustrated and thinking bugger this, after a few goes the handling gets a little more intuitive, leaning to turn rather than just the front wheel, fans will already know this but I’m new so leave me alone I have an excuse.
MotoGP 2020 is a simulator but thankfully there is plenty of different options for different skill levels, most settings need to be changed from the menu before the race but some can be adjusted while driving out on the track. Traction control and a few others can be done while racing letting you feel the effect straight away without having to stop and go into a menu. The one setting I changed most during the race was the engine mode, switching it up made the bike quicker at the expense of fuel so managing fuel levels to end of the race is so you will need to keep an eye on.
When you first start racing it’s probably best to have a few of the assists switched on including the racing line which majorly helps to get around the track, being positioned corrected on the track for each corner is essential to making it round the corner at all and then carrying as much speed through the corners to keep momentum, the balance of the rider depends a lot on this as well because if you are out of position in the corner it will likely leave you leaning the wrong way for the next bend as well resulting in then needing some heavy braking or your rider will likely come off.
Corners will have the rider leaning down low to turn fully and just touching the apex to get round as fast as possible but things can go wrong quickly if you manage to come off the track and even just clip the grass. The apex’s themselves are pretty lethal if you catch to much of them, they can cause the bike to become unstable or even lift off the floor and It’s very easy to lose control from this.
Once you get the hang of the handling there is a real feeling of achievement, stringing corner after corner feels exhilarating! Keeping the racing line is the main thing to practice, once you master it you can really put the power down through the corners. The handling all in all is hard to master but easy to just play if that makes sense.
Crashes feel immersive thanks to the view it goes to when you come off the bike, no matter what view you have the game in it will switch to the helmet cam and give you the riders view of the crash helping immersion.
Thankfully for newbie’s to MotoGP there is a rewind button
The good news for newbies to motorbike racing like me is the rewind button! Players are able to rewind at any time they wish, while some won’t like this others will find this really helpful when getting started.
The AI is solid and very challenging with none just sticking to the racing line, other riders won’t hold back and on a few occasions I have been punished for going into a corner slowly or off the racing the line so pressure is always there!
Contact with other riders is a 50-50 in who will come off worse, sometimes it will just make your bike unstable but others it will be a complete wipeout for one or even both riders so making contact is something you need to avoid as much as possible.
Poor Rossi was a victim of my dodgy riding straight away, my first race sent the biking legend flying as the video below shows.
Being a fully licensed MotoGP game you get what you would expect with all the licensed bikes, riders and equipment. Legends like Valentino Rossi are modeled fantastically with plenty of detail and this goes for his bike as well, all branding and stickers to match how they look in real life.
As you progress through the game you will earn credits which can be spent in the games store to buy different equipment and items to customise your rider and motorbike to how you want them, the customisation also includes being able to make designs and numbers to add to the rider.
The career mode is a good place to start with different levels in MotoGP, slower bikes maybe a good place to start for some to practice and work their way up to the top of MotoGP.
Career mode is the most fully featured mode with plenty to do and choose from, choose staff you employ while always keeping track of the money being spent and what your team can afford. Choosing the right team will affect how you progress with upgrades for your bike and team. The pressure to do well is in the contract and this will determine if you stay or go with a team.
The other modes included are single race, championship, time trial, managerial career and historic mode. Online modes are public and private matches as well as race director mode which allows you to choose the players starting positions, assign penalties/flags during and after the race, decide the race settings (weather, duration, etc), modify the final race results, notify that one or more players are “under investigation for a contact/incident on the track.
The character customisation isn’t as fully featured as some with only a few different character faces to choose from but it does the job well enough and for the most part you will only see the riders gear anyway which you can customise to your liking anyway.
The career mode gives the option of a full weekend with practice, qualifying and the race if that’s what you want to do but the choice is totally up to you with the ability to just do qualifying without practice or just do the races itself if that’s all that interests you, be aware if you don’t try to qualify you will start at the back of the grid though.
Try your skills against other real players in multiplayer
Aside from the career mode there is plenty of other modes to keep you busy including multiplayer races or even just practice races and time trials. I found the career mode the one I spent most time in, working my way up to trying to win the MotoGP was actually great fun and I was shocked how much I enjoyed it considering I previously had no interest in motorbikes.
MotoGP’s visuals are really impressive with plenty of details on the tracks, riders and bikes. Lighting and overall detail everywhere is clean and looks great. Performance on the Xbox One X was perfect with no slowdown noticed at any point I was playing even in the first frantic corner with all the other riders onscreen. The Xbox One X plays the game at 60fps and has two modes to choose from, performance or quality.
There is a really good selection of tracks available with 20 tracks on offer with all rosters included such as MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3, Red Bull MotoGP Rookies and MotoE so there is plenty of content to please everyone and this can even be chosen in the career mode.
The only thing I wasn’t sure on was the sound, the voice acting from commentators was fine but the actually bikes sounded a little off, I wasn’t 100% sure how they should actually sound so after watching a few clips on the internet I feel I’m right in saying the sound needs some work, my partner even asked me if I was racing mopeds! (She could see the screen) See what you think but I just don’t feel they have the grunt and deep sound of the bikes I have listened to.
MotoGP 20 is a solid, challenging simulator, whether your into motorbikes or not. Fans of the sport will love the game anyway but even players who are not should find something to like here once you get your head around the handling. Plenty of content and modes add replay value as well as a packed career mode. The game looks fantastic with plenty of detail on tracks, bikes and riders, all with realistic physics. The only thing I feel could improve would be the sound from the bikes, they lack the sound of a realistic MotoGP bike but don’t let this put you off as there really is alot to offer here even for non-MotoGP fans!
8 / 10
- Nice visuals and smooth 60fps performance
- Fully licensed with full up to date roster
- Lots of tracks all with great detail
- Lots of modes and replay value, career is fun with plenty of things to manage and work your rider to the very top!
- Handling is fun but challenging
- Bikes lack MotoGP sound