MXGP 2020: The Official Motocross Videogame is out now on PS5 and other consoles, and I first saw this game on PS4 at Play Expo Manchester in 2014, ahead of its 2015 released, and at the time, it had okay graphics, but shockingly bad gameplay, as it’s like you’re superglued to your seat. It felt like this sort of game has been done much better in the past.
There’s no premise to a simple sports game like this – it’s just a case of trying to go around a dirt track quicker than everyone else, but without falling off your bike. Automatic gears generally make things easier, but I still find myself falling off the edge of the track because it’s too tempting to go at top speed; but if I can keep up with everyone else, I’ll try to avoid tumbling off by leaning into other bikers alongside me. This does make me rather like Zola Budd tripping up Mary Decker Slaney, but if she can get away with it, then I will, too 😉
I wanted to check this out because the PS5 is fairly new in its infancy, so surely there must be games out there which can push it to the limits? If there are, this one isn’t it.
Graphics just have a slightly nicer sheen to it than previous games, but even still, it doesn’t feel “next-gen” at all. Just PS4 at the very best… perhaps even PS3. Well, it has nice water effects dropping down on the screen of the camera following you (must make for a very crowded race track if everyone has that?) That’s about the only part of the game which feels realistic.
As for the engine sounds, like every previous type of game, they’re just the typical raspy farting bee in a can. In the first race I have uploaded, I didn’t realise I was recording without sound, so it’s a good job I made a few ‘revving engine’ noises along the way.
Gameplay is moderately passable. It works, but it’s fairly basic. As you go round the track, you can hear the haptic triggers flip about on the controller, but it doesn’t really add to anything.
On the plus side – if this is your bag – you can customise you bike, the look of the rider (even including their skin tone, although they always have a helmet on), there’s multiplayer, a track editor/creator, time attack mode, and a playground which is a stretch of woodland to ride around in Nordland, Norway, if a knockabout on your bike is your thing. At least, here, you get to see more of the definition of the graphics, such as the small pebbles and mud on the ground, but for me at least, it’s the kind of extra you’ll try once and that’s it: when you play a racing game, you come to race, not a knockabout.
On the downside, even after a few minutes, I can’t find myself getting excited about it at all. As usual with a game like this, I can keep up with the pack for a few minutes, but after that, I fall back to a distance of a country mile. With some, it’s still enjoyable to keep riding along, regardless, but to me, it just feels like any simliarly lacklustre game I’ve played before. If you do get excited about this sort of game, can you tell me how that is? I’m damned if I can understand it.
Quite frankly, the only fun I really get out of it is jumping over a ramp and going slightly high in the air.
Despite being a ‘next gen’ game, the overall feel is one that’s so mediocre and bland. Plus, collision detection is iffy. For example, the side of the track has white markers to detail it, but you can simply pass through these with gay abandon! The gameplay included will show all the problems I faced.
As an aside, MX Unleashed was free on Xbox Games With Gold, a few months back, but it just doesn’t feel like anything has progressed in both the gameplay and audio departments.
Also I’d add that given that this game didn’t come out until January 2021, it would’ve been better to update the title to MXGP 2021, otherwise people will think the game is a year old. All the Maddens and other sports games for 2021 would have come out last autumn, for example.
Even Lee Carvello’s Putting Challenge is more engaging…
Thanks to our friends at Milestone for the review code for PS5.
MXGP 2020: The Official Motocross Videogame is out now on PS5, and the respective online stores for PS4, Xbox One and PC/Steam.
- Developer: Milestone
- Publisher: Milestone
- Players: Single player, multiplayer
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.