One of the biggest criticisms of the FIFA series is that it doesn’t evolve enough on a year-to-year basis to justify gamers buying the latest instalment. The same could be said of MotoGP. Besides the odd touch-up here and there, and updated riders and teams, it feels like more of the same. MotoGP 18 claims to have upped the game this year, but has it succeeded?
Milestone has reconfigured its gameplay by utilising Unreal Engine 4 for the first time in MotoGP 18. As a result, the physics of the bike have changed from previous editions, with the developer focusing on a true-to-life riding style versus arcade play. This might put off the casual gamer as it’ll require a lot of trial and error to figure out how the bikes handle. If you adjust your movements too quickly or don’t get your steering right, your rider will be flying without wings in no time. Like I said, it’s more like the real world than a video game here.
Additionally, Milestone made use of drone scanning to get a 1:1 recreation of all the tracks. This means the circuits are the most detailed they’ve ever been, and you’ll struggle to find a more authentic recreation of the sport than this one. Not only will players have to navigate the bike’s sweet spots, but they’ll also need to dedicate time to learning every track’s tricky turns. It’s rewarding if you get it right; however, it is time-consuming.
There are different modes for players to try out. You can partake in the standard online or single race fare to the more in-depth career mode. As expected, the career mode features a journey-like aspect whereby your rider revs up for numerous races and advances in the sport with experience and hopefully wins. Like most other sports game, there are other nifty features, such as email alerts, that add to the realism of it all. The spectator mode is perhaps the most curious of all the features, as the graphics – which I’ll discuss below – don’t exactly inspire you to sit back and enjoy the show.
From a graphics perspective, it continues the trend of poor graphics in MotoGP games. Yes, it’s a slight improvement over its predecessor, but it still feels like we’re playing an older generation title here. The crowds and scenery are still static and one-dimensional, and there are glitches when riders get thrown off their bike. For a title that prides itself in realism, the rider falls are utterly hilarious in how impractical they are, looking more like ragdolls than humans.
The load times are equally frustrating. Here we thought that PS1 loading times were gone forever, yet MotoGP 18 has revisited the past in a way none of us wanted. It’s understandable that there’s a lot happening on screen and will require some background processing, but the shoddy graphics shouldn’t require that insane amount of loading time.
Overall, MotoGP 18 is geared towards the diehard fans of the sport. This isn’t an easy, pick-up-and-play title, nor does it have enough quality to appeal to a broader base. If you’re a fan of MotoGP, though, you should be satisfied enough until the subsequent edition arrives next year.