In 2017, you really need to consider how you spend your money, especially with the world’s politicians figuring out new and inventive ways of effing us every day. This is why niche sports games, such as motocross, need to be spectacular and appeal to casual gamers as well as fanatics of the sport. MXGP3 tries to bridge this gap with some neat graphics and the promise of a true-to-life motocross experience, but does it succeed?
What MXGP3 does well is make use of the official licensing to make the experience as realistic as possible. You can complete a season in MXGP or the MX2 class, choosing from well-known pro racers and teams or you can customise yourself and go for a dusty ride. For the diehards, there’s a host of tweaking and adjustments that you can fiddle with to ensure you have the perfect ride. For the rest, this title is certainly not lacking in the different modes department.
The graphics and sound are the standout features and make full use of the eight-gen’s power and capabilities. From the intricate bikes, recognisable riders, and detailed locations to the realistic noises of the various bikes and Ultra-inspired soundtrack, there’s a lot to savour here. Although, I do wish the customization feature for the riders had a few more options to pick from. Sure, you won’t be able to see it with their helmets on, but dammit, I want to give my rider a Spider-Man costume.
In terms of controls, it’s a bit tricky to navigate your player through the courses at times. If you’re looking for an easy-to-control and pick-up-and-play Motocross game, this isn’t for you. You’ll need to dedicate a fair amount of time to learning your bike’s handling and the courses before you finally get the hang of it. It’s extremely lifelike in that way.
What’s frustrating here is the disparity in the places where the player is considered off track. Go slightly to the sides and you’re reset back to the course, but there are other places where you can cut corners without a care in the world. This makes the whole start-stop affair tedious and interrupting when you just want to race.
Another big issue for me is the loading times. For a second, I wondered if I was going back to the days of PlayStation 1, where I could make a sandwich, iron my clothes, walk my dog, and write an essay paper in between levels. I understand there’s a lot of data to load here, but something tells me the developers didn’t code this in a smart way. If you think of a game like WWE 2K17, which can handle a variety of characters on the same screen at the same time and with their own unique traits, why can’t this game handle a group of bikers in a single location, with a controlled and limited environment?
Unfortunately, MXGP3‘s biggest flaw is it’s an extremely niche title, appealing strictly to fans of the sport and not really anyone else. Unlike a sports game like FIFA 17, which is played by both fans and non-fans of the beautiful game, this isn’t the sort of game you’d pick up to give a try. It’s impressive in places – namely the graphics, licensing, and courses – but the replay value is fairly limited. This one is for the motocross junkies only. Oh, and Excitebike still remains supreme.