Milestone are fast becoming a major name in racing games with Seb Loeb Rally Evo, MXGP2, Ducati 90th Anniversary, Ride and the Moto GP series all under their belt, It’s no surprise to see the biggest name in Moto GP jumping on board to lend his brand to the game which replies with an ongoing advertisement.
Just as with the career of Valentino Rossi, the title showcase’s much more of the history of Moto GP, as you track the career of Rossie from start to current day including the full official Moto GP 2016 season as well as numerous extra’s ranging from Flat track, The Drift, R1M and even Rally
Usually if you’d heard of various disciplines and rally car’s being thrown into a Moto GP game you would be quite concerned, but with the experience of Milestone across the board, it actually sounds like an improvement and after working your way through the numerous menu’s you soon realise it’s well worth the extra additions due to the sheer amount of content on off.
Split between Racing, The Rossi experience, Time attack and Multiplayer you’ll find numerous modes to jump into, the main has to be the Career but we’ll touch on that one later. You’ve got racing or championships for a variety of classes including the official Moto GP season, and under the Rossie Experience you can venture into historic events and numerous challenged to test your skill. With the challenge of multiplayer offering both online and split screen variants. You can also check your stats under My GP which shows you how your custom driver is progressing as well as customisation which cover literally dozens of helmets, gloves, boots and such like.
There’s no full championships for the extra modes which does leave them feeling somewhat tacked on, however due to the quality of Milestone’s over offerings these are mostly of a very high quality, The Rally especially so, and while the Flat track racing aren’t quite as exciting, it offers a slightly different spin on your usual two wheeled ventures.
Back to Career and you’ll begin with customising your character. There’s a pretty basic setup allowing you to choose a predefined face, and then more detailed options for customising your riding style as well as the vast selection of gear which can later be unlocked using the VR credits that you are rewarded with each race.
Throughout the career you’ll also improve your reputation and driver skill with each race and while you get the largest boost for finishing first, it’s nice to see gradual increases regardless of your position, this gives you a pleasant feeling of constant progression yet the realisation it’s certainly skill based,
You’ll visit various disciplines throughout the career and these help to prevent the non Moto GP variations from feeling much more than a tacked on (yet high quality) extra, There’s a long detailed quest to rise through the ranks and the ongoing calendar brings new events and challenges as you progress, constant narration and messages from Rossi help to engage the player as you work towards the full Moto GP championships.
The presentation is of a high quality, and the assists and options give you plenty of choice depending on how much of a challenge you’re looking for, obviously the inclusion of the extra disciplines does take some of the limelight away from the actual Moto GP but they work together in perfect harmony building up to the crescendo of the Moto GP.
Difficulty isn’t simple, even on the easiest settings you’ll find yourself having to watch every opponent as you corner, and ensuring your cornering is as tight as the leaderboards. Things are made a little easier as going off the track slightly rarely caused a penalty and the speed reduction was minimal with only handling effected clearly. There’s plenty of chance to gain additional VR credits by adjusting race options such as race only, qualifying or full weekend, difficulty and damage, or testing yourself further by turning off some of the various racing aids such as steering, brakes, trajectory and the rewind feature.
The Rewind feature is pretty simple allowing you to roll back time and continue from an earlier point, there’s no penalty for using this however there’s a 5% boost in VR points if you turn it off.
Onto the graphics and you’d be forgiven for thinking everything is amazing with the positive start to the review, however there are a couple of issues which rear their ugly head, Bikes look sharp and detailed however they seem to carry their own lighting which some times makes them feel dissociated from the rest of the world, backgrounds are weak with buildings occasionally looking more like a launch title than one two years into the consoles life-cycle, and while all of these can be easily ignored, the occasional framerate issues and texture pop-in constantly reminds you that graphically things could have been so much better but fortunately the menu’s and graphics elsewhere are all much more in line with what you expect from a next-generation title in 2016.
Audio is a large step in the right direction. While the background music verges on annoying at time’s there’s a decent variation and plenty of narration and voice transcripts from Valentino Rossi himself,
There are a few niggles about the A.I, they occasionally feel like they’re on rails and you won’t be seeing racers taking risks on the final corners, they’ll just fall in together, sticking to the racing line. This does detract a little from the realism, but only slightly as the actual racing still feels intense due to the sheer number of opponents you have to work your way past.
The career really is the icing on the cake, but with so many other challenges, and historic events via the Rossi Experience and the DLC option to add 10 more 2015 challenges you realise that on top of the Rally, Drift, D1M and Flat track races there really is a great value bundle at your fingertips.