MotoGP 20, what is it? Well, it is the official game for the MotoGP racing series made by Milestone games. If you don’t know who Milestone games are, they are an Italian developer that has specialised in making motorcycle racing games since the 1990’s! Suffice to say, they know their stuff when it comes to these style of games.
Now this latest MotoGP game is a serious racing game. Consider it to be like Forza Motorsport, not Forza Horizon. That’s to say it’s definitely a simulation style racer, not an arcade special. Don’t get me wrong, it is a lot of fun, but just don’t go expecting Road Rash, Motocross Madness or even Ride 2. Its most certainly made for fans of the sport and those looking for something they can really sink their teeth into.
First impressions of MotoGP20 are it looks good. It’s by no means mind blowing, but it’s a solid looker. In particular the bikes and riding gear look fantastic. The love and attention to detail the devs have put into the machines. The bikes are true to life copies of the current GP machines, not just in their shape and style, but even the liveries are spot on. On track they look great. I also like what they’ve done with the riding gear. Helmets look great, light gleams off the different finishes and intricately done.
The animations of the riders are worth mentioning too. Each rider has a distinct style and when creating your own rider you can choose their riding style too. Overall the way riders move on the bike just looks natural. This may not sound like a big thing, but on a game like this it needs to be spot on, when they aren’t it can really ruin this type of game. Nice work Milestone.
But things aren’t all good. Unfortunately the tracks look a bit lifeless. Trees and foliage are low res, the crowds are kind of just a 2D mess and the track surface could be more detailed. These are minor issues, because when you are riding, you’re just concentrating on…well, riding! There could be some definite improvements here though, especially when you compare it to the likes of Forza Horizon 4.
The biggest let down graphically is in the faces. They’ve tried to replicate the riders from real life, which is a good idea in theory, but they kind of just look creepy. Some of them aren’t too bad, but if I’m honest, they aren’t that good.
So overall, I would like some higher graphical fidelity, but they have nailed it where it counts.
Performance wise, I’ve got a good PC and had no issues at all running the game with all the settings cranked. I was getting over 144fps at 1080p and 100fps+ at 1440p. And surprisingly, there are a large amount of graphics options here. It’s always good to see a developer put in a lot of effort into the PC version. On console, expect 60fps on the PS4 Pro and XBOX One X, and 30fps on the entry level consoles.
In terms of music, there honestly is not a lot to report here. There is background music for menus and after races, but there is no music while you’re riding. Being a serious racing game, I can see why they’ve chosen to do that, but I still would have liked the option to play music.
Sound wise, you have a presenter doing voice overs before and after racing sessions. Overall I found this to be done well. The only issue I could find was a couple of times at the end of a race he would be talking about the wrong thing, like a session that had occurred earlier.
So how do the bikes sound? Overall, they sound pretty good. There is a large variety in engine sounds between different the bikes and categories. Your old school two strokes have that classic high pitched scream, bikes from various eras and manufacturers sound vastly different and you do get the odd pop and bang from the exhaust that really brings a smile to my face. Where they are let down is some just sound…synthetic. Like a vacuum cleaner or blender, there’s just that lingering, synthetic undertone. And that’s a big shame, because when you are riding, it’s just you controlling the bike and that engine sound. Don’t get me wrong, some of the bikes sound fantastic, I just feel like they could have done a better job here.
On a positive note, Milestone have added in this fantastic wind noise effect that gives this heightened sense of speed and different camera angles sounds differnt (the helmet cam in particular is tops).
It’s all well and good talking about graphics and sound, but this a racing game. Let’s talk about how MotoGP 20 controls. And thankfully, they have nailed it. Each class feels completely different, with smaller bikes being easier to ride and light weight feeling, where large GP bikes feel powerful, are harder to stop and there is some real heft to the controls. You actually have to pay attention to modulating the accelerator and brakes, especially the brakes. You can’t just jam your finger down and hope for the best. At first I found it extremely hard, but after sticking with it for an hour or two I started to get the hang of it and really enjoy myself. They’ve included a rewind feature (I used this A LOT to begin with with) so you can fix your mistakes. On top of that there are various assists and also heaps of ways you can adjust the difficulty.
Gameplay and content wise, there is a ton here. You have historic mode where you race to unlock your favorite riders and bikes from the past, quick modes including time trials and individual races, multiplayer and career mode. On top of these is an extremely detailed customisation mode where you can adjust everything from bike liveries, design helmets, race numbers, stickers and riding suits. I found myself spending wayyyy too much time fiddling with designs, to the point where I actually had to force myself to stop!
The most touted feature is career mode where you develop your motorcycle, hire and fire staff, test, change teams and race seasons. Initially it was a bit confusing on what I was exactly supposed to do, as there are no tutorials and you are just expected to figure it all out yourself. It would have been good to have some guidance here, but you do figure it out reasonably quickly.
Once you’re racing there is a heap of detail in career mode and thankfully it’s much easier to navigate once you are racing. Bike set up is described in a way anyone could understand and you can even do automatic changes (or none at all). You need to keep an eye on tyre wear, fuel consumption and different electronic settings too. The career mode is not for the faint of heart, but once I wrapped my head around it, I found this to be my favorite mode by far.
So is MotoGP 20 worth getting? If you are into motorcycles or racing games, 100% yes. People who aren’t fans may struggle a bit to get into it, but it is an extremely rewarding game and addictive! There is a butt load of content and you are most definitely getting your money’s worth. Milestone have also been putting out constant updates and adding in extra content for free. On top of that, no micro transactions!
Sure, it’s not perfect and I think the presentation could be improved in minor areas namely graphics fidelity and some of the engine sounds, but its good where it counts. Overall it controls great and is a damn fine racer.
Overall I give it 4 out of 5.