It’s been a diverse year for Milestone. Sébastien Loeb Rally Evo supplied the 4 wheel action, RIDE gave us the opportunity to get our motorbikes screaming like a million banshees, and MotoGP 15 continued delivering much of the same. All in all a wild cocktail of two and four wheeled action. Back in March 2014 MXGP was released and now we have the sequel, MXGP2 The Official Motocross Videogame, and the hope that the Italian developers have taken motocross to the next level.
MXGP2 The Official Motocross Videogame is based on the 2015 FIM Motocross World Championship license and just about every aspect of the game has improved since its predecessor. From the stylish menus to the polished in-game graphics it’s all looking pretty appetising from the off. Like all Milestone releases, the action comes to a crashing halt as the usual rider information, set up and other such gump needs inputting before you can mount and hit the throttle. Donning your nickname and race number on the back of your shiny leathers never becomes a chore, though. Milestone has again delivered a part simulation and part arcade motocross racer with loads of options for fine tuning and tinkering with your chosen motorcycle. You can purchase bikes, upgrade performance, change the visual look and even select a different brand of hand grip; it’s all there. But MXGP2 does cater for the jump in and play type of gamer, too.
Balance and your rider’s body position play a monumental role in staying ahead of the pack. Effective use of the DS4’s right trigger nails airborne manoeuvres and landings, and makes getting the edge and overtaking twenty one other contenders a rewarding achievement. Setting yourself up for a scrub before a jump is another way to make sure you spend less time in the air and more time with your two wheels firmly on the ground, hence getting the speed advantage. Use of the rear brake and seeing your backend slide out make you believe you’re fully in control of each machine and again brings some racing satisfaction.
MXGP2 can be unpredictable and challenging. I say challenging, but that’s only once you’ve upped the difficulty, as playing on ‘Base’ simply sees you taking the lead after the second corner and on to victory with a stash of credits under your belt. With changing terrains and tight corners, there is always going to be the odd incident, and this is where the unpredictability comes in, with some incidents stranger than others. When the pack all converge onto the same race line the outcome isn’t pretty and will usually result in your rider being slung head first into a paramedic van rag doll style, or splattered into one of the many Pirelli Tyres advertising boards lining the route. While slightly annoying it’s all part of the fun. Testing jumps, demanding uphill gauntlets and muddy banks will all require the odd use of the rewind button to succeed, but once out in front it’s down to you and your skill to stay ahead. Racing is fun and enjoyable, and a totally different feel from the road-racing games you may be used to.
Scrubs Up Well
Graphically, under all the mud and dirt MXGP2 does have a more polished look and comes with some fine tracks, lush landscapes and great stadium detail. Race surfaces bring different elements both visually and handling wise and also create the feeling that each race is very different from the last.
As you would expect, Milestone racers are not short on content and MXGP2 is no different. You’ll pretty much have access to all of it from the off including the new Americas tracks. Career Mode is your best starting point, and you’ll have the chance to ride on 18 official tracks from the 2015 FIM Motocross World Championship. MXGP mode lets you enter a Grand Prix, Championship or Time Attack events. Monster Energy FIM MXON offers a three race competition to jump into and Real Events give you the opportunity to relive real life events from the MXGP vault. The flashy Stadium Series are a bonus; these circuits are packed to the rafters with motocross fans and with the smaller tight tracks to race on, these really give a different feel to the open races, plus they’re a touch more demanding to race on. If you’re not a huge online player you’re also in luck – gone are the marathon online tasks to complete and there are just two MP trophies to race for.
MXGP2 The Official Motocross Videogame is an improved motocross experience with fluid handling and some realistic motorbike physics. Full on customization brings a solid performance all round. Stuck in the mud? I think not.
Lizard Rating 7.5/10