MXGP Pro is the official title for Motocross GP. What it brings to the table are dirt, revs and some outrageous air. Dubbed the most realistic Motocross racer of all time and with the assistance of 9-time MXGP world champion, Antonio Cairoli, I put it to the test to see how it faired.
Before you set foot into the game, you are asked to design your rider for the duration of your time with MXGP Pro. You customise how the racer looks, how he stares and what he wears (body, face and clothes). Once happy with your choices, you can proceed on to the game. You are offered a tutorial before you get into any of the modes. I recommend you take this if you have never played a motocross game before. It may be a slightly dull moment when gaming, as we all try to not use tutorials, but I found it beneficial when playing the game further on. Once you have finished your tutorial, you are left to free roam in your ‘play area’. This free roam area has all terrains and plenty to try out. Jumps, corners and long straights, all line up for you to take on. I spent a good half hour in this area just making sure I had a good understanding and was comfortable with what I was doing. Happy I had enough skill, I headed on out to the single player screen.
Single player offers four game modes. These are Grand Prix, which can be customised for up to a full weekend of qualifying and racing or just the race itself; Career, which is what it says on the tin; Time Trial, where you set your fastest laps and finally, Championship, which is customised by you, the player. Grand Prix and Time Trial are pretty much great for picking up the controller and which the others offer more depth, depending on how long you can spare.
The Championship Mode is great if you want to test your skills in a long but controlled season. You can pick the tracks and off you go. So, if you like the Losail International Circuit in Qatar, great. If you want to play that 21 times… Go for it, it is completely up to you. You also have the luxury of changing your character out for one of the pre-made pro’s that have been built in the game. These are based on the real guys who participate in the MX scene, which give no advantage to the game. Purely cosmetic.
Career mode is where the fun is mostly at. You have the options of either standard or extreme career modes, with the latter being the ultra-realistic settings and conditions (I can tell why they called this MXGP PRO!!)). You start in MX2, the lower form of motocross. As you start, you need to pick your main sponsor for your bike/team. Once you are happy with the selection, you will now need to pick your technical sponsors for all areas of your bike. Handlebars, hand grips, bar pads, hand guards. Exhaust, tyres, rims, suspensions, brake discs and rear sprockets. The more sponsors you obtain, the more you must satisfy them with the objectives they set. While in career mode, you can customise, not only your bike but your rider too. This includes helmets, goggles, suit, boots and neck brace. Getting you all prepared for the season ahead.
Starting your first race is both fun and challenging. As long as you have completed the tutorial and adjust the settings to suit, you will really enjoy your first race. Waiting for the guards to go down so you can all hit the first corner relatively at the same time makes an interesting aftermath. Also considering the sharp corners and the jumps that can send you into the stands, you can make trial and error a great feature to this game. If you have made a few too many mistakes and your settings allow it, you can use the rewind button to adjust a corner you just took or a jump that you overshot. As the game goes on, you become less dependent on the rewind feature, as you should by now become familiar with the tracks.
A few jumps and skids later, you should have completed your first race. Depending on where you come and what settings you have selected, dictates what rewards or MX points you get. These points can be used to acquire better bikes later in the game. Not only do you collect points, you collect fame. Fame is used to measure how ‘big’ you are getting. With an increase in fame, you are more eligible to unlock more manufacturers of bikes and parts. The more resource available to you, the better your chances of getting to the big leagues will be. Once you have finished your season and you have acquired as much fame as you can, you now just have to pop your helmet off, put your feet up and wait for that email to pop in your inbox with an invite to the big league with a famous manufacturer.
The gameplay is pretty solid. Milestone studios have done a really good job of realism in this game and have every right to call this a ‘Pro’ game. If you set the settings high enough, you must consider weight management, gears, suspension and all sorts, just so you have the right combination ready for a race. Graphically it’s alright, with the circuits showing off some impressive views and what they have done with dynamic light is great. Bikes have a good amount of details and the riders are there to fill it up to the top. With big brands littered around the track, it really does like a true motocross game. The game also offers you various camera angles. These include the standard 1st and 3rd person, but also from behind the handlebars or inside the helmet, to give you a true motocross experience. An excellent feature within the game is the photo mode, which can be used at any point in the game. If you feel you’re about to make some serious air and want to pull off a little tail kick to your mates, just press pause and use the free camera option. It gives you complete freedom of the camera and customisation of your photos.
My only niggly points to this came from the load times for different sections in the menu. Sometimes you would enter a section of the main menu and then have to wait for a good 20 to 30 seconds for it to load. When loading into and out of a game, they can drag too. Maybe this will be fixed with a day 1 patch or this is stuck with the game for life. Also, when racing, there are yellow posts that mark the boundaries of the course. I am to believe these are made from plastic until a phantom post comes out of nowhere and flings you right off your path. Again, possibly a bug or the plastic on MXGP is made of steel. This did only happen a few times with me, it didn’t really fault my experience of the game. Multiplayer wasn’t tested during this review due to issues entering the servers, although I would assume once the game is on full release, the servers will become available. I find highly unlikely that my close friends will be playing this game in all honesty.
At least the soundtrack is pretty good. There are no major names that stick out to me, but just browsing or waiting for a race to start, had my head bopping. A mixture of EDM and Trap music, it kept me entertained while customising and browsing the user interface.
With no experience in Motocross apart from seeing my mate ride a dirt bike around a field one time, I had no expectations for this game. However, spending a bit more time racing at my own pace and skill set, I started to really enjoy my time with MXGP Pro. If you are a Motocross fan, you will absolutely love this game. From the tiniest details, it has everything for a fan. For a casual gamer, it does a job. It has the option for the pickup and go players to boot up a time trial, do a race in career mode or complete a circuit in their own championship/Grand Prix, as well as for the hardcore Motocross fans who can literally put hours into this game. If you get given this game, don’t snub your nose at it, give it a go. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*