Title: MotoGP 18
Platform: PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, PC, Switch.
Developer: Milestone srl
Publisher: Milestone srl
Price: £50/$45 (across all platforms)
Release date: June 7, 2018
TL;DR: Two wheeled racing simulator.
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It was a warm summers day on a Sunday afternoon in 1986 – insert childhood flashback sequence
I would often clamber on to the sofa after a hearty Sunday roast and watch the Grand Prix with my dad (when it used to be on terrestrial television), and slowly fall asleep as the white noise of the humming motorbike exhausts sent me off to nod land – good times.
To be honest, neither I or my dad were really MotoGP fans, we only found the start and finish of the races interesting, accompanied by a bit of simultaneous ‘ooohing’ at the mangled bikes and riders after a spill. With only four TV channels on the box back then, there wasn’t really much choice on offer.
Fast forward to the present day and not only do we have 100’s of TV channels, the internet, powerful computers, and home consoles; but we can take part in the Grand Prix like never before.
MotoGP 2018 is the latest iteration of the series, bringing together all the assets of the GP world, from the riders and bike manufacturers to the globe-trotting destinations that host the race tracks. Featuring famous GP riders like Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) and Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati), this game contains the details a fan of MotoGP would desire.
Developed by Milestone, a development house that specialises in racing games like GRAVEL and Motocross GP3; MotoGP 18 has the chance to benefit from that knowledge and experience. Using the latest technologies Milestone went as far as to use drones and 3D scanning for a 1:1 recreation of tracks, bikes, and riders to give as authentic an experience as possible. But does this translate into a fun and engaging game?
The first thing I encountered playing MotoGP 18 was the amount of time I was waiting around for things to load. One loading icon was followed by a loading screen, which then went to a race screen that had to load to 100%. Although the races themselves were interruption free, this loading scenario occurred before and after every race.
The interface and menu of the game were easy to navigate and offered several different game modes that included a Career mode, Quick Mode, Multiplayer, and eSport Championship mode. I was unable to try-out the online aspects of MotoGP18 due to the game not being officially released at the time of review, so I dived into the Career mode.
After choosing the face of a rider that I would hardly ever see under his motorcycle helmet I progressed to the starting grid itself. You get a few ropey looking cut scenes sat on your bike next to a pit girl and then onto the track with engines revving.
I was playing using headphones, and the soundscape of your exhaust mixed with the other bikes was awful, it sounded absolutely terrible and had me racing to the audio options to turn down the engine noise. Once comfortable with the sound I restarted the race. Starting lights turned green and we’re off.
I pull off level with the pack and start braking for the first corner, I’ve gone a little wide and the rest of the pack have overtaken me and I’m in last place. I continue to complete the course, not crashing or going off the track, but I fail to catch up with the rest, who had slowly driven off into the distance after the first lap.
This scenario replicated itself over the next few races; one small mistake was all it took to lose the race, and this is on the easy settings with computer-assisted braking. I found the difficulty of this game more akin to a simulator than an arcade experience and combine that with what felt to me like unresponsive control of the vehicle I was not having fun.
I persevered through the championship and had some higher finishes, learning to try and stay on the racing line as much as possible to even stand a chance of keeping up with my biker buddies. Competing racing teams were starting to offer me contracts, promising to give me faster bikes with better handling, but nothing seemed to improve the game for me. I had to put in a lot of work for very little reward, and the smallest of mistakes at any point in the race meant no recovery unless you remembered the rewind button.
And that rewind button was utilised far too much, and I just felt like a dirty cheat, taking away any enjoyment or accomplishment I was feeling for completing a race. Oh, and I must give a shout out to the annoying pop-up notification that kept appearing on the middle right of the screen to let me know the lap split times of my rivals. That thing put me off far too many times, causing a few rewinds.
Graphics wise, the game looks OK. The tracks may be a 1:1 scale replica of the originals, but they look generic and lack depth. The same crowd stands and buildings were used on different tracks and it just looks cheap. The textures are bland and blurry, and the colour schemes look washed out. The only thing that looked anywhere near high-res on the screen was the motorbike. It felt like I was playing a last generation title, so the overall presentation of the game itself really didn’t do it for me.
I would see this title appealing to a very niche audience of crotch rocket enthusiasts, but for mass appeal I see it struggling. It’s not a beginner friendly game, and you really had to want to play it. I found I just wanted to free up the hard drive space after a couple of hours of playing this, but I do confess that racing games aren’t my thing. Unless it’s Road Rash and I get to wrap a bike chain around the head of some punk trying to get past me.
- 1:1 scale track recreation.
- Official Bike manufacturers and Riders
- Loading times.
- Bland graphics.
- Horrible sound.
ESRB: No Rating as of this review. and PEGI: No Rating as of this review.
This game is suitable for all audiences and contains no violence or bad language. Just the occasional crash.
Disclaimer: This review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by the publisher for the purposes of this review.