When a developer doesn’t stray away too far from the path.
Title: MXGP Pro
Platform: PC, PS4 (reviewed), Xbox One
Developer: Milestone s.r.l.
Publisher: Milestone s.r.l.
Release date: Out now
tl;dr: Motocross sim for fans of the MXGP
Price: $50/£50 (across all platforms)
Family Focus: Click here for more information.
MXGP Pro is the fourth entry in Milestone s.r.l.’s MXGP racer series, which first released as MXGP The Official Motocross Videogame, way back in 2014, which was then followed by two sequels in 2016 and 2017; MXGP Pro is the third consecutive release. While it’s my first dabble in the MXGP franchise (I was always curious to try it but not enough to drop $80 on it), I wanted to give the game a fair shot. I enjoy racing sims, and after enjoying the likes of GRID, Forza Horizon, and Gran Turismo, I finally was able to give this series a try.
The latest entry in the MXGP series is the usual and traditional experience where players have a handful of game modes to choose from. Unfortunately, it is a bit light on content, as players can only choose between four modes: Grand Prix, Time Attack, Championship, and Career. Players can also roam around freely à la Forza Horizon, but it’s boring; the lack of ambient music (more on that later) emphasizes the tediousness of freely riding to events.
The bread and butter of racing titles is the gameplay; if the gameplay doesn’t feel right, it can drag the experience down. While I can understand that MXGP Pro is a motocross simulator, the controls don’t feel as tight as they should be; they feel… slippery, muddy. There’s also a few options to tweak (such as the weight-shifting assistance) per race that allows players to adjust the responsiveness and the assistance from the game but it doesn’t help at all. It’s the first hindrance to newcomers to the series, as these adjustments aren’t substantial enough to feel easily accessible and newcomer-friendly. Furthermore, the game obviously has various difficulty settings to accommodate all types of players; from Easy to Pro, there’s (almost) something for everyone. Unfortunately, even the Easy difficulty setting won’t make things more approachable for first time players of MXGP, mostly due to the slippery controls.
While I can understand that, being a motocross sim, Milestone s.r.l. has created an authentic racing experience with muddy tracks, but as soon as you step half an inch out of bounds, whether it be due to the loose controls or being rammed into by another racer, a three second countdown will pop up, giving players a very small window of opportunity to get back on track. Sometimes the game doesn’t even have faith that you’ll make it back, and spawns you automatically back on the track, losing precious times and ground. Unless you’re a vet of the series, trying to catch up is nigh impossible, even with perfect skills mixed with the easiest difficulty setting.
But for those returning players, you’ll be happy to know that Milestone s.r.l. has stepped up the simulation feel up a notch by bringing in nine times MXGP World Champion, Antonio Cairoli, in order to give the developers in creating a realistic pro physics mechanic. This entails realistic whips, more in-air control, ruts that influence how you take corners, and clutch control for super-fast starts, among other little details.
Visually, the game looks fine. Whether it be for gameplay or visuals, Milestone s.r.l. doesn’t seem to stray away too far from its yearly formula. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? There’s no wow factor for the game’s visuals, but it does the job. The game’s audio is mediocre, as is the rest of the package. Generic low techno beats during menu navigation and races are overshadowed by the bike engines, which makes for a tedious and boring race. As I mentioned above, while freeroam is interesting, the lack of music makes it feel drab.
While I can certainly appreciate what Milestone s.r.l. has done with MXGP Pro, unfortunately the game feels aimed at its regular clientele. It doesn’t make things fun or easy for newcomers to take the dive and feel like they’re actually making progress. While it can be enjoyed if players take the time to dedicate themselves to the game, it’s a frustrating and boring mess for short play sessions. The long loading times make it a chore waiting for the race to load up, and the game’s muddy controls make for an overall frustrating experience, but longtime fans will be happy (hopefully) with more of what they’re used to. Now, don’t mind me while I pray to the gaming gods for EA to bring back Freakstyle…
- Longtime fans will be happy
- Oh dear god, the loading times
- Steep learning curve for newcomers
- Slippery controls
MXGP Pro is rated E for Everyone and PEGI 3. This racing game is for family members of all ages; it just needs the proper time and dedication to actually progress forward.
This review is based on a review code provided by the developer for the purposes of this review.