Reviews

‘MotoGP 15’ Review

MotoGP 15 Screen 19

Platforms PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC

Platform Played PlayStation 4

   Developer/Publisher Milestone S.r.l

Earlier this year I reviewed Ride, which was a motorcycle racing game developed by Milestone S.r.l. Ride was overall a disappointing experience and I believed motorcycle enthusiasts deserved something better, fortunately this is where MotoGP 15 comes in. Though MotoGP 15 is also developed by Milestone, it delivers a significant step up from the aforementioned release.

One of MotoGP 15‘s most impressive aspects is the amount of options it gives to the player. MotoGP 15 contains the full roster of official 2015 Moto GP Championship riders and bikes, but it also contains all the riders from Moto2, Moto3, and Moto GP 2 Stroke Champions. The roster is downright impressive and each bike category feels significantly different from the last. Moto3 offers a subdued experience due to the lack of power, while the Moto GP delivers a powerful roar as they rocket down the pit straight. The significant difference in each bike category offers plenty of options when choosing your perfect ride, but there are also plenty of options on the track.

MotoGP 15 allows players to alter almost every single aspect of a race, allowing you to create your perfect competition. Want to ease your way into MotoGP 15 to learn the ropes? Allow for auto braking. Want to re-enact an entire championship? Choose to experience the entire weekend at full race length. I loved having complete power over each race, and the astounding amount of options given to create that experience is greatly appreciated. The vast customisation options truly shine when playing online, but I shall get into that a little bit later.

MotoGP 15 Screen 22

MotoGP 15 begins with the creation of your custom rider, but sadly the options are limited. One of the biggest downsides of the custom creation is the lack of the ability to alter your riders face. Instead players must choose from a range of preset photographs. It’s certainly an odd procedure and it explains why your rider never takes off his helmet in pre-race celebrations. Aside from this the options are very thin. Almost everything you do in MotoGP 15 is awarded with experience, which will unlock new wearable items; though these items are merely colour swaps. Unless you truly want your rider’s personal items to match the team you’re riding for, there is almost no reason to alter these options once they are chosen.

Your created rider will mostly be used in Career Mode. This mode begins in the Moto3 category, as you win races and gain fans you will start to move to better teams and ultimately become Moto GP World Champion. As with most racing based Career Modes players will increase in popularity after each race, as well as being given the option to acquire sponsors and change teams. Though your overall popularity doesn’t seem to factor into anything at all, this makes the number simply a pointless figure. It would have been nice if there was something tying into your popularity, perhaps bonus cash from merchandise sales that could have culminated towards your GP credits total. GP credits are earned after each race and can be used to purchase bikes, though the selection is steeply priced and after three seasons I’ve barely been able to purchase six rides.

MotoGP 15 Screen 29

Moving through each racing category in Career Mode is greatly rewarding, as your victories and success determine how fast your rise to the pinnacle of racing will take. Each victory feels like another step to proving yourself worthy of the Moto GP category. Career Mode also allows improvements to each bike, in the form of data packs. These packs are earned from each race you complete and testing sessions. I loved the idea of earning more data packs from these testing sessions, which does a great job at replicating the process teams take to improve their bikes throughout the season. If you want to turn up the difficulty and continue your journey after becoming World Champion, you can, as Career Mode seems to have no end in sight.

MotoGP 15 delivers where it matters most, on the track. As I mentioned earlier each bike feels significantly different and the racing conditions will also alter the feel of each ride. I loved the feeling of your bike struggling as you power through a corner at breakneck speeds, and the audible grunt of the engine stressing as you push it to the very limit. Altering the physics of your ride will also alter the feel and sound of your bike. Unfortunately once again Milestone has implicated a sub par version of the Rewind system found in most racers. Like Ride the timer in-between use isn’t shown and if you don’t fix your mistake after one rewind, you must then suffer the consequences. Of course you don’t need to implicate the Rewind system at all, but the fact that Milestone once again has provided an odd version of the system is frustrating. Especially when facing AI of higher difficulty, these racers will push and shove in order to get to the top. Those able to master the lower difficulty will certainly have their metal challenged in these highly difficult settings.

MotoGP 15 Screen 17

Aside from Career Mode MotoGP 15 also offers the standard Grand Prix, Time Attack and single race modes. But the additional Beat the Time, MotoGP2 Stroke Events and Real Events 2014 modes add a considerable amount of challenge and gameplay. Beat the Time challenges players to use lower powered bikes in order to beat specific lap times, while 2 Stroke Events has players race as well known riders in fictional challenges. Real Events 2014 has players re-enact moments from the 2014 season, or alter the events. Real Events introduces each race with a small video from the actual real life race, but there is no voice over, or any form of further explanation. I think Real Events would have benefited from some form of voice over work introducing the challenge, or perhaps even throughout each challenge itself. This instead makes these modes feel like an afterthought, rather than an in-depth extra.

One of my small gripes with MotoGP 15 is the lack of commentary. Though there are lines of dialogue delivered after each race, these are repeated frequently and makes me wonder why so few lines were recorded. Like Ride the actual race itself is pure silence. There are no commentators giving their thoughts on the race and no pit crew voices. This may not matter to some, but as someone who loved officially lisenced racing games in the past for the excellent commentary track, MotoGP 15 refuses to go to the extra effort needed to provide it.

This goes double for the average visuals within MotoGP 15. Even at its visual best, MotoGP 15 looks like a crisp version of a last generation game, and even barely manages to visually outwit Ride. This doesn’t mean MotoGP 15 is horrible to look at, but it certainly doesn’t seem willing to go that extra mile to truly provide a beautiful looking racing game that bike fans deserve. Even post-race celebrations are hampered by the horrible character models Milestone has created. Sure your rider will never remove their helmet, but your pit crew will surround your rider in celebration. There was even a time when the entire pit crew consisted of one singular character model. It’s disappointing that MotoGP 15 is happy to rest on its laurels visually, instead of setting the bar, or at least gaining traction on the visuals delivered by its four wheeled counterparts.

MotoGP 15 Screen 15

As previously mentioned the customisable race options truly shine online. The options when creating your own lobby online are extensive, from choosing AI difficulty, race length, bike physics and more. If none of the lobbies online (which can be found with a simple search) tickle your fancy, simply create your perfect race and await your opponents. MotoGP 15‘s online component is impressively strong, which is mainly due to the great connection. This was easily one of the most stable online components I have experienced in a long while and it makes all the difference. Aside from the occasional frame rate dip, the experience is mostly perfect and it allows for some intense racing action against other players.

Whether you’re competing in single races, online championships that carry over between races, or competing in the new modes Sprint Season and Split Times, there is a lot to choose from. Sprint Season is basically MotoGP 15‘s version of FIFA‘s online championship mode. Players will have a certain amount of races to earn enough points to be promoted to the next tie, if you do not fulfill the requirements then you will be relegated. This mode adds bonus incentive to perform well against opponents, without directly making your opponents matter to your personal progress. Split Times on the other hands cuts each track into eight sectors, after an amount of time the player with the most won sectors is the winner. Though not many are currently playing this mode, Split Times added a new found level of intensity to each race, as you frantically push your bike to its maximum potential to split a few seconds off the clock.

the-verdict

MotoGP 15 isn’t without its flaws, from the thin rider customisation options, lacking visuals and the absence of any substantial commentary. MotoGP 15 is a substantial improvement from Ride and that is a great positive for two wheeled racing fans.

Racing is enjoyable and as difficult as you decide to make it due to the large racing customisation options, alongside the sturdy and genuinely intense online component. Milestone has delivered a serviceable two wheeled racer, despite some modes and options clearly lacking the extra effort needed to make them truly impressive.

If you are going to buy one two wheeled racer this year, do yourself a favour and avoid Ride, and instead enjoy MotoGP 15.

The Good

  • Large selection of bikes that feel significantly different on the track.
  • Customisable race options.
  • Endless Career Mode.
  • Stable and enjoyable multiplayer component.

The Bad

  • Thin rider customisation.
  • Average visual display.
  • Modes lacking options and features.

The Score: 7.6


Jamie Briggs manages Analog Addiction and you can like them on Facebook, follow his daily life on Twitter @JamieAA, and his videos on YouTube.

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