MILESTONE have an impressive pedigree when it comes to games on two wheels. Grand prix motorcycle racing and motocross may be niche interests but the Italian developers have proved themselves loving custodians of the sports with a series of impressive if straightforward approximations.
MotoGP 14 - Playstation 4 / Xbox 360 (reviewed) / Playstation 3 / Playstation Vita / PC
Score: 8.0 / 10
The latest, MotoGP 14, presents the most expansive simulation yet of the flagship MotoGP world championship, currently being dominated by the imperious Spaniard, Marc Marquez. He, and numerous other well-known racers, feature across 18 tracks in the title, with a bevy of game modes on offer to keep things interesting.
There is standard fare such as the grand prix itself, a career mode and the ability to dispense with all the ephemera surrounding race day and simply hit the track in the hope of recording the fastest possible time. The 2014 iteration, however, throws into the mix new game options which allow you to imitate, if not improve upon events that took place in the 2013 season, as well as pit your wits against other riders and teams in a series of scenarios.
The wealth of modes would be nothing, however, without MotoGP’s intricate and nuanced handling. Depending on what AI assists you choose to turn on or off, the bike mechanics are excellent and well-judged in terms of difficulty. Timing when, and how hard, to corner is key to success, and although being able to navigate the perfect apex takes time, it is extremely rewarding.
The main downside to MotoGP 14 is the lack of variety in the tracks. Though they span a range of countries, the appearance of the course environments does not feel distinct or alive. Some gamers may not even notice this uniformity of design given their focus is firmly on the asphalt, but playing through a career mode with extended practice and qualifying laps and the homogeneity can lead to boredom.
TIPS AND TRICKS
1) Although beginners will benefit from having all of the AI assists turned on, it is well worth removing these crutches as you progress in the game. It makes for a faster and ultimately more enjoyable experience.
2) Take advantage of the engineer at your disposal; the tweaks he can make to your bike can shave off a crucial few seconds, provided his suggestions tally with your racing style.
3) The career mode introduces players to the Moto3 tier of the sport. For those who have never played the game before, this is a good way of getting to grips with the general handling and physics before the speedometer is cranked up a notch.