Game Reviews

MotoGP 20 Review

The racing season may be delayed, but new MotoGP is earlier than usual.

by Dean James
MotoGP 20

The sports world is essentially at a standstill right now, ranging from the delay of sports like baseball to the movement of NASCAR races to online iRaces instead. NASCAR is far from the only motorsport to be impacted, with MotoGP having to delay the start of their season that would have started recently. Before all of this happened, Milestone srl had already planned on releasing their latest game based on the motorcycle racing events earlier than usual and now MotoGP 20 has arrived to fill that void.

MotoGP 20 strives to provide players with the highest level of visuals in the series to date and they do a good job at making them as realistic as possible. This is helped even further with the inclusion of HDR for true to life colors and lighting that could not be done otherwise. On top of that, the game also lets you select a graphics mode on higher end consoles, with one featuring a smoother experience with a higher framerate and the other featuring higher end image quality. In addition, you can also choose the amount of motion blur you have, which impacts the visuals and performances. You can play around with both of these here to find that perfect middle ground of performance and visuals. The visuals overall are just marginally better than last year’s game, with the rain effects looking fantastic especially, but they were already impressive in that release.

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When you first start the game, you must create your rider before you can jump into any of the game modes found in MotoGP 20. Those looking for a detailed character creator are going to be left a little disappointed here, as it’s about as standard as it gets. You only have 18 males faces and five female faces to choose from in the game, along with non-visual things like age and nationality. While this would be a problem in a game like MLB The Show, it really isn’t a big deal that it is so limited here due to the fact you are rarely seeing their faces.

Instead, you will later get the option to customize other areas in MotoGP 20 that are much more visible. This includes helmets, number designs, stickers, and more. You have a number of default options available here to choose from, but you can also create your own that you can share online as well. This robust editor definitely makes up for the lackluster rider creator itself, as this is what you’ll be seeing much more of in the game.

Some variation of a career mode is always the main attraction in the MotoGP series and MotoGP 20 is no different. This year’s game brings back the Managerial Career mode and this time it is bigger and better than ever. You have the option to start right away in the MotoGP ranks or work your way up by starting in Moto2 or Moto3 instead.

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MotoGP 20’s Managerial Career mode also lets you choose your path between sticking with an existing team or creating your own brand new team. By selecting an existing team, you will use a true factory bike and the existing livery for said bike, while a brand new team will have you use a real bike with new sponsors and be able to create your own livery.

From there begins your road to preparing for the upcoming season, including things such as hiring members of your Technical Entourage like the new Personal Manager, Chief Engineer, and Data Analyst. One of the most important parts here though is the improvement of your bike through the game’s equivalent of a skill tree. The game allows you to work your way up across four different categories on the Development side, Engine, Frame, Aerodynamics, and Electronics. You can then go and move around your Research staff across each of these categories as well.

From there, you get to finally move into the racing itself, which is mostly as you have come to expect from the series in the past. You have tests to take part in during the season to select your specific packages you want to use and then take part in numerous practices before the actual races themselves if you so choose. These can be important towards helping you to upgrade your bikes throughout the season, so it’s wise not to skip over these to jump straight to the races like you might be prone to do.

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MotoGP 20 has also brought in a few new additions to the gameplay as well, starting with the physics of the tires and how they wear down. These will now be more realistic than ever down to the smallest of details. The bike’s aerodynamics will also be affected after taking damage from crashes as well, which can really affect the performance of your bike. Lastly, brake management has also been upgraded to where they have made it more challenging and risky, but also more rewarding as well.

More realistic than ever down to the smallest of details

For those that have never played a MotoGP game before, do not come in expecting an easy experience overall. Milestone does a good job at making the game somewhat approachable for new players, while also not impacting the level of difficulty and precision required in races for veteran players. This is done by offering three different difficulty levels, Easy, Medium, and Hard, with the race length, AI difficulty, and physics simulation level increasing in each subsequent difficulty to match the player level.

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Even with these difficulty options, MotoGP 20 is still a hard game to master regardless of the difficulty level. This is not the type of game where you can just ram into other racers and expect there not to be any consequences. Instead, you will end up crashing and have to wait to respawn on the bike or use the rewind feature that is available as well. This can get incredibly frustrating at times too, as other racers will run into you quite often even if you are being careful, completely messing up your placement in the race.

Historical Mode is also back again, which lets you take control of classic riders from over the years to take on challenges with varying difficulties. The higher the level in these, the better the rewards you will be given. Not only are the challenges and rewarded updated every day, but also every time you reach the podium in a race. This means it is very well worth playing often to gain access to as much as possible. The more currency you earn for each race, the more races and bikes you can unlock here as well.

While Career and Historical are the two main game modes that will attract people to the game, MotoGP 20 also has a number of other modes for players to choose from as well. Single player offers Grand Prix, Time Trial, and Championship modes, which you can pick up and play pretty easily. Grand Prix is essentially the single race option for someone just wanting to jump in and do a standard race. Time Trial is more based on specific times instead of the races themselves, which could have you coming back for more in the future to best your previous records. Championship takes the same base model as Grand Prix, but extends it over a championship season without all the extraneous features found in Career mode.

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You can’t have a racing game without some sort of multiplayer option either, though MotoGP’s multiplayer is strictly found online. The game features dedicated servers to help to make the online matches smooth, with you being able to create matches or even utilize lobbies to match up with random racers or friends. There is also the Race Director Match option that gives you a lot more options within your race both before and after. Online as a whole is pretty lackluster though, but that should change in the future when the eSports season gets going online.

MotoGP as a series has been going on for two decades now, with Milestone really hitting their stride in the last few entries since taking over around the end of the last generation of consoles. It’s hard to improve too much visually at this point of the generation, but MotoGP 20 features narrow visual improvements along with some gameplay alterations to make everything feel more true to life than ever. Coming out at just about the perfect time for those missing the sport, Moto GP 20 is another solid entry in the franchise that is worth checking out.

The Verdict

Milestone’s latest outing with the MotoGP series continues to show improvement, albeit slightly, as the end of the console generation is approaching fast. While the game definitely has a steep learning curve for those new to the franchise, MotoGP 20 is a lot of fun and a true representation of the sport when there is no way to experience the live events right now at all.

"liked"
liked

MotoGP 20

  • Available On: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
  • Published By: Milestone srl
  • Developed By: Milestone srl
  • Genre: Racing
  • US Release Date: April 23, 2020
  • Reviewed On: PS4
  • Quote: "Milestone's latest outing with the MotoGP series continues to show improvement, albeit slightly, as the end of the console generation is approaching fast. While the game definitely has a steep learning curve for those new to the franchise, MotoGP 20 is a lot of fun and a true representation of the sport when there is no way to experience the live events right now at all."
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