The MXGP series is based on the FIM Motocross World Championship circuit and its latest installment, MXGP3, uses the rosters and riders from the 2016 season. Italian developer Milestone has a long history of creating quality racing titles, whether they be two-wheel racers or four, and they have experience both on the road and off, so I was looking forward to getting a sneak peak at this upcoming two-wheel, dirt bike racer.
Tearing Up the track
The world of motor cross racing isn’t the same as what you would expect from a typical road race like F1 or NASCAR due to the ever changing aspect of the track laid out before you. Even with most off-road races, the tracks are generally hard packed surfaces with very little give and a somewhat consistent surface. Jump on a dirt bike track and after a few laps of riders ripping it to shreds, it turns into a totally different animal. MXGP3, using the Unreal Engine 4, is able to duplicate this incredibly well, as the track deformed into a rutted mess after more than a handful of laps.
The build I saw of the game, while not the final, was a gorgeous piece of work, if you like dirt and mud that is. The level of detail was impressive, with bikes that looked like their real life counterparts . The game has 40 different manufactures in it, with well known brands like Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki, Red Bull and KTM to name a few. I only had a limited number of bikes to choose from but the KTM 250SF-X I chose was a beast, and very nimble to ride. The game will have upgradeable bikes with interchangeable parts upon release, so I am looking forward to see what I can create then.
Stay Out of the Ruts
As mainly a car racer, the bike handling was very touchy at first and took some getting used too. Once I got past that quick learning curve, I was tearing up the track and staying in the pack in no time. Using the right stick to shift the rider’s weight, I was able to not only corner better, but perform table tops and tail whips as well. This type of game has no real racing line to speak of, so it becomes necessary to read the track in front of you in order to find the fastest line. Most fans of the series know this already, but those deep ruts that form will actually slow you down and you are better off staying out of them.
My time with the game was limited but that was still enough time to see how well this game was designed and I can’t wait to try out a full season of the FIM Motocross World Championship when MXGP3 releases in May.
MXGP3 PS4 - Hands-on at GDC 17