Last year’s MotoGP 18 was a bit of a disappointment. Here we are about a year later, and developer Milestone has been busily preparing MotoGP 19. Have they rectified the problems that plagued last year’s entry? We’ve put in some virtual laps and have our MotoGP 19 review to render our verdict below.
MotoGP 19 Review – Refined Performance
First, the good news. The Unreal Engine is used for MotoGP 19 again, but unlike last year’s entry, things perform much better this time around. Perhaps owing to the extra time spent using the engine, Milestone has been able to cut loading times significantly. Lighting has improved subtly, which is noticeable in the different weather systems that can invade the tracks. Furthermore, HDR support is included, which can best be seen when racing towards the sun, but especially during replays.
The replay engine in MotoGP 19 is fairly standard stuff. There is a small collection of camera angles to choose from, and photo mode is accessible at any point during the replay. The only option to save a replay is simply to use the PS4’s built-in video recording functionality, so there is no way to relive some of your greatest moments from within the game.
While we weren’t able to test out online racing, MotoGP 19 features Amazon GameLift technology, where the giant retailer leverages their cloud infrastructure expertise to help ensure a smoother online experience. Given the online offering from last year, it couldn’t be any worse, right? When the game launches we will report our findings here.
MotoGP 19 Review – Standard Career Fare
That brings us to the main event in MotoGP 19: the career mode. Unlike last year, where players were forced to begin a championship at the rookie level and work their way up to MotoGP proper, this year seems to be all about choice. If you know your stuff, you can just hop into any class of motorcycle and hit the ground rolling. With enough player assists, even unskilled riders can stand a chance against legends of the sport. Between tweaking the physics simulation level, shifting options, and penalty tolerance, players of all skill levels should find a nice balance between challenge and help that suits them.
The career mode is light on flair, where you simply play as an up-and-coming racer and collect accolades the better you ride. A generic announcer speaks briefly at the start of each session, and he only has a handful of phrases which will have all been heard by the time you’re through even one racing weekend at one track. There is only one victory post-race cinematic, and although your character is fully modeled, you don’t ever take your helmet off, which feels odd. The whole campaign features this kind of low-energy presentation, which doesn’t instill many feelings of excitement.
Anytime you are in the pit, you can adjust your bike’s setup. This can be done manually or in a guided mode, which includes a cinematic of your character talking to crew members. After answering a series of questions, the chief engineer recommends performing certain adjustments on the bike, which you can apply in just one button press. It’s a handy feature, especially for those of us who are not gearheads.
MotoGP 19 Review – Make Your Own Difficulty
MotoGP 19 is as easy or as difficult as you want to make it. The physics simulation level can be set from practically arcade-like to hardcore professional rider level. AI toughness can be scaled up or down – the default setting of 40% ensured close races during our time with the game, but generally races were winnable without much tweaking needed. There is also a rewind feature, which allows you to stop time and rewind to reset yourself to just before you took that last turn wrong and ended up flipping head-over-heels into the dirt. If it feels like cheating, well, it kind of is, and MotoGP 19 does reward more points if you manage to finish a race without using the feature. The same goes with tweaking other options. If an option makes things harder, you receive more points, and vice versa.
Beyond career mode, choices are decidedly more limited. Other modes include time attack, quick race, championship, and online as mentioned. MotoGP 19 has also been built with eSports in mind, as a third season is coming soon. Naturally, we cannot report on this part of the game as the season hasn’t gone live as of this writing. There is unfortunately no split screen – hopefully the polish Milestone did on MotoGP 19’s performance this year pays dividends and allows them to include local multiplayer options in next year’s entry.
MotoGP 19 Review - Back on Track (PS4) - PlayStation LifeStyle
MotoGP 19 Review – The Past Comes Alive
One intriguing mode is historical races. There are four classes of bikes to choose from, and each has a selection of races to try and master. These feature scenarios which played out in real life, and it is the player’s job to attempt to match or beat the real-life result. It’s not an all-or-nothing challenge, either, as there are different, increasingly difficult criteria for obtaining bronze, silver, and gold medals in these challenges. Some rider assists can even be turned on, to make the challenge more approachable for those who haven’t memorized the layout of every MotoGP track. Most of these challenges represent formidable difficulty. Most of you reading this review are not good enough to conquer them all. But practice makes perfect, right?
MotoGP 19 stands as a serviceable motorcycle road racing game. It’s a step forward with the inclusion of MotoE, and the historical races provide an intense challenge. Fans of the series should appreciate vastly improved loading times, a better (if still underwhelming) presentation, and especially customization options. While not the best racing game on the market today, the MotoGP series has come back into its own as a respectable franchise with the release of MotoGP 19.
MotoGP 19 review code provided by publisher. Version 1.03 reviewed on a PlayStation 4 Pro. For more information on scoring, please see our Review Policy.