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MotoGP 13 – Review

It’s not often I’m overcome with the desire to mute a game from the get-go, but Milestone’s MotoGP 13 is possessed of such an impressive array of irritating sounds that I had little choice. The audio assault begins in the opening menu, where prospective gamers are treated to a selection of samples of generic-racing-game-soundtrack 101, which segue swiftly into introductory-exposition-by-standard-narration-guy for dummies, before finally completing a marvellous trifecta of mediocrity with the bikes themselves. These are big powerful machines, so why exactly do they sound like the dirt bike from Vice City?MotoGP 13 – Review

Setting out to disappoint the hardcore gamer from the very outset, the career mode has been relegated to a lowly fourth place in the main menu, shunned for shallow, more cerebral options which require little commitment (or thought) from the user. But neither that, nor the game’s hideous soundtrack would be too much of a problem if it weren’t for the fact that when you inevitably opt for the more immediate game types, you’re presented with ten minutes of fairly mundane bike racing. Giving the split-screen multiplayer a run out conjured a little amusement, but primarily because we spent the entirety of the race trying to knock people off their bikes and pop the biggest wheelies.

Eventually making my way to career mode, I find a little hope and MotoGP 13 finds a little redemption. The added extras and attention to detail in the career mode are impressive, as you earn fans, create team interest and make your way up the ranks from Moto2 to the impressively (read: dangerously) fast MotoGP category. The Parc Ferme, interactive, walkable garage and ability to talk tactics with your team mates create a level of immersion missing from the usual fare, but that impression of immersion is shattered when you’re once again plunked onto the back of your bike and forced to careen around some of the most poorly put together environments since Porsche Challenge on the PSX. This game is ugly, there’s no doubt about it and the graphics are in desperate need of a serious update.
MotoGP 13 – Review

Once you’re on the track and weaving your way through some impressively high octane corners, you’re able to forget for a moment how generally dissatisfying MotoGP 13 really is, but those brief moments of satisfaction are few and far between and completing the occasional perfect overtaking manoeuvre with glee doesn’t make up for the game’s short comings. True to life, the bikes feel heavy and getting your head around the braking system will take you a little while, whilst the helmet cam is a wonderful addition, making it clear just how insane the adrenaline junkies who do this for a living really are.

Ultimately, the game suffers from a lack of polish and the genuine attentions of an enthusiastic development and design team. Brief moments of intense on-bike satisfaction and some clever gimmicks can’t make up for an anaemic lack of character and ultimately, MotoGP13 left me feeling unsatisfied.

MotoGP 13 – Review

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Robin’s been writing professionally since before he could grow a beard – now he’s got a big one.

He has an abiding love of retro gaming and schooling American teenagers on Xbox live. He spends half of his time performing hatred based stand up comedy, a great deal of which you can read on his blog, http://theheedlessflipflop.blogspot.co.uk if you’re that way inclined.

  • poochie woo

    Crap review from someone out of their depth.

    • Robin White

      I’m sorry to hear you didn’t like my review. Seeing as you sound like such a reasonable, balanced young man, I’d be curious to hear in what fashion I’m ‘out of my depth’? I’m more than qualified and entirely able to write reviews about god-awful bike games, I assure you. My final score was, if anything, fairly generous.

  • YAMAHA R1

    actually your post does suck. you have obviously never raced professionally. i have for team suzuki and honda. this is the best simulator i have found. of course it is not perfect and it’s not the real thing, it can’t be, but it is excellent if you take all the help off and bump down the tcs. Robin you should go do a track day near you. just rent a 1000cc bike a helmet and leathers, go as fast as you can try drifting the rear wheel push the front under breaking and acceleration turn a competitive lap then write a review. if it’s too much for you to really try and understand how a motorcycle works then please don’t leave reviews about something you do not know about. no hard feelings you just do not get it. try super hang on that’s more your speed

    • Robin White

      Of course I’ve never raced professionally. I review video games for a living (something I do know about). I’m not reviewing a bike, or a track day, I’m reviewing a video game. That’s what this is. A video game. You get that, right? I reviewed Dragon Age when that came out and I’ve never slayed a dragon either.

  • total_gamer

    I would like to offer you some constructive criticism based on this review, so bear with me. I am and avid follower of the MotoGP sport, and a bike enthusiast myself, and a die hard gamer. I ride a cbr600rr as my everyday vehicle. I also happen in work in the software industry as a developer.

    MotoGP bikes exhausts are very functional units, they are not intended to alter the exhaust note to make them sound more appealing. Hence they end up sounding like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0pZZmPVfPc The game tries to portray the sound as authentically as possible with their limited budget, and they have done a good job. Mind you milestone is a small studio and the game isn’t a full price title. They recorded the sound of the real bikes. Big and powerful doesn’t mean the noisy Harley-like artificially loud pipes.

    Yes the graphics look last gen, yes the menus and game modes are lame. But who spends much time on the menus anyways. A racing game is about racing, and this is where it really shines. The gameplay is beyond any bike racing game I have every played.

    I am glad the developers put the polish where it mattered more with their limited budget. Let me point out the intricate details that you failed to spot/mention about the racing. The way the riders prepare themselves wile braking into a corner, they are already out of their saddle distributing weight for a proper turn-in, sometimes they hang a leg out. Then you try the lean the bike, you see actual counter steer movements being made. If you shake the handle too fast, the rider takes his butt off the seat and tries to calm these tank-slapper like movements..The behavior of the bikes is very authentic as well, it can high slide, or low slide depending on your actions, unlike the motogp games of the past. When you do manage to recover from the highslide, your rider gets unsaddled and tries to climb back. or saving that low slide will see your rider trying to climb back onto the bike while pushing off the ground with his elbow. The handling model is really believable, the bikes handle realistically, if you switch on pro-physics. You really need to have your braking points, racing lines sorted out before you can expect to win this game in hard setting in MotoGP class. The mindgames, the tactics that you get to see in MotoGP can be translated into this game seamlessly. To attempt that overtake, you could try to outbrake your opponent risk running it deep, or brake early and opt for exit speed instead, or, even try some mid-corner heroism. To defend your position, you could take the defensive line, or risk more with the fastest line. If you can control the throttle well enough, you can poweslide your way out of the missed apex, if you overdo it, you might get a highslide. I could write about how well the racing aspect has been implemented in this game for pages.

    A character is what this game doesn’t not lack. It shows even a stronger character by making some design choices which would seem stupid from a sales point of view, like prioritizing the handling over graphics. Need I say again this is not a big budget game that could target and achieve both? This game is about delivering authentic and exciting racing experience which it does.

    Sim minded bike games cater to a niche audience. This game’s target audience is the follower of the actual sport who are at the same time hardcore gamers who take their time to learn the game and get good at it. My friends who also game can’t manage to finish anywhere but last. This game is hard even for the average gamer. The target demographic is small, so is the expected sales, so is the budget. You seem to have set the wrong expectations while reviewing this title.

  • Absolutely great review… total crap-heap of a game! It plays bad, it looks bad, the bikes sound like little toy cars. If this is meant to be the best simulation game for professional racers then basically ‘fucking get out more’. MicroMachines was better from the 90’s !