REVIEW – Instead of using the number four, Milestone, who seems to pour the games out of itself nowadays, titled this year’s MXGP game as MXGP Pro, emphasising the professional approach for the 2018 motocross world championship’s game adaptation. While it felt like a good idea, this mentality has pushed the product towards a niche label.
I’m going to warn everyone by outright expressing that the first few hours of the game will be punishing the player by crashing several times. It’s going to get even more difficult than usual if you pick the Extreme mode, as MXGP Pro drops every assistance, cranks the races to full length, gets rid of the rewinds, and in general, makes it a tough challenge. Let’s not run ahead, though.
Again with this same old, obligatory character creation garbage right at the beginning of the game. I’m getting sick and tired that Milestone can’t move away from this at all. After making your rider, you’re getting the usual sponsor selecting, email-y, fan number thing as in all the other of their bike games, so I’m moving on to talk about the gameplay itself. No matter the difficulty or the number of assists, you will crash, seeing the somewhat subpar falling animation and the teleportation back on your bike over and over and over.
The MXGP series was never easy, to begin with, and with MXGP Pro, it’s become a hard game to conquer. Partially, it is because with the scrub mechanic that feels necessary to learn. You have to be in the air the LEAST amount as possible by manoeuvring your bike to be close to the ground. You have to learn this system to succeed, or you will probably get stuck in the midfield (with one rider in the lead usually too far gone…).
The stages, which use last year’s layouts, are continuously changing over the course of the race. The lines taken by the riders are getting visible in the mud, and it could help you position yourself (especially if you run full-length races) in case you haven’t learned to do so by reflex. However, you have to get there first: while the loading times don’t reach RIDE’s ridiculous lengths, MXGP Pro has some terrible performance. It’s not an open-world game! The game also drops a few %-s with the frame rate as well. On PlayStation 4, it’s choppy, especially at the start of the races, and you might even notice some audio issues there as well.
There are other issues as well. Sure, the physics improved (although I’m still wondering if Milestone just copied it over from the Supercross title…), and yes, the entire MXGP and MX2 brigade is present, the game has, once again, minimal content to offer. I’d have appreciated if MXGP Pro had a level editor. No, the compound, which I could call an open map playground, isn’t enough – you can get bored of that in fifteen minutes, or maybe an hour if you are an MXGP fan.
There are even more issues: the sounds seem to be lifted over from MXGP 3, but there are some mixing mistakes added just as a bonus. One or two sound effects seem to be way too louder than what they should be. Running over a puddle causes it to be deafening – was the engineer changing its volume to 12dB? The artificial intelligence seems to follow one perfect line, and if you are in its way, you will get rammed off the track. There are also the jumps to discuss: unless you land perfectly, you will bail. There’s no chance to get your rider straightened out like in previous MXGP games.
There is an improvement indeed, but I cannot give this game more than a 6/10. If you love MXGP, then yes, it’ll be an 8/10 for you, but otherwise, it’s another generic Milestone title. I was considering a 5.5/10, but that’d be unfair. As with all the other Milestone games, the product has entirely been the prisoner of the license, which only deserves a shoutout for its improved physics. On consoles, the performance is terrible, and I’m afraid its online will die in a few months. (And the online has voice chat. Text chat? Nope. Nowhere to be found. LOL.)
MXGP Pro feels like an unfinished game to me, because despite all the licensed bike parts (which, of course, have to be unlocked by levelling up), if you don’t play motocross titles often, you will switch to Supercross, or just quit altogether. It gets tedious due to the lack of background music, there’s nothing that breaks up the progression in the season, and thus, there is no motivation to play the game in the long term.
+ It’s not that ugly
+ A ton of licensed bike parts
– Every mistake is severely punished
– A generic Milestone game with its usual flaws, and with bad performance on consoles to boot…
Genre: motocross world championship game adaptation
Release date: June 29, 2018