MotoGP 20 Review: Smooth to the Last Lap

It’s amazing how much of a difference two years can make for a game, but when you look at MotoGP 20 compared to MotoGP 18 you’ll get a good understanding of what that difference is.

MotoGP 18 was the first to utilize Unreal Engine 4 and launched as a nearly unplayable mess with bugs and glitches galore. That was followed up by last year’s game that saw most of those problems fixed while adding a number of new features.

MotoGP 20 marks the third game in the series to be on the engine, and it’s safe to say that Milestone definitely has the hang of it. From the visuals to control on the track to AI behavior, everything has been improved upon in a way that makes this year’s game feel like the premier motorcycle racer.

Gameplay

On the track has always been a hit-or-miss experience for the MotoGP series. While some games have felt smooth and clean, others have felt jagged and unresponsive. MotoGP 20 happens to fall into the former.

With new upgrades to the tire system, there’s even more to monitor. No longer do your tires wear uniformly. In MotoGP 20 tire wear is broken into three sections: left, right, and middle. With this, players are forced to keep an eye on tire usage more than ever. As you progress through a race, depending on the course, you’ll notice your bike handle differently if you find yourself leaning to one side more than the other.

Braking can be handled together or separately if you want an authentic feel. There are also a number of other assists to help make the ride as easy or difficult as you’d like. Nothing too earth-shattering, but they actually feel like they help you get the hang of the gameplay without being too much of a hand-holding experience.

MotoGP 20 gameplay
Everything on the track feels smooth

Bike setups are as simple or complex as you want. If you want to be as into the process as possible, the game offers full custom setups. Everything from fuel amounts to suspension is editable. If you want to have a nice setup, but let the game make the changes, you can take advantage of the guided setup feature. Simply tell the game what you’re struggling with, and it will make the adjustments for you and provide a list of everything that was done.

One thing that’s always been appreciated with the MotoGP series is how each type of bike feels different. A Moto3 bike is slower and much easier to handle — especially for a beginner — than a main MotoGP series bike. The power you feel behind the throttle of the top bikes is something that Milestone does incredibly well with all of its racing titles, and MotoGP 20 is no different.

There are a few hiccups and annoyances here and there, however. One is just an annoying visual problem where your rider will just be looking off to the side the whole race like he just broke is neck. It doesn’t impact the ride at all, it’s just annoying.

Another problem I have is how easy it seems for you or other riders to bounce off each other and keep going. If I’m going 165mph and I hit the tire or the side of a rider, I should drop 10 times out of 10. Sometimes I just scratch my head wondering how my rider isn’t sliding across the track after making contact with someone.

Game Modes

MotoGP 20 offers a number of typical modes such as single races, time trials, a single-season mode, online multiplayer, a historical mode that lets you replay classic MotoGP moments, and, of course, a career mode.

Career is the deepest it’s ever been for the series, with the option to start in any MotoGP series ranging from the entry-level Moto3 to the main stage MotoGP. Starting on the lower levels will give you the full experience of the mode, allowing you to work your way up the ranks as you become a more skilled rider on the tracks.

your performance can lead to team dismissal

This year, the mode adds a manager feature that allows you to either join a team or create and manage your own racing team. After deciding that, you build a staff that consists of your Personal Manager who helps you find new contracts, sponsors, and even will help with general negotiations; the Chief Engineer who will help you boost development points; and a Data Analyst who helps with the overall development of your bike to increase performance.

All of these team members can be replaced for better options at any point should you find a better fit for your team.

After each race, you’ll see your reputation either rise or fall

Throughout your career, you’ll take part in tests to earn development points which are then used to improve your bike. These tests take place multiple times in the year and give you a number of things to try. From testing stability and speed to cornering and agility, there’s plenty to tune.

There’s more decision making than ever before, making sure no career plays out the same. It’s a mode that became quite easy to get lost in with everything at your disposal. Though, if you aren’t familiar with how motorcycle racers work, you may find yourself a bit overwhelmed at the start. However, that quickly fades as you progress.

Just be careful because your performance can lead to team dismissal if you have a poor reputation on the track.

You can only have one active career mode at a time, which becomes a bummer if you have more than one person wanting to play, or you want to run two or more types of careers.

The graphics editor allows players to create, share, and download custom stickers, number designs, lower-back patches, helmets, and even liveries. It’s a great tool for those with the skill to create some one-of-a-kind designs.

Speaking of graphics, the game looks as photorealistic as a current-gen game could get. The new rider models are spot on, the bikes look and sound like their real-life counterparts, and the tracks are all recreated to near perfection.

Presentation is typical of a Milestone racer. You’re greeted to your event, the broadcast sets the stage for what’s to come, and then you don’t hear from them until after the race. It’s fine, it just would be nice to finally have some changes to the standard presentation formula that the studio has used for years now.

Verdict

MotoGP 20 once again proves why Milestone is at the forefront of motorcycle racing titles. With a career mode deeper than any other bike racer out there and gameplay that’s as easy or hard as you want, there’s never been a deeper offering for fans. Even with the slight drawbacks the game has, MotoGP 20 is a must-have game for any racing fan.


*Note: A copy of MotoGP 20 was provided to SGO for the purpose of this review*

  • 8.5/10
    Gameplay - 8.5/10
  • 9/10
    Game Modes - 9/10
  • 7/10
    Presentation - 7/10
  • 8.5/10
    Longevity - 8.5/10
Overall
8.25/10

Summary

Despite its minor hiccups, MotoGP 20 is the best MotoGP released to date thanks to smooth gameplay and a deep career mode.