While motocross is widely accepted as entertaining, the video game genre is geared toward a niche market. However, in the past it has been able to produce a few games that appealed to a more broad audience. After spending a few hours playing in preparation for a MXGP3 review, I can confidently say this game is not one of them.
That’s not to say the game doesn’t have upsides. Immediately when playing, the game starts you off with a taste of the customizing options. Although there isn’t much unlocked, you can name your rider and choose a skin tone preset. In-game currency will be needed to unlock more gear. This does offer incentive to play past your initial session if the game still holds your interest.
The bike customization are options are expansive. Staying true to the trailer, MXGP3 allows you to really fine tune even the smallest details about your bike with official branded parts. In addition, MXGP3 features immersive sound quality bringing each race and bike to life. The rider, the bikes and set pieces for the tracks look pretty decent as well. If you’re playing on Xbox One, the rumble feature is very nice in helping you experience the weight of the bike during events.
The career mode offers a lot. There are objectives and based on how you perform in events, your rider attributes increase. As a straightforward motocross experience, MXGP3 offers sound gameplay.
The universal objective of any game is to be fun. Again, MXGP3 has a niche market but it seems to only cater to them. While the controls are somewhat intuitive, there is no real tutorial, only a visual readme. It takes a moment to figure out what each game mode is if you’re not accustomed to the jargon. These are no problem for long time fans but it does isolate the uninitiated. It took a minute or two to figure how to free ride when shifting through the menus.
Outside of the career and single player modes, there is multiplayer. Unfortunately, the game servers typically do not respond and you’ll have to scavenge for a private match. If you’re the only one among your friends looking to play, good luck.
Racing itself has its highlights. Once you get a hang of the controls, you’re on your way. However, simple things like the jarring auto-reset-rider when going even slightly off course can be a pain. MXGP3 has a lot of intuitive mechanics for controlling your rider and bike in the air. This baffles me since there is big air but no way to pull off tricks. Again, this may not be problematic for enthusiasts but for newcomers and casual fans it is a bummer for an otherwise lackluster experience.
Visually there is not much to praise outside of bike and rider models. The textures buffer once the event starts meaning for a few seconds you will see muddy textures everywhere. I have not seen that since early Xbox 360 games. The particle effects leave a lot to be desired. Any debris tends look like different shades of wet mud. However, the various weather conditions are a nice touch regardless.
MXGP3 sets out to do what it says; build an authentic riding experience from the ground up. It is a base line motocross experience that will certainly appeal to enthusiasts and hardcore fans. For casual gamers, they can go ahead and skip this without missing out. The game goes for $49.99 which certainly seems steep for a base experience but perhaps it’s just a stepping stone for things to come. My advice, wait for a STEAM or console sale before buying.
FINAL SCORE: 4.75/10