Moto Racer 4 is an arcade bike racer that takes players to multiple different locations through a variety of events. With realistic racing games on the rise, arcade racers are on the decline, but Moto Racer tries to bring that genre back. Is Moto Racer 4 worth getting into? Read our review to find out..
Career Mode is the main focus in Moto Racer 4 (there is also a quick-play mode for setting a race up how you want as well as multiplayer). Progression through this mode and the collection of upgrades and new riders is required to get anywhere in multiplayer. This is because what you have in career mode is used for multiplayer. A bit strange that this is the case but it gives a reason to play as much career as possible. Career mode takes the player through multiple chapters, each of these chapters includes a collection of events which must be beaten to eventually progress to the championship and beat that chapter. These events consist of traditional races, time attack challenges and elimination races, etc. As each event is completed the player earns stars, these stars unlock more chapters and customisation/upgrades for your bike and rider.
This is where the game gets a little weird because the progression has a lot of strange choices. First of all, each event has 3 stars which can be earned plus a medal for getting a set amount of skill points. The player chooses how many stars they want to go for before loading the event, this changes the difficulty however. So for example; one star will be easy whereas 3 stars would be considered hard. Simple enough. However, should the objective not be met and you fail, the amount of stars you went for will be deducted from your total amount, leaving you with minus stars in that event. This can be changed by re-trying and beating it on an easier difficulty but it makes the game unnecessarily difficult at times, even grindy. Because each rider has individual upgrades and skill point use is permanent, if you unlock a new rider which is suited more to your style you’ll have to go back to the starting events and grind them for upgrade points since even though the rider is newly unlocked they’ll be useless in the new events making them meaningless unless you go back or stick with whichever character you chose to start upgrading at the beginning.
Customisation is very limited in the game. You get to change the colours on your rider’s suit, helmet and bike. You can also give him/her an emblem on their suit which can be selected from some pre-sets on the menu as well as unlockables from career. Overall it’s very limited. 10 riders are available to chose from, each with their own individual looks to both suit and bike. They also come with unique stats which leaves the decision on who you use down to how you like to play. Of course, that’s if you’re willing to grind any new characters back on older events since they won’t be worth using straight away.
When you’re done setting your rider up and you’re maxed out with your favourite choice, chances are you’ll want to head in to multiplayer now you’re fully prepared. Multiplayer allows multiple race modes with up to 10 players. It has 5 modes, all of which are forms of race, so no time attack modes unfortunately. Players can head into a Single Race (standard first to do all laps wins), Championship (tournament of races), Last Man Riding (elimination), King of The Road (stay first and count timer to 0 to win) and Golden Helmet (hold the helmet the longest to win). Now, it’s fun but the downside is as I’ve already mentioned; you must upgrade your rider in career first or chances are you will be at a massive disadvantage.
The gameplay itself is something I’m split on. The visuals are great, they’re realistic but still have that arcade feel. The soundtrack is simplistic, nothing much special going on there. Then it comes to actually racing. It has the ridiculously fast pace from an arcade racer as you would expect. You have all these stunts which you can do, turbo boosts, and the physics. However these physics can be a problem. They feel like they’re intended to be semi-realistic but it just doesn’t work. You get really cool jumps and the riders hilariously go flying (literally) when knocked off the bike, yet when it comes to actually racing, (and this was even with a character who had max handling) the controls and way the bikes are is extremely jittery and twitchy. Even the slightest movement can send you flying off of the track. At times this can be infuriating as like I mentioned even with upgrades to help you it is still difficult.
The maps are also something I found myself on the fence about. They bring you to a variety of environments such as forest, city, desert with road and off-road variants. However, despite having a lot of different looks to them, the actual design of the tracks feel uninspired and too simplistic. They definitely rely on the visuals more to make the track appealing more than the actual track itself. The environments feel a bit too generic also but as an arcade racer I can understand why the maps are set where they are. Another issue I’ve found is that I had frame-rate drops on some maps but this may just be the game itself.