MXGP Pro, technically the 4th iteration of Milestone’s MXGP series sets to raise the bar when it comes to realism compared to the previous generations of the game. How does it fair?
Having played both MXGP 2, 3 and Monster Energy Supercross, MXGP Pro has definitely upped the game in more than one department. Starting out with the biggest overhaul, the physics. The game now feels much more responsive to players movements of the bike and rider, along with the vastly improved ground physics, that were already good in the previous games, are now much more realistic in both deformation and visuals. Most notably of this the wet ground no longer looks like plastic, as it did when I reviewed MXGP 2, it now looks, well wet, with pools of water forming in the ruts, growing ever bigger as the bikes churn up the ground as the race progresses.
As always players create their own rider, choosing from a number of pre-set face models, and giving them a name, age and nationality. This hasn’t really changed much from previous games, with character models still looking like a bad wax works, and once again no gender selection. You also form a team with the aim of starting out in MX2 and progressing on through Career mode to become MXGP champion, the usual affair. You also get to choose sponsors for your team, with a main sponsor, and technical sponsors, all giving different objectives. your main sponsor will have an overall objective such as obtaining a certain finishing position for the championship, while technical sponsors will be things such as complete 2 laps without falling, or make at least one holeshot within 3 GP’s etc.
The social side of the game is also present again, this time however you get to do more than just read opponents online posts about your performance, you now have the ability to ‘react’ to them giving a negative, neutral or positive reaction. In turn this affects your rivalry relationship to AI riders and how agressive they will be with you on track. I’ve yet to see how much impact this actually has though… Completing races earns you MX credits, which you can spend on new gear for your rider or new bikes and parts. While completing sponsor objectives will give you fame, in turn opening up better sponsor offers with increasingly more difficult objectives. Career mode also has a new Extreme mode, in which you can run side by side with a standard career if you so wish. Here all race options are locked with increased credits and fame to be earned. I gave this a little bash, and it’s definitely difficult..
Other Singleplayer game modes feature time trial, single grand prix and custom championship. Multiplayer is also present, while the game is still set to launch in other countries, at the minute online is a little quiet and was difficult to get into a game that had more that 3 people in, although the other positions are filed with AI riders. Unfortunately Online is quite unstable especially during the beginning of a race, with major ‘rubber-banding’ that settles but doesn’t quite go away.
Free roaming is also another addition that is welcomed, with a square kilometer of open forest to do whatever, be it practice or take some pretty screenshots. you can also access customisation and launch time trials and single GPs from set areas in here too. Visually the game is an improvement on previous games, definitely the best looking MXGP title to date, but there’s still room for improvement in some areas, i.e. character models. Gameplay has also improved in terms of framerate loss, while there’s still the odd stutter, it’s again a step in the right direction over previous titles. Load times however are still a chore to sit through. The audio is spot on though, from the bike sounds to the crowds and even the commentator that give an introduction and round up to the races. The sountrack is also the best yet with some pretty decent tracks, although lacking in amount means you’ll hear the same ones quite regularly.