Moto GP 15 Review
Moto GP, it is the motor cycle enthusiasts equivalent of the car lovers F1, with charismatic riders and super sexy and ridiculously fast bikes competing in what is the premier road race championship of the world. Fortunately there still remains some level of competition within the Moto GP with many riders in contention for wins each race, quite unlike F1. Milestone are in essence the Moto GP of bike game development, leading the way for many years now with a history of an excellent understanding of what riding should feel like on our console of choice. This year they have spoiled us with two releases with the the previously released Ride, which I enjoyed, and now Moto GP 15. If you have played any previous Milestone bike release then you will know exactly what to expect from Moto GP 15. If not then allow me to highlight the game.
Visually Milestone always deliver fantastically presented bikes but the rider customisation and tracks presentation always feels bland. This is not so much due to the work in recreating the tracks but the sparseness involved within the tracks real life. The sound of the bikes is impressive with the note of each being realistic and missing a gear change at the right time introduces sounds of valves bouncing and some spluttering. It all leads to an enthusiastic production that oozes genuine love for the sport. One disenchantment within the presentation is a lack of commentary. I really miss the addition of commentary as racing can feel a little boring without description accompanying the action, or in some scenarios the lack of action. I suppose with no commentary there is less excuse of losing concentration when dealing with tricky track sections. You need to have your wits about you when handling these beasts around the circuits, especially when riding the GP class bikes or two stroke 500’s, more on those later.
This year there are more game modes than ever before. The single player options include instant race in which bike, rider, track and weather are all randomly chosen for you. Grand Prix is a mode which allows you to play a single weekend on the bike and track that you choose. Time attack in which global coarse leader boards are to be topped. The most time spent though will be in the newly developed Career made, where you take the journey of starting out with a few one off wild card signings in the Moto GP class and forge your career to eventually become Moto GP champion. What is really great about this mode is that not only can you sign and ride for a team but you can actually find a sponsor and have your own team in which you create the name, bike colours and manage upgrades and all things for team direction. It is like being the star player on a team you own. There are also some great special events modes to partake in. Beat the time sees you trying to do just that, beat a time on a particular track on a certain bike. Real Events is a new mode that sees you replay the the best moments of the 2014 season and the 2 stroke events returns again. I personally love the two stroke mode, reliving the past glory days of the 500 two strokes, when Australia had so many top riders is great. Strangely this mode is made of real historical feats to equal and some fictional ones to partake in, none the less it is a great mode and the 2 strokes have so much low end grunt that riding them successfully takes skill.
As always with Milstone bike sims there are a huge range of options for difficulty that transform the game from an arcade racer to full blown sim. I set my game somewhere in between as I feel too many assists ruin the gameplay but in full sim mode I eat a lot of tarmac. Yes seeing a rider struggle as he high sides in a corner is great to watch but happening every three to four turns can be soul destroying. If you do spill there is a rewind feature that has limited uses per race and also has a cool down so not to make you indestructible. On a semi pro setting your bikes still create wheel spin and the chance of an accident is present, especially on the Moto GP bikes. The lesser power Moto 2 bikes are easier to handle and forging your way through the Career mode allows you to master the handling of the bikes needed to be competitive with the big boys.
Once you feel confident in your abilities you should definitely venture online and check out the multi player mode. Lag is non existent and everything runs very smoothly. I feel bad when I knock another rider off his bike during a corner where the line is mine but hey that’s part of racing. It is also equally as frustrating being on the other side of a bump, it would have been a welcome addition to include a button combo in which to rip your helmet off and throw it at the barrier.
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