Moto GP 2015
Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Look I have to be honest here, I don’t know much about motorbikes. Recognising who Mick Doohan is and enjoying crash highlight packages on Sports Tonight is about the sum of my two wheel knowledge. So when it comes to reviewing a game like Moto GP 2015 I am perhaps not the obvious candidate. However I thought it would be interesting to see if a simulation such as this can win over someone who is completely in the dark regarding the subject matter. The funny thing is, I am kind of glad I took on the challenge because despite some issues Moto GP 2015 certainly makes a great attempt at getting a newbie such as myself to enjoy some two wheel action.
Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first shall we? Presentation aspects of Moto GP 2015 are a little lacking. It isn’t a particularly bad looking game but it certainly isn’t pushing the limits of the Hardware. To be honest it looks a lot like a PS3 or 360 game from about 2009. The bikes themselves have a nice amount of detail but the courses and environments are about as basic as they come. Forza this is not. It is very clear that this is a game made on a budget and doesn’t have the weight of Microsoft or Sony behind it. The menu and structure of the game are also not very exciting. They aren’t broken by any means but it seems a little convoluted to have to wander around a campervan to get access to things that should be just in a simple menu.
Luckily graphics and presentation aren’t everything because there is quite a good game underneath. In fact it is a good enough game for even a moto novice like myself to get quite a lot of enjoyment out of. The game features a hefty amount of customisation options that allowed me to play to my abilities and make things more difficult as I improved. Bikes by nature are a lot more fragile than driving a car and the game gave me a great sense of that. If I slowed into the corner too much I would fall, if I clipped another rider I would fall, if I accelerated too quickly without traction control I would do a triple backward somersault of the back of the bike and fall. Basically I fell a lot, but it was deserved. Once I managed to go through the change of thinking required to control these powerful machines I found myself enjoying my time with the game.
What is arguably the game’s greatest achievement is the perfect sense of speed that it conveys. I felt like I was Wile E Coyote strapped to a barely controllable rocket, which I imagine is exactly how racing one of these beasty machines at top speeds feels. Moto GP actually gave me an appreciation as to how skilled these riders must be in real life and for a video game that is a noble achievement. I can say though that while I enjoyed my time with the game, people that already love motorbikes are likely to get an even bigger kick out of it. There is a lot of detail there, which can be ignored, but for people who are in the know it will certainly be appreciated.
The game is broken into the usual modes for a racing title, with the career mode being the meat and potatoes of the title. This mode was quite enjoyable as I worked my way through the ranks and changed teams, bikes and classes in my quest to become the next Rossi or Stoner. As I mentioned earlier navigating the non-racing components of the mode is quite cumbersome but there is quite a lot to do so it is worth the hassle. Altering my look, managing riding contracts, upgrading my bike and racing gear and setting my schedule of events were just some of the activities I could partake in outside of roaring through a hair pin turn. These extra little activities only added to the feeling of being a rider managing his affairs and I for one were thankful for them.
Coming to the end of this review I think my time with Moto GP is done but that is after a hefty amount of playtime. I certainly enjoyed my time with the game despite its obvious flaws and I would love to see what these passionate developers could do with a bigger budget. However what it comes down to is that this is a game for Motorbike fans and not casual blow ins such as myself. For those fans I can see this being a super entertaining ride that will last them for many many hours. For the rest of us however the game offers a good slice of two wheel fun but it simply won’t have the staying power of the bigger guns in the racing genre.