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MotoGP 18 Review

Milestone S.r.l. is a big name in the racing world, and now they’re back with yet another racing simulation game: The much anticipated MotoGP18. The title promises extreme realism and accurate physics as well as nineteen different official tracks.

MotoGP18 is split into different cups, starting with the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup and ending with the Premier Class. The races take place all over the world and the available tracks include places like the Circuito de Jerez in Spain, the RedBull Spielberg Ring in Austria, and even the brand-new Buriram International Circuit in Thailand.

Rather than an arcade racer, this title is a simulation that tries to come as close to a real racing experience as possible. In addition to the main Career mode, there are also several different quick play options, including Time Attack, Grand Prix and Championship. Depending on your settings, you can choose how much time you want to spend on each event — options include Only Race, Race & Qualification, and Full Weekend.

The tracks

You begin with only seven tracks in Europe unlocked. For each available track, a good amount of information can be viewed beforehand. This includes the track length, the amount of left/right corners, the width of the track itself, and more. A stylized map with points of interest is also shown during the loading screen for the race.

In fact, before you get to any of the tracks, you must first adjust a few options. These options can be changed for every single race and attempt, allowing you to adjust the track length, difficulty, and a few technical options like Bike Damage, Tyre Wear and AI Difficulty.

For each race, you will also be presented with the option to adjust Riding Aids and Physics Simulation Levels. The game is meant to be a realistic simulation but nevertheless offers several assistance options for those who prefer a lower level of difficulty or those who aren’t experienced with racing simulations yet. Joint Brakes, Auto Brakes, Auto Tuck-In, and more simplify the driving experience a great deal if switched on.

The reality of the simulation

MotoGP18 is, first and foremost, a racing simulation. That means that, depending on the chosen settings, the racing experience is as close to what real racers experience as possible. MotoGP18 spent considerable resources on getting the physics of the driving experience just right and it shows. While some aspects aren’t as realistic as they could be (specifically the brakes and brake options) the overall feel of this title is definitely realistic.

As for the brakes: On the lower difficulty settings players can leave most of the braking action to the AI, but even with pro settings, the brakes have little grip. With the front brake fully engaged, the bike still comes to a gentle stop, without any front wheel lock or slip. A realistic setup should all but have the rider fall off his bike in this scenario.

The game also prohibits wheelies. While they aren’t necessary for a racing simulation per se, the challenge of avoiding an accidental one is nevertheless taken away even on the highest difficulty settings. Revving the bike in first gear and then letting out the clutch has the front wheel go up briefly and back down automatically.

The roar of the engine

When it comes to the sounds in this title, there is very little to complain about. From the moment MotoGP18 first launches, it sounds exceptional. The engine sounds and backdrop of the race sound as realistic as they come, and the voice acting that introduces the player to each race itself is great too.

Sound-effects, music, and even the chatter of the race-fans that are watching are perfectly chosen and well put together.

The disappointing bystanders

The title was made in Unreal engine and it shows — at first glance, the game looks spectacular. Only a few areas leave the player wanting, and one of the biggest ones is the bystanders and adoring fans that line the tracks. They are badly animated and very twitchy. This is impossible to see while riding, however it can be a real issue during the moments leading up to the race. While the riders themselves are spectacularly animated, regular people and their faces are not.

This does not have a big impact on the race experience itself, but it does affect the immersion of the game. With other elements crafted so beautifully, the lack of attention paid to the people of the game becomes very obvious very quickly.

Generally speaking, the game is very pretty, but it isn’t as big of an improvement on MotoGP17 as it could have been. Aside from a few display issues, the game is largely bug-free, though, which is a big relief.

Reputation and more

Reputation is the measure of how popular you are, and it affects offers from better teams and your chances to rise up the ranks as it were. During gameplay, transfer windows appear and at certain times of the season, you will receive offers from teams you can join. These mechanics don’t play a very central role to the gameplay (even in Career mode)  and don’t have too much impact on the actual gameplay, but they do give some nice context.

There are several customization options for the rider’s appearance, but those and the options for equipment, like helmets and boots, are merely cosmetic and have no impact on the gameplay itself.

6

The Verdict: Good

A true motorbike simulation, MotoGP18 does its best to provide a gritty, realistic experience. It offers more than that, but it does have its flaws. The brake handling is disappointing and impacts the racing experience, which even the spectacular sound and rider animations can’t completely make up for. The Career mode and Reputation system is similar to what many other titles have done, but it does give a good framework for the races.

Melanie Hawthorne
Written by
June 14, 2018
Published in Sport

Mel is a London-based copywriter that has been writing about video games for a few years now. After growing up in Vienna, Austria she followed her dreams and moved to London. Said dreams took her through a few different jobs (which included working as a web developer, shopkeeper and translator) before she settled on what she really wanted to do – periodically anger video game fans by expressing her opinions on games through various online publications. When she’s not writing about video games, she’s probably playing them... or walking her dog in a park. Since that depends largely on the English weather, Mel has plenty of time to indulge in her favourite games. These include but are not limited to Ark: Survival Evolved, Skyrim, GTA V, and oddly enough, Amnesia: Memories. She loves Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. She thinks Star Trek is way better than Star Wars and isn’t afraid to admit it – Live long and prosper!

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