Another year can only mean another MotoGP racing sim from the Milestone development team with MotoGP 2018. Boasting a completely revamped graphics system with the “Unreal Engine”. Is the game an improvement on MotoGP 17 which I scored an impressive 80%?
Last year’s game was packed full of content, licenses, all the official riders, tracks etc. This year is no different in that regard. Except Milestone has taken all that was good in previous years, revamped it with the Unreal Engine and what you now have is an impressively developed game, with more modes than ever before and the surge in graphical output making it particularly easy on the eye.
As the lackluster menus appear on screen I noticed the new selections of MotoGP eSport Championship and the addition of MotoGP ID.
Whilst not giving much away with the eSport championship, the next screen informs gamers that an update will soon be available on the official MotoGP eSport webpage. For diehards of the game, this is certainly a welcome feature as the boom in popularity of eSport competitions continues to increase globally.
As for MotoGP ID, this provides neat information and stats on relevant facts such as hours played, race wins, podiums, favourite tracks and more. A little inclusion for sure, but those of you playing to be amongst the best will use this to compare amongst friends and others fiercely vying for the higher places amongst the rankings.
Shortly after this, I fired up the career mode and created my rider, embarking on my journey to become the ultimate champion in Moto GP (safe to say I failed pretty hard at this). Starting off in the Red Bull Rookies Cup (the format of career mode is much the same as previous years). Starting off at the bottom (Rookie cup) and progressing up the different classes, (by earning my stripes) eventually earning the right to compete at the MotoGP level to compete with the Valentino Rossi’s and Marc Marquez’s of the racing world. In-season transfers and the managerial mode remain in what is a largely unchanged formula as the team focused on implementing the unreal engine physics.
In terms of how the game mechanics play and tracks, bikes and riders all look. Then it’s certainly an upgrade on the previous engine. Lighting has improved, and for the first time, drone scanning technology has been used to accurately reflect circuits and tweak up the realism of bikers. Tire temperature and wear are two new factors to be considered when tearing up the race track at high speeds and scaleable damage is also included, causing your bike to slowly deteriorate if you venture off the track and onto the surrounding terrain. The AI has been enhanced here as well as the bike physics and collision system, all those fierce, toe to toe adrenaline-fueled clashes looking better than ever.
The game comes with a total of 19 tracks, including the new Buriram International Circuit in Thailand. Rounding this off is the inclusion of over 100 riders, an impressive amount. There’s a notable improvement to the particle effects, weather effects, as well as the effects on track.
For new players, I would advise taking a dive into the tutorials included in the quick menu before starting your career. These essentially offer a zero pressure way of getting to grips with controls that demand precision and can be tough to get used to during the heat of your first few championship races. There is a brake assist function enabled by default and a rewind function similar to the one in the Forza series, where you can recover from mistakes, but these features (especially the latter) should be used wisely as they can cost career progression points. The learning curve can be fierce and there’s no initial guidance without looking elsewhere.
Lastly moving on to online play, which offers lobby like rooms to customise settings such as the number of A.I racers, and a level up system. The servers were very inconsistent from my attempts to get a few races over the line.
Also included is a photo mode, for those of you who are budding photographers in the making, you may get some fun out of this. The mode works well and showcases the impressive visuals furthermore.
MotoGP 2018 is out now for PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. An Xbox One Review code was provided by Milestone