Two Strokes Ahead.

MXGP 3 is the third release in the reknown motorcross GP riding sport, from milestone. It’s the first title in the series to use the critically acclaimed Unreal 4 game engine, and is fully licensed, impressively boasting the full line-up of riders, tracks, and bikes from the 2016 MXGP season. A newly implemented weather/track deformation effects system is also brought in to challenge seasoned pros from previous version’s, while adding that bit more realism to improve the game.

Modes are aplenty with single player features including Career, Grand Prix, Championship, Time Attack, Compound and finally the Monster Energy FIM MXoN. For those of you after a multiplayer kick, it comes packed with online lobbies, allowing gamers to customize events such as a full championship, and leaderboard competitions. Career mode is arguably the most in-depth, out of the racing aspect of modes, and revolves earning sponsors/contracts by competing and exceeding expectations in events. It’s also a good way of earning plenty of virtual credits to then go an customize your bikes and attire.

Does it play well? and look the part, I sense you’re all thinking. Hmm, I have mixed feelings on that one if I’m honest. What milestone have done successfully, is producing a game that captures the true authenticity of the sport, sponsors including the likes of Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda, Kawasaki, and many more are all here. Further commercial partners such as “Monster Energy”, “Oakleys” and “Tag Heuer” are included to give the game added credibility.

For gamers who love getting expressive, the customize mode will be right up your street, for the first time the game features two stroke bikes. The engines breakdown from the higher categories of 450cc 4-stroke, 250cc 2-stroke, down to the 100cc 2 stroke bikes. Customize is literally packed full of depth, every aspect of the bike, from the clamps to the brake cap can be modified. The sheer detail and attention paid to the bikes appearance is impressive. Using the virtual credit system to buy parts/modifications, gamers will spend hours, upon hours, in this neat part of the game.

Bikes handle well, but the weather effects feel flat, for instance when participating in an event with rain, you’d expect the bike to handle differently, find the course more challenging. It came across like the rain drops were there for show and nothing else, as tracks handled almost identical to dry/clear conditions.

Onto the graphics and I can’t say I was in awe of what I was playing in-front of me. Perhaps I expected more for a game using the Unreal 4 engine, it looks more last gen then current, the graphics are by no means bad, but I’d go as far to say average at best.

During my experience of MXGP 3, I found it a grind to retain interest. As a guy who isn’t a fan of the sport perhaps that affected my experience of the game. I found the loading times a ball ache, taking a while for tracks to fire up, and the game physics felt a little off. Collisions and steering around bends felt like they needed some tweaking, yet on the more positive side I enjoyed riding on the straights, and landing the jumps were fulfilling.

I would summarise by saying it’s a right-minded attempt by milestone. Fans of the sport will enjoy this game, for its authentic experience, customization options, and the depth in modes. The game does show promise, and milestone deserve praise for the engine sounds/effects, which are fantastic especially when approaching corners. Should future editions improve on the foundations of this game, then in the near future, the complete MXGP experience may not be far away. For me, more polish and time was needed to improve the weather effects, increase the Unreal 4 graphical output, and improve the handling physics around bend’s and some collisions, particularly with advertising boards around the track.

A Xbox One Review Code was provided by Milestone