MotoGP 13 Review – On your knees


By Darryn Bonthuys on Wednesday, July 10, 2013
"The kind of action that could turn potential newcomers away from the franchise"

MotoGP 2013 (6)

It’s been a great time to be fan of two-wheel action. The current MotoGP season has been an exceptional one so far, and after a couple of years of absence, its signature game is back in an attempt to capture the spirit of that competition. And capture that spirit it does, as MotoGP 13 liberally poaches ideas from other racing franchises in the process.

So you’re fresh off the bike and eager to take the course on. Well that’s fine and dandy. The one thing that MotoGP isn’t, is a story-based simulation of the sport. Grab a vanilla model, customise his colours, numbers and style and hit the track.

MotoGP 2013 (1)

No fuss, no muss. It’s refreshing to see styles on offer here, from the signature calm and steady posture of Jorge Lorenzo through to the freefalling hanging-off-of-the-bike position that made Valentino Rossi so dangerous on the track.

While there are a ton of options on offer, the options themselves though are rather light to begin with, as paradoxical as that sounds. Moving onto career mode, it’s amazing that Codemasters hasn’t sent Milestone a cease and desist letter for so brazenly copying their pre-race F1 and Dirt layout.

MotoGP 2013 (4)

You’ve got the usual homebase, filled with menus hidden in laptops and appliances that take you through various options, while your bike can be further customised before you take to the track in the garage. It’s a ballsy move, and it’s impossible to ignore. Still, it should have some fans, especially for those players who happen to like that specific gameplay mechanic.

When it comes down to the actual race, MotoGP can be brutally unforgiving. It’s a difficult game, the kind of game that takes the professionalism of being on a crotch rocket with multiple horses under the hood very seriously. Take a corner badly or fail to hit the acceleration on the right straight of the course and you’re looking at possibly costing yourself the entire race, it’s that difficult.

MotoGP 2013 (2)

On the one hand, this is the kind of action that could turn potential newcomers away from the franchise. On the other hand, it’s going to keep the purists happy. For those of you who want to follow a distinct line on the track and really feel what all that power can do, this might be the game that you’ve been waiting for. Credit has to be given for the helmet view though. If you’re sick of third-person and don’t mind a little bit of motion sickness, then this view is going to give you one hell of a virtual ride experience.

Hardcore fans will most likely get a kick out of the reputation system, as their progress impacts on their overall standing and unlockable extras. It’s a nice touch, that makes aiming for a first place finish worth the effort especially when you need to repeat races.

MotoGP 2013 (3)

In that respect, staying in the lower leagues before ascending to the higher classes is most definitely worth the time and effort. The level of skill between the leagues is immense, and you’ll need every skill possible in order to stand tall alongside the more well-known faces of MotoGP

An aspect of the sport that MotoGP does get right though, are the bike mechanics, is that they feel pretty authentic. If you happen to own a superbike, you’re going to realise that sensation right off the bat. They feel dangerous and lethally quick, but also underpowered thanks to some sub-par sound design that fails to capture the roar of the engine properly. It may sound minor, but when you’re investing time and effort into a game like this, an overlooked detail such as that makes a world of difference.

MotoGP 2013 (5)

And while the bikes themselves look fantastic, adorned in all manner of sponsorships and decals, the rest of the game doesn’t match that level of detail. Tracks can look blurry at times as textures get muddied up, the environment around you looks like a rush job and weather effects look several years old.

When it comes to making MotoGP feel like a part of the dangerous sport, Milestone does a superb job. Liveries, commentary, pre-race videos and track setups feel like they were ripped straight from TV, helping to sell the authenticity of the event. Wildcard races that eventually open up to full-on season campaigns to impress potential sponsors help sell the idea, making up for the rather lean content found in the rest of that mode.

Outside of the seasonal driving on offer, there’s the usual quick race, custom tournaments and some decent split-screen action for anyone who doesn’t want to go online. Which might be a good thing, as that aspect of the game disappoints with a sparse selection of gameplay modes.

MotoGP 2013 (7)

The main problem here though, is that MotoGP 13 has no real competition in this genre. Without competition, there’s no real drive to be better than adequate, which the game is. Sure, hardcore fans are going to love the game but newcomers are most likely going to be turned off by the hard-as-nails driving and required dedication.

That’s something that Milestone needs to avoid, if they want to make what will most likely be an annual release of MotoGP games better each year. There’s a solid foundation here, but it needs more bricks in order to really be something special.

Motogp 20133

MotoGP 13 was reviewed by on the 10th of July , 2013 at 3:30 PM on Xbox 360

GAMEPLAY
6.5
Authentic in all the right places, but hard as nails everywhere else. Definitely a game for experienced players.
DESIGN
6
While the bikes and riders look great and the customisation on offer is pretty decent, the lackluster audio and shoddy attention to detail on everything else spoils that effect.
VALUE
7
18 tracks, various seasons and leagues will offer plenty for players, even if those options themselves are a bit lean when closely examined.
TOTAL
6.5
MotoGP 13 is a fast and light racer that’ll please plenty of purists with its solid take on the sport. Newcomers on the other hand, might be left out in last place once the race has finished.

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Author:Darryn Bonthuys

Because he's the writer that Lazygamer deserves, but not the one it actually needs right now. So we'll hunt him. Because he can't take it. Because he's not a hero. He's a loud-mouthed journalist, a watchful procrastinator. A dork knight.
  • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

    Looks cool though.but meh, can you kick or chain whip your opponent? well then let me go play Road Rash then!

    • Tarisma

      They making a remake!

    • Skyblue

      Road Ras h2 on my old Megadrive was the bomb. The last PC version had an amazing soundtrack but was inferior to the 16 bit version.

      • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

        Man the soundtrack was rocking especially the hidden song…how i wish road rash made a return.Axle!

  • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

    Avast ye lubber! Thar be som 2 wheeler action arrrrrr!

    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      Arr me hearty! They be strange vessels!

      • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

        Aye matey, aye. Shiver me timbers

  • http://xelusprime.wix.com/ettiennev Xelus

    I’ve noticed something though, comparing racing games to any other genre, it feels as if these genre games are quite far behind the rest. I mean, gameplay mechanics, graphics and all other departments seem to be far more advanced than the racing genre.

    • Spathi

      I would say the exact opposite. Tracks are laser scanned, real track data from races are used for gameplay mechanics, shock and tyre manufacturers provide data for the games, aerodynamics are correctly simulated and looking at Project Cars few games (if any) looks that good.

  • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

    Give me The Isle of Man fully mapped out please.

  • TiMsTeR1033

    why even waste your time Darryn Seriously who plays bike games these days…… Now make a hd version of Road Rash and Im SOLD!!!!!

    • Major Commodore 64 Darryn B

      Discussions about Road Rash pleases me. Greatly. Yeeeeeesss…

  • Jason Clarke

    i think its important to remember this game is going to have been made for the purists, this isnt going to sell like forza 4 lets face the facts its dudes that are into motogp and bikes and thats minor compared to the car loving scene. so… is the fact its hard a low point for me? no. if there is one thing the purists want its the riding to be as realistis as possible, if this means learning to control the throttle and two seperate brakes then amen to that, i play this game and didnt choose anything but the pro physics option because its what i want and expect from motogp racing.

    however the sound of the bikes is shockingly rubbish and the graphics are rubbish, even the bikes are pretty crap, on close inspection it would be nice to see little details because this makes all the difference, i want to see the chain moving around and the bike controls being used in time with what im pressing but theres none of it,only the brake lever being squeezed two seconds after i press it. from a bikers point of view this is pretty crap to see.

    its a 7 outta 10 from me, if milestone had the budget to make this look like forza and at least sound like racing machines it could be a 9 easily because the fundamental stuff is in place.

  • Anon

    I bet it would get a better rating if you swapped the bikes for F1 cars and it had the codemasters logo slapped on the front, F1 sports GOTY my arse.

    • Major Commodore 64 Darryn B

      Two wheels good, four wheels better!

      • Key

        Gtfo

  • Charlie gamble

    Screw the newcomers, too many developers dumb down racing games so the noobs can play and get the sensation of speed. Moto gp and motorcycle racing in general are a small community but large in passion and knowledge. This game is fine the way it is and its not as difficult as darryn makes it out to be. When are we going to get actual racing fans and or people who have played a significant amount of the game to do reviews?

    • Realkman666

      What’s the name of the site?

  • Pingback: What an Insightful Review | Snedo – Its Neato!

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