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MotoGP 22 Review

MotoGP 22 Review

Starting off our MotoGP 22 review, it’s worth noting traditionally motorcycle video games have never had the same love and attention as their four-wheeled counterparts. This is primarily because motorcycles are incredibly complex machines.

Between rider balance, bike balance, lean angles, front and rear braking, and gear changes just to name a few, motorcycles are a daunting task to simulate on a keyboard or controller. Because of this, they tend to be much harder to sit down and play compared to car racing games, or on the flip side focused more on arcade-style controls and physics.

MotoGP 22 lands on the simulation side of that coin, replicating the real-life MotoGP 22 event calendar, bikes and riders for fans of the sport to ride along with and experience in the comfort of their living room. In that aspect the game succeeds, but if it were that simple, this MotoGP 2022 review would be a lot shorter, so let’s dig into it.

This is a review coupled with a supplemental video review. You can watch the video review or read the full review of the game below.

Title: MotoGP 22
Publisher: Milestone S.r.I
Developer: Milestone S.r.I
Platforms: Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
Release Date: April 21, 2022
Players: 2/Online
MSRP: $49.99 (Review Copy Provided)

The motorcycles and well detailed and accurate to their real-life counterparts, the race racks are brightly coloured and vivid, however low detail. I understand this is a racing game and when you’re screaming down the straight at Phillip Island the last thing you should be doing is looking at the trees.

But when you do, you’ll notice low-resolution 2D cutouts and a small degree of pop-in reminiscent of a game 15 years its senior. The same goes for the crowds in attendance even with every graphical option cranked up as high as it could go, I couldn’t help but notice the low-resolution 2D animated people in the side stands.

I also couldn’t help but notice a weird graphical glitch where my motorcycles visor and sometimes the wheels would fade out into oblivion have no real defining edge regardless of the time of day or weather, which is distracting, and while the race tracks are full of bright colour, they are also very flat, almost sterile with not much detail on the grass, road and buildings.

As for the game’s performance, I am playing on a PC with 32gb of DDR4 Ram, an Intel Core i7 10700k and an Nvidia GTX 1070 with all graphical options on maximum and the game installed on an SSD.

With that in mind, the game very rarely dipped below 60fps so I have absolutely no complaints there and while I haven’t played a console version of the game I don’t see any reason current hardware would have any difficulties.

Let’s tackle the Elephant in the room first. Upon booting up the game to do our MotoGP 2022 review, I was tasked with creating my rider. A typical feature in many motorcycle games, unlike driving games, you will see your character.

During the character creation we, the player are given the choice to choose our body types, which I assumed would allow me to adjust my proportions (overweight, skinny, short, tall), however developers Milestone S.r.I have decided to rename gender to “body type” with “type 1” being male and “type 2” being female.

I have no issues with being able to choose my gender in a video game, in fact, that’s quite normal. However right below that option was the “pronouns” tab where I could choose to be a “he/him” and a “she/her.” This woke pandering is only made worse when you dive deeper into the character creation tools.

For those who choose to play as a male, you will have 10 relatively safe and boring characters to choose from, ranging from Caucasian, African, Indian, and Asian types. All have safe “normal” haircuts and facial hair. These player models all look like the typical stock NPC’s you’ll often find walking down busy streets in open world games.

As for the ladies, you only have three choices. For those who want to play maybe an asian female, you’re out of luck, the same for Indian and African women too. You have to be a white female with the choice of either a mousy brown ponytail, a purple emo style cut that’ll have you calling out for the games manager or a bright pink side-hawk taken straight out of Cyberpunk 2077.

So while on the surface it may appear that Milestone S.r.I are clearly pushing for brownie points with their use of pronouns and gender-neutral body types, they’re really only doing this for the benefit of one audience, the alt-girl white chicks you’d find on TikTok and nowhere near a MotoGP track, while excluding black, asian and females from the character creator altogether.

This is made even stranger by the fact that there are multiple, more typical female models and hairstyles used in the games victory screens and pre-race cutscenes which could have easily been included in the character creator.

All of that rubbish aside, once you’ve created your NPC, You have the opportunity to dress them up in motorcycles leathers, helmets, gloves and boots and there is a decent selection of this stuff to choose from.

I was even able to find my real-life equipment in the game which helps for immersive purposes. Sponsorship stickers can be attached to your leathers and bike and the game does feature a graphic creator so you can download and upload custom creations too which is neat.

Now, onto the actual gameplay. MotoGP 22’s tutorial is short and simple. It does a great job at showing you the mechanics in the game, however, it lacks in explaining why those mechanics are in the game.

As mentioned before, riding a motorcycle is complicated, you have to have the right corner apex with the right lean angle, enough pressure on the front tyre, but also the rear as well as shifting your body weight from front to back, side to side if you’re going to get the best time on track.

MotoGP shows this to you in the form of simple tutorials but never really explains the what and why which I can imagine would leave newcomers feeling a little lost trying to understand why they’re following the dotted lines into the corners but not able to maintain the same speed and traction as the game A.I.

Where MotoGP makes up for this though, is in the use of riding aids. Players will have the option to show corner entry and exits as they appear (which I personally find incredibly useful when learning a new track for the first time, or jumping on a faster bike), as well as apex lines with speed markers.

You’ll also have the option to automate the bike’s engine breaking giving you one less thing to think about, as well as reducing the physics and rider A.I to tailor an experience suitable for your skill level, gradually removing these features as your confidence and skills begin to increase.

On the surface this is great, however, the experience is let down by the Rider A.I all together. During my time with our MotoGP 22 review I found myself becoming increasingly frustrated at the seemingly over-aggressive AI that would constantly ram me off the track and slam into my rear when breaking into corners.

If it wasn’t for the re-wind feature I’d find myself having to re-start races over and over and over again due to these situations. It appears that the only way to safely win a race is to get out in front during the qualifiers and stay there as riding amongst the pack is incredibly tedious and overly complicated, and I think I know why.

It appears to me that the rider AI don’t actually know you’re on the track and in my experience did not respond to my actions at all no matter what I did, which explains why they were so nonchalant about crashing into me all of the time.

In terms of game modes, I was let down by the lack of choice. Players can enter career mode, where you will be in charge of hiring staff and a manager. Securing contracts, sponsorships and funding research and development into your motorcycles all while navigating around the MotoGP 2022 racing season.

I found this to be incredibly fun, looking ahead at the races coming up and making sure I’ve developed and researched the correct technology for those tracks to give me an edge over the competition.

Outside of career mode, you have championship mode which is.. career mode without the team management aspects. This is great for those wanting the Moto GP experience without the tedious management systems.

MotoGP 22 also features an online mode, allowing you to race with other Riders around the planet, but more surprisingly, a two player split ccreen option, even on the PC version of the game, which is a very welcome feature than ran perfectly fine on my computer.

I was upset about the lack of a quick race option, something all racing games should have. Instead, what you need to do is go through the “championship mode” and skip through all of the warm-ups and trial runs, and while this method is convoluted, it is the only option for those who are maybe stretched for time and just want to do a quick race before dinner is ready.

As for the actual racing aspect of the game, The motorcycles handle well and look good on track, and the rider aids make motorcycle simulation accessible for both newcomers and experienced players, however other than top-speed and engine sound, I didn’t notice any real differences between the different motorcycles.

They all handled virtually the same and after a short while I found myself getting a little bored. There was no excitement in choosing a new motorcycle as joining a new team and riding a different bike felt more like a cosmetic upgrade, altering the gameplay experience very little.

While music isn’t the focus of a game like this, sound definitely plays an important part and I am happy to say that the motorcycles sound good. There’s a real sense of speed and panic when you’re among the pack hearing engines screaming at High RP, crackling and popping as everyone downshifts into the corners and flames shoot from exhaust pipes.

In fact, I would say that the sound is the stand-out feature in the game, often turning relatively safe experiences into exciting ones, although if you’re playing this game on a set of speakers, I warn you that your parents or roommates may complain about the blender and toaster like screaming of a Moto3 class bike constantly droning out of your speakers.

In-between the races, and in the career mode during pit stops, and before races begin you will also hear commentators narrating the situations around you, creating a fun and immersive experience.

Although, I did notice these commentators would often have their information incorrect. At one point they mentioned how most of the riders on the track were using soft tyres, but upon checking there was not a single rider on soft tyres in the race.

All in all, MotoGP 2022 is a decent entry point for newcomers of the genre and fans of the sport itself. With clever and intuitive rider aids it’s the type of game I could see my father getting into, managing his team through the career mode, meticulously taking his time during the roughly five hours of pre-race warm-ups, and more.

But for us more experienced players or motorcycle enthusiasts MotoGP 22 sadly plays it too safe, with sterile, flat textured race tracks and very little variation between the different motorcycles, there just isn’t a lot to offer for those who aren’t massive fans of MotoGP as a sport that other motorcycle simulators already do, and in most cases better.

Our MotoGP 22 review was done on Windows PC using a copy provided by Milestone S.r.l. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here. MotoGP 22 is now available for PC (via Steam), Xbox, Switch, and PlayStation.

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The Verdict: 6.5

The Good

  • Riding aids make motorcycle simulation accessible to everyone
  • Great sound design creates exciting experiences
  • Two player split screen
  • Career mode is fun
  • The rewind button is a godsend

The Bad

  • Forced and failed diversity feels out of place
  • Racer A.I is bad
  • Graphics feel outdated
  • Motorcycles don't have much “personality”
  • Lacks a dedicated “quick race” mode

About

Mineya is a mixed martial artist, comic book creator, author, and musician whose first video game experience was playing Laura Bow & Space Quest on his Grandfathers Dos Machine.