While the MotoGP games are the only motorbike racing releases to deliver the official MotoGP license to fans, they’re also some of the best two-wheel racers you’ll find. MotoGP 20 aims to improve upon the solid and reinvigorated foundation that MotoGP 19 set; but is there enough here to warrant another season in the franchise?
From a presentation standpoint, the racers, tracks, and of course, the bikes, have never looked better. Barring a little lacklustre tree, building, or spectator stand, the game looks great in action, and the minor inconsistencies won’t distract you from how good it looks, with everything from the backfiring exhausts to the movements of the riders being meticulously detailed.
As for how it feels, improved physics make every turn and g-force inducing straight generate a different response and feedback to the player. You’ll have to make your corners count and adjust your braking accordingly in order to make it around the track without your backside in the gravel. This is a full simulation at the end of the day, not a quick arcade racer.
Real bike-nuts will get a huge kick out of tweaking everything from aerodynamics, electronics, engine power and consumption, chassis, and even petrol management. The great thing is, MotoGP 20 doesn’t just make it an aesthetic distraction of gauges and numbers, because with each tiny adjustment, you can actually notice the difference during races.
In this regard, MotoGP 20 prides itself on being a true simulation, requiring an understanding of your acceleration speed, braking capacity and distance, and a familiarity of the track you’re taking on. Hardcore fans will be enamoured with the level of detail, but casual gamers might be slightly daunted by what MotoGP 20 requires of them.
If you’re more of a behind-the-scenes type gamer, there is a detailed Managerial Career to indulge in. Players have to run and coordinate their team, including a personal manager (helping you find sponsorships), chief engineer (allowing you to unlock development points), and data analyst (helping improve your bike’s performance). With the manager mode, there’s a lot to get your head around, but it delivers the most comprehensive look behind the curtains of MotoGP that you’ll find anywhere.
There’s no denying that MotoGP 20 isn’t for everyone. It has a steep learning curve and can be quite unforgiving, but if you’re a motorbike fan and love the idea of tinkering with the minutia of your bike’s set-up before each race, MotoGP 20 is the closest thing you’ll get to hitting the apex yourself.
MotoGP 20 is available on Xbox One, PS4, Switch, and PC.
Review: MotoGP 20
- Striking realism.
- Deep customisation of bikes.
- Manager mode.
- Some visual shortcomings.
- Steep learning curve.