Game Info:

Moto Racer 4
Developed by: Artefacts
Published by: Microids
Release date: January 24, 2017
Available on: macOS, PS4, Windows, Xbox One
Genre: Racing
Number of players: up to two locally, ten players online
ESRB Rating: Everyone
Price: $19.99
(Amazon Affiliate Link)

Thank you Microids for sending us a review code of this game!

The MotoRacer series began in 1997 and I remember enjoying it quite a bit on my (much slower) PC.  The first couple of games were available on the PlayStation as well.  The third installment never made it to the consoles and received poor ratings.  After twenty years, the fourth game has arrived on multiple platforms. Can it restore the series to its former glory?

In Moto Racer 4 you can jump right into the action and do a quick game or unlock more racers and bikes in the Career mode.  Since you only start off with a couple of bikes and racers it’s probably best to unlock more and find out which ones suit your racing style best. Unlocked bikes and racers can be used in multiplayer mode, but you’d better have friends to play against since nobody is playing this game online apparently.

In Split Screen mode you can play against a friend in a point based championship mode or in a standard race.  Other game modes include King of the Road, where you have to stay in first place or Last Man Riding where the rider in last place is ejected from the race at timed intervals.  Last Man Riding is more fun in the career mode with more players than in split screen.  When I played the Hunter mode with my brother the races only lasted fifteen seconds since it didn’t take me long to catch up to him (the prey) despite the head start he was given.  The last mode is called Golden Helmet where the racers must find and wear the helmet for a set amount of time to win the race.

Moto Racer 4

Strong Points: A decent mix of asphalt and dirt racing
Weak Points: Dated visuals; long loading screens; nobody is playing it online
Moral Warnings: You can knock racers off their bikes

In the single-player Quick Game mode you can do a Single Race, a multi-race Championship, a Time Attack, or Hot Lap.  You only have three laps in Time Attack while you can race an unlimited number of times in Hot Lap to beat the best time.

The Career mode combines many of the modes and depending on how well you do, you’ll earn stars which can be used to unlock future events, racers, and bikes.  Before a race, you have to wager on your performance and gain or lose stars depending on the results.  The more stars you wager, the tougher your opponents will be.

While most racing games focus on speed, Moto Racer 4 awards you style points for all the fancy moves you can pull off during the race.  Simple and long jumps will give you points if you can land properly while flips and wheelies can net you even more points.  If you cut too many corners or fail to do stunts properly, you’ll lose points.

The controls are pretty straightforward with the right trigger to accelerate and the A button for doing stunts like wheelies.  If you do a wheelie long enough, you’ll get a speed boost. It is worthwhile to be daring, but you’ll have to be careful too. If you miss a turn or hit an obstacle like a car, you’ll respawn and lose precious time.  Thankfully, there is no blood or gore shown when you take a nasty spill.

Moto Racer 4
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 68%
Gameplay - 14/20
Graphics - 5/10
Sound - 6/10
Stability - 4/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 100%
Violence - 10/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Before a race, you’ll have to stare at a loading screen for a bit.  While the quotes from the racers are helpful and entertaining, I’d still prefer not having extended loading times.  

The graphics are another letdown.  Despite this being an Unreal Engine 4 game, the low quality textures appear to be a generation or two behind.   On a big screen this title could pass for a PS2-PS3 era game.   I was also surprised to notice my Xbox One Slim stuttering while playing this game.

There’s a wide variety of maps and I like the changing locales ranging from forest and desert roads to expressways on tropical islands.  The maps are well designed and offer multiple routes and shortcuts to utilize.  

There is no voice acting, but the sound effects are decent.  The background music is peppy and pleasant to listen to while racing.  None of it was particularly memorable though.

Though the retail price is $39.99, it sells for less than $20 on Amazon.  While it’s worth the $19.99 price tag, I certainly wouldn’t recommend it at full price.  The lack of multiplayer is disappointing, but the single-player and co-op races are fun.  This game is suitable for aspiring racers and stunt drivers of all ages.

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