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Game Info:

MotoGP 20
Developed By: Milestone S.r.l.
Published By: Milestone S.r.l.
Released: April 23, 2020
Available On: Windows 8 to 10, Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Genre: Racing, Sports, Simulation
ESRB Rating: E for everyone
Number of Players: Singleplayer
Price: $49.99
(Humble Store Link)

Thank you, Milestone S.r.l., for sending us your game to review!

It’s exciting to hear the rev of the engine. The motorbikes rumble to life, and the crowd roars when the red lights turn green. Racers then zoom in one packed flock. Their kneecaps barely scrape the asphalt at the first sharp turn, and we spectators marvel at how they manage not to fall or ram into each other. No doubt motorbike racing takes a lot more scientific, mechanical, and practical smarts than most people know. I’m going to include myself in that category. Because, before I played Milestone S.r.l.’s racing simulator, MotoGP 20, I had absolutely no idea how amazingly skilled bike racers are.

For those unfamiliar with the sport, MotoGP stands for the Motor Grand Prix. It’s an organization that hosts the most prestigious road racing championships in the world. It only stands to reason then that a game titled MotoGP 20 kind of speaks for itself. It’s the player’s ticket to the full MotoGP experience. From racing, to customizing, to managing contracts and mechanics, you get to step into the circuit and bring your racing dreams to virtual life. There’s even a multiplayer mode and most impressively an All-Star mode, where you’re challenged to repeat and literally relive the motorsport’s most famous races in history. Sounds pretty straightforward and fun if you ask me. That is, of course, if imagining yourself acing those laps like your favorite MotoGP athletes is in fact your dream. If it isn’t, well . . . deciding if MotoGP 20 is right for you just got a whole lot trickier.

MotoGP 20
Highlights:

Strong Points: Uber realistic driving mechanics; In-depth customization; Great fan-service
Weak Points: No tutorial; Tough learning curve
Moral Warnings: Brief minimal cleavage

While I do think racing is cool, it’s important to make something clear about myself. I am not a prolific follower of motorcycle racing. In fact, I’ve never ridden a motorbike in my life. I couldn’t even tell you what a clutch was if I tried, so this review is from the perspective of someone who could really use a MotoGP for Dummies manual. How unfortunate then for MotoGP 20 to assume that I did know what I was doing and didn’t provide any tutorial mode whatsoever. Now, for a racing game, you’d think that wouldn’t be a big issue. It’s a race. You drive, you do a few laps, and try to place first. The problem with that is MotoGP 20’s driving physics are realistic. Super realistic. Realistic to the point of incredible. That’s precisely what got me in trouble. I didn’t know how to drive a real motorbike. Sure, MotoGP 20 provided a controls guide for both the controller and the keyboard. However, as nice as the game’s controls were, it did not help my stagnating skill. I ended up wasting hours begging myself not to wreck on the next turn. It got to a point where I resorted to seeking online walkthroughs, yet even that was a bust. Nobody, not the developers nor the gamers themselves, absolutely nobody bothered to explain MotoGP 20’s motorcycle physics. Thus, there I was - all alone - crashing and crashing and crashing like I was the one loser weirdo who couldn’t drive a bike. Why-oh-why-oh-why?

Going back to the positive side of things, the realism in MotoGP 20 truly is something spectacular. You wanna know how spectacular? After scouting for a game walkthrough failed me, I turned to real life cycle drivers for input. And wouldn’t you know it. It actually helped! I began crashing less! I started ‘feeling’ how I should angle my turn, when to brake, and when to push the gas pedal. Sure, I was still terrible for a good while, but it was a decided improvement. To add to the realism, MotoGP 20 also takes weather conditions and road temperature into account. If it rained, the track got a tad more slippery. If the asphalt was hot, you can trade your tires for a pair best suited to deal with the heat. Even the way the races are structured are realistic. You have the option to run the whole gambit of a grand prix weekend. Although, heaven help me understand why anyone would want to do that. A single practice round can last forty minutes, and there are several of those. Plus, there’s all the qualifiers that take fifteen laps each before you even get to the race before the big race. It would easily eat over two hours of your time, provided you don’t skip a race. I suppose diehard MotoGP fans might try to carve out a day. I personally won’t anytime soon, but I will continue to praise the meticulous trouble the creators went through to build such an authentic experience.

MotoGP 20
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 84%
Gameplay - 15/20
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 8/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 97%
Violence - 10/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 8.5/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Of course, the realism didn’t stop with the physics and gameplay. MotoGP 20’s presentation is high-def resolution that borderlines live action. The textures are photorealistic. Rain water sprays from the tire treads and can spatter your camera. You get the lens flare from the sun. It captures the appearance of a televised MotoGP broadcast. It’s also worth noting that the sounds of roaring engines and the switching between shifting gears is right on point. The single, solitary thing about MotoGP 20’s presentation I was unsettled by were the human faces. I recognize human face shapes are particularly difficult to animate, but with how realistic everything else looked in the game, you’d hope they’d manage faces just fine. Turns out that wasn’t the case. In fact, their uncanny ‘off’-ness creeped me out a little bit. However, that’s a very tiny grease stain on an otherwise spotless jacket.

Moto GP 20 is indeed one of the sharpest games I’ve played in recent years. It also educated me. I learned a lot about the ins and outs of motorcycle racing thanks to the game. My avatar suffered a heaping ton for it, but it was interesting. With stellar graphics, top of the line physics, and an extreme amount of customizable options for your attire and your bike, Moto PG 20 pulls out all the stops. That All-Star mode is an especially brilliant idea. I’d also give the game a silver star for family friendliness. Mind that I said ‘silver’ star though. Some sportswomen bare a little bit of cleavage, but otherwise, there’s not a foul word or blood drop in sight - even if you do crash. MotoGP 20’s sole problem is that non-existent tutorial. Look. I understand motorcycles are an everyday vehicle. Lots of people have them. Lots of people drive them, but that doesn’t mean everybody does. If you’re a gamer and a MotoGP fan, don your helmets! You’re gonna go wild for this one. For everyone else though, there’s a chance that MotoGP 20 might drive you wild. Better check your motivational engine first to see if you’ve got the right kind of fuel for it.

About the Author

Hannah Colvin

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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