MotoGP17 by developer Milestone S.r.l., is a racing sim focusing only on motorcycles. Milestone has been at this for a while now, and MotoGp’s 5th iteration is a tiny step forward from its predecessors.
There are plenty of racing sims available by other developers and even by this one. Most of them have to do with cars, and motorcycles are an entirely different beast. MotoGP has always had a certain appeal with its fast bikes and immediate danger. Seeing these drivers taking corners at high speeds with elbows and knees on the ground is very exciting. MotoGP17 does a lot in the gameplay department to capture the essence of that thrill. Thanks to running at 60 fps on consoles, this game is silky smooth from start to finish.
Unfortunately, there isn’t anything else positive to be said about the visuals. Character models of the riders are all the same regardless of gender. The faces on the crew are not far away from a clothing department mannequin, and the tracks are lacking detail with its flat grass and low-resolution backgrounds. This would be forgivable if the game was free-to-play, but its annual release at full price makes this unacceptable.
The physics of the game do more than just add excitement to the crashes. Turning the riding aids up to the pro setting utilizes the game’s physics to really capture the hazard of riding these powerful machines. Taking a corner slow and giving the bike too much gas will result in the back end of the bike fishtailing out of control sending the rider flying through the air. Using only the front brake whilst leaning forward means doing a front wheelie. Of course, doing wheelies isn’t going to help you win the race, but it’s this level of control that makes the bikes feel satisfying. The bulk of the game is racing, and that’s where MotoGP17 triumphs over the competition.
The racing is the best part of the game, but it isn’t the only part. The managerial mode allows you to control an entire team with up to six riders. The goal is, of course, to make money winning races. Hiring staff, developing better technologies for your motorcycles via R&D, weight training to improve riders’ racing abilities, or taking photo shoots to get a little extra cash is all woven into a fun and fulfilling experience. The only real gameplay is still racing, but making these decisions on the side is a fun way to break up the pace. It’s this pacing that quickly sinks its hook into the player making you itch to come back for more.
The motorcycles sound great. There’s a real visceral punch to the wailing of the engines. The same could not be said for the game’s music. There is no soundtrack. The one song played during the menu sounds like a rejected ESPN song from the 90’s. Overall, the presentation is lackluster. Menus are easy to navigate, but there was never anything to get excited about. Creating your rider for career mode means selecting from 20 mug shots that have been poorly photoshopped onto the same hat and body. The animations for the crew and riders in between races are stiff and lack any emotion. A brief moment before the race starts an announcer says a few words, and could easily be mistaken for an android.
The first official MotoGP eSport Championship is exclusive to PlayStation 4 players. The winner of the live event will take home a BMW M240i. This union with Dorna Sports explains the much better multiplayer featured in the game. Lag is minimal, and matchmaking is relatively fast. With the inclusion of an online co-op season mode, the multiplayer does help fill the gap of the otherwise low output of content available.
All in all, MotoGP17 isn’t much to get excited about. Veteran players will no doubt be picking this up. Returning players and newcomers alike won’t be disappointed in the gameplay department. It’s the lack of content and innovation that will disappoint all of them. For a series that has this many iterations to still be lacking in presentation, graphics, and content is extremely disappointing. Although, you won’t find a better racing sim for MotoGP, and it’s this excellent execution of the genre that will keep this series alive.
MotoGP17 could best be described with quality over quantity in the most important areas of a racing game. With that being said, MotoGP17 receives a 7 out of 10.
Here is the MotoGP17 Launch Trailer:
MotoGP17 is available for PS4, PS4 Pro, Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system, and Windows PC for $49.99. MotoGP17 is available exclusively at GameStop in the US and various retailers across Canada and Latin America.