The bikes dig through thick mud, after a huge jump the water of a puddle splashes us right in the face. Things get pretty dirty in MXGP 2020, the official racing game for the motocross championship. At the start of the year, the off-road racing game finally hits the PlayStation 5 - and cuts quite a good figure.
Racing games on the PlayStation 5 are rare, even three months after the release of Sony's next-gen console. With MXGP 2020, the official motocross game hits the new hardware about a month after its original release. Our review is here to show you whether it was worth the wait.
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The Improvements to the PS5 Version
The MXGP series from developer Milestone has been the spearhead of off-road racing games on just two wheels for several years now. However, with the current part of the series, MXGP 2020, you can expect the biggest step the series has taken in years. Technical problems like stutters and slowdowns of the old consoles are a thing of the past on the PS5, and thanks to fast loading times, you're right in the action within a few seconds.
The impressive rain effects and the deep tracks that the motocross bikes leave behind in the mud (including the effects on the driving behavior) are good for the game. The Italian developers from Milestone have saved on the graphic details off the track. The series also continues to tread water in terms of gameplay variety: Apart from the obligatory fast races, a rudimentary editor, and the motocross world championship, there's not much here to keep the racing fan happy.
Off-Road Driving Fun: The Gameplay of MXGP 2020
MXGP 2020 cuts a good figure on the track. The driving feel and physics of the bikes give little cause for criticism and should appeal to newcomers and pros alike with their mixture of arcade driving behavior and a good dose of realism. The learning curve is also impressive: If you make regular use of the rewind function after crashes in the first hours of the game to iron out your mistakes, you'll be able to stand even the most daring jumps with a bit of practice.
A real game-changer, however, are the functions of the PS5 DualSense controller, which allow you to feel the track's texture in your hands. In the career mode, MXGP 2020 is extremely dull. Of course, you can buy new bikes and recruit new team members, but otherwise, it's just one championship race after the other.
It is also annoying that some tracks of the 2020 World Championship calendar are absent from the game. At least all official drivers of the championship, such as three-time world champion Tim Gajser or veteran Tony Cairoli, are in the game.
Conclusion on MXGP 2020
With the PS5 version of MXGP 2020, the racing game pros from Milestone deliver their best motocross racer to date. From a technical perspective, the current offshoot improves noticeably and doesn't make any noteworthy mistakes in terms of gameplay. The integration of the haptic feedback through the DualSense controller also provides additional gaming fun.
On the other hand, the game lacks variety and the dull career doesn't manage to keep you glued to the screen in the long run. The scope is far too limited - it's a pity that many modes from the predecessors were simply rationalized away.
Original article by EarlyGame's Philipp Briel.