Since Italian developer Milestone de MotoGP licensed in 2013, fans were treated to annual entries. As the studio juggles a number of annual franchises alongside original endeavors such as: Hot Wheels Unleashed, it is not uncommon for the changes to be quite nominal. However, MotoGP 22 features a great new mode that celebrates the sport’s past while also continuing to polish up the overall gameplay, making it one of the studio’s most impressive efforts to date.
Unlike some of Milestone’s other motorcycle racing games, such as the recently released Monster Energy Supercross 5, the bikes are not easy to handle. Weighing in at over 346 pounds, Grand Prix motorcycles take time to run, unlike a dirt bike, and this makes for a very methodical type of racing, one that doesn’t rely on last-second corners and requires a lot of run-up to get to a finish. turning into the road. Milestone has spent over a decade refining the simulation of MotoGP events and the racing comes together quite well in MotoGP 22 because the sense of speed and sheer horsepower in these bikes mixed with the purposeful handling creates a unique racing feel compared to other games in the genre.
Since this is the series’ second outing on PlayStation 5, I was hoping it would take full advantage of the DualSense controller. Grand Prix motorcycle racing, after all, is an intense test of man trying to push a powerful machine to its limits, on the borderline between speed and safety. When you watch a race, it’s exciting to see a rider go through a corner almost horizontally, a display of physics where you can’t believe the motorcycle stays on both wheels.
Admittedly, it takes a lot to ask a video game to recreate this thrill at high speed, where a mistake is usually not noticeable until flying off a motorcycle onto the pavement, but MotoGP 22 could use the controller’s force feedback to communicate to players the details that occur when a bike is about to cross that dangerous line, allowing players to correct course in real time like a skilled rider. Instead, the game has a pretty standard implementation of rumbles that occur when you’re off track or crashed, which is fine, but doesn’t quite communicate the sense of danger that there should be.
This year’s biggest addition is a historic mode called Nine Season 2009, which chronicles the eventful season in which legendary Italian speedster Valentino Rossi won his ninth and final MotoGP championship. This mode stands out and is notable for how the season is celebrated from the perspective of four now-retired legends: Rossi, his biggest rival in Casey Stoner, his teammate who seemed to outdo him in Jorge Lorenzo, and little Dani Pedrosa who seemed to prove he could be successful on the bigger bikes. This more intimate perspective sets it apart from many modes in sports titles that are simply out to celebrate the biggest moments on a less personal scale.
So not only can you relive the jovial moments of Rossi’s victories, you can follow all four riders as their seasons contain triumph and disappointment. The superbly edited video packs that book the multi-part races also play their part in making this mode more special. Milestone built this for its hardcore audience, as the developer isn’t afraid to dig deep into the little details that make that particular season so interesting. Everything from the significant impact racers felt, from having to switch to Bridgestone tires from Michelin tires to unpredictable rainy conditions that force riders to choose when to go into the pits and use their secondary bikes is covered. It would have been so easy to make this mode a simple celebration of Rossi’s achievement, but instead it’s a love letter to and research into the whole sport and the human riders that make it so spectacular.
beyond that, MotoGP 22 has the usual bevy of expected modes. There is the main career mode, which allows players to race in MotoGP or the two lower classes. There’s plenty of meat here to keep players busy for several seasons as they develop an entire team around their created rider, even going so far as to hire agents and other crew members to enhance the player’s business deals and track performance. There’s also a surprisingly in-depth set of creation tools for those looking to make their own bike and helmet liveries, which is a nice touch, but nothing entirely new to the series.
Whether you just want to fit and race the iconic MotoGP courses or relive the 2009 season in one of the best historical modes ever in a racing game, you can’t go wrong with this year’s offerings. It doesn’t matter if you picked up last year’s game or not, MotoGP 22 is a worthwhile purchase that doesn’t require the typical caveats like most annual franchises do. Milestone has continued to flesh out his racer with more than just extra coats of nail polish, which makes an easy recommendation.
As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 8 equates to “Great.” While there are a few minor issues, this score means the art is reaching its goal and making a memorable impact.