Test – MXGP 2020: a timid entry on next-gen

The king of motocross simulation arrives for the first time on next-gen with ever-so-demanding gameplay.

Sports and racing simulations have for many years become accustomed to renewing themselves at the start of each new season. Indeed, the changes of teams or stables force the editors to propose a new title every 12 months, with its share of novelties specific to the new opus. Obviously, the MXGP championship and its motocross are no exception to the rule.

After being released on PC, Playstation 4 and Xbox One in the middle of December, MXGP 2020 lands on next-gen with an upgrade on Xbox Series and a dedicated version on PS5. An arrival on next-gen which could have been synonymous with big news for the motocross franchise. If we could hope for graphics at the height of the Playstation 5 or even revised game modes, it will ultimately be nothing. We are thus entitled to an episode similar in all points to his version current-gen, or even in the 2019 opus.

The game modes are practically the same as in 2019, graphically, we absolutely do not feel the effects of the next-gen on the license. The races keep the same sensations, and that is not to displease us.

If there is one point on which the Milestone franchise has evolved in a good way over the years, it is in the gameplay. The first episodes were criticized for driving too arcade and not providing the slightest sensation. However, since MXGP Pro in 2018, we are really dealing with a pure extreme driving game. Driving a racing car is extremely demanding and requires constant attention. Physics have a very special place and controlling the correct position of your rider and motorcycle is of particular importance.

MXGP 2020 remains an extremely demanding episode. The slightest misstep can ruin your race.

Like real motocross races, the circuit is a character in its own right against the riders. It will therefore be necessary to tame it, adopting the turns as best as possible while taking care to avoid the 19 other riders. The track deteriorates as the race progresses with, of course, an impact on driving. The tire groove on the track deepens as it passes. We regret, however, that the mud jets go too unnoticed. Indeed, we would have liked to have full eyes during the races, a feeling that we only have when piloting with the camera in first person. Passing through a large expanse of mud does not bring any particles behind the bike.

Who says motocross obviously says spectacle. It is indeed very rare for an official race to end without a driver being sent into the background. Rest assured, MXGP 2020 remains very realistic at this level and gives pride of place to falls and accidents of all kinds. Physics remains a key element of your driving and turns and jumps must be taken correctly, at the risk of falling from your bike. If this is not likely to cause problems for regulars of the franchise and demanding racing games, it will be different for neophytes. MXGP is primarily aimed at purists, who are unlikely to be left behind. However, Milestone allows its title to be accessible to everyone, with some rather practical features. Rewinding makes it possible to cancel an action badly carried out, while it is possible to drive in Simple or Advanced mode, in order to simplify or not the races and to increase the driving aids.

To accentuate this spectacle and this immersion in racing, the Playstation 5 version of the title offers a new interaction through the controller. Flagship features of the Dualsense, adaptive triggers take on their full meaning in racing games, and in particular in MXGP. The throttle trigger reacts perfectly to the reactions of the engine and, without being essential, this feature is welcome to deepen the immersion. As for the vibrations, they go too unnoticed and merge with the traditional vibrations present on a Playstation 4 or Xbox One version.

Already touted in the 2019 opus, AI remains the strong point of MXGP 2020. We do not suffer at any time from the absence of the computer and it even dares to try small subtleties in the race, such as the use of jumps to pass more easily.

As in any self-respecting racing game, MXGP 2020 allows the player a deep customization of his bike. Whether it is the suspensions or the acceleration, everything is done to allow the player to ride the bike of his dreams. Each pre-race will be an opportunity for the player to review the configuration of his vehicle and thus adapt to the requirements of the circuit or the weather. This is indeed of particular importance in MXGP, since it may or may not worsen the state of the circuit and therefore deeply impact the outcome of the GP.

The level editor benefits from a slight facelift and remains a great success.

If the gameplay of MXGP 2020 is its strong point, the content of the title is quite its opposite. It just hasn’t changed since the 2019 edition of the franchise. We thus find the 5 traditional game modes. Among these, the career mode is making a comeback. A comeback which leaves us on our hunger since it is identical in all points to its predecessor. Always so tasteless and empty, the career mode remains a succession of races within a championship without any scripting and along 17 circuits. No cutscene intersects the races and it all looks like a simple championship mode, also present in the title.

Because if the game modes are not lacking in MXGP 2020, we have to admit that we quickly made the rounds. Quick modes allow you to try your hand at a time trial, Grand Prix or championship very quickly, while Playground mode gives us the opportunity to try our hand at community circuits.

Paradoxically, one of the most successful modes of MXGP 2020 is the one in which you drive the least. The level editor allows us to realize, in rural environments, very successful circuits with complete customization. Successive jumps, long straights or very tight turns, there will be something for everyone and the player can give free rein to his imagination. The height difference is also a parameter to take into account when placing your bumps, and the difficulty of your circuit can very quickly be increased. A successful circuit editor, but there too can be improved. We would have appreciated more customization options, especially with regard to the decor.

MXGP 2020 is far from impressive on next-gen. It can nevertheless boast of being very stable at 60 fps in 4K.

For its arrival on Playstation 5 and therefore on next-gen, one would expect impressive graphics from MXGP. However, do not expect so much, since MXGP 2020 is similar in all respects to its version current-gen, even in the 2019 episode. The title is frankly not exceptional and is not up to the 4K it displays timidly. The textures are not really successful while the missing particle effects do not help to beautify the software.

The soundtrack is a real success in the Milestone franchise. The developers have managed, for a few episodes, to breathe soul into its MXGP with a very original and well composed soundtrack. The music, sometimes rock, sometimes electro, goes wonderfully well with motocross races. In the race, the noise of the engines is the most beautiful effect.

Finally, let us evoke a point on which the arrival on next-gen will do the franchise a great deal of good. Previously criticized for its lack of stability and drops from framerate constant, MXGP 2020 on Playstation 5 no longer suffers from any slowdown. Extremely fluid, in particular thanks to the 60 FPS provided by the next-gen, MXGP 2020 is awfully fun to play. It enjoys unfailing fluidity.

Conclusion

With MXGP 2020, the Italians of Milestone sign a sequel unfortunately very bland, content to significantly improve the performance of the game without reviewing the content The license has simply not budged an iota, except that ‘she landed for the first time on next-gen. We are now entitled to 4K at 60 fps, with a much smoother title than its predecessors. Where we criticized previous episodes for constant drops in framerate, MXGP 2020 on Playstation 5 is simply flawless in its technique. However, the novelties stop there. The graphics appear to be straight inherited from the PS4 and Xbox Series without living up to the capabilities of the next-gen. On the content side, it is hardly more encouraging. The career mode remains as tasteless and empty as in the 2019 edition. Fortunately, the circuit editor keeps his basics and remains a real success. Immersion is always part of the game, notably with the official license of the MXGP championship and terribly realistic races. Races which require rigor at all times, but which will however leave neophytes unaccustomed to such demanding games on the floor. If this vintage 2020 therefore disappoints, it corrects one of the main faults of its ancestors, which is already not so bad … From there to crack just for that …

MXGP 2020

The +:

  • Demanding and intense gameplay
  • The official licenses of the motocross championship
  • A nice optimization
  • A soundtrack that vacillates between electro and rock
  • Land that evolves over turns

The – :

  • Clearly not intended for neophytes
  • Graphics not worthy of the next-gen
  • No particle effect associated with mud
  • Where are the novelties?


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