Milestone continued to add to its library with the recent release of Monster Energy Supercross 5, and now the studio is following that up with another licensed franchise in the form of MotoGP 22. Although it does not release until April, I was lucky enough to get my hands on a MotoGP 22 preview copy to find out what’s in store for fans of the series.
MotoGP 22 Preview
What I Like
The physics in the preview build of MotoGP 22 can be described as unforgiving, and I wouldn’t fault anyone for that description. For me, though, I tend to use realistic when breaking them down. From the minute I climbed on the bike and took my first lap around the track during the time trial, it was very apparent my sim-cade approach was not the path to take.
It felt like I had been reborn and was learning to retake my first steps. I was wobbling left and overcompensating to wobble to the right, but eventually it became clear that I might be able to pull some stability off, if only for a fleeting moment. The truth is taking a spin around the track is hard in MotoGP 22, but as I remembered how to properly lean into turns and let gravity take over, it all started coming back to me. MotoGP 22 requires you to understand that racing is about timing, finesse, strategy, and aggressiveness in small doses at the right time.
MotoGP 22 also forces you to understand how to feather the throttle and brake, sometimes simultaneously, to maximize the bike’s potential during pivotal times of each race.
That is a lot to ask of people on the track, but when it starts to click, it is simply poetry in motion. As mentioned before, this is an early copy, and inevitably the developers will make minor tweaks to both the physics and the driving model before the game’s release in April. That said, what I experienced on the track was an enjoyable challenge that allowed me to adapt along the way.
I am always giving Milestone a hard time about the presentation in its games, and for those who read my other Milestone reviews, you know that to be the case as well. That said, the developers have been addressing these issues in multiple games over the last few years, and that trend continues with MotoGP 22.
When I fired this game up, I was greeted with a magnificent opening trailer that continued into the game itself. From showcasing the bikes in an exciting and colorful reveal to camera shots cascading upon a jam-packed grid during pre-race, the improvements and style permeate throughout the title.
It feels like Milestone has taken a lesson or two from Codemasters’ approach to the F1 series and applied it straight to the MotoGP series, and I’m here for it. The pre-race scenes are exciting and informative, and most importantly, on point. What this means is that the introductions and voice overs cover the action on the track, and this also includes other relevant information to the day’s action.
The presentation aspects may not excite everyone, but for me, quick-cutting and informative presentations are what I would like to see all developers apply to their games. Quickly impress us, add to the excitement, give us quick details, and off to the race we go. That is what I experienced with the MotoGP 22 preview build, and I think the fans in the community will appreciate it as much as I do.
What is a racing game without good AI? For me, it’s usually not much of anything without that, and in general, the AI will make or break the game’s longevity for offline racers. In MotoGP 22, the AI has been fun to compete against. I’ve seen AI riders fighting for position, taking different lines, being aggressive, and best of all, making honest mistakes that either cost themselves position or take them out of the race for good.
The AI has fought me fair and was willing to race inches apart with me, all while understanding proper spacing while racing me. For me, the AI stood out because the MotoGP series requires such finesse and concentration that if the AI were erratic, it would be extra alarming and annoying.
The MotoGP series has always been known for challenging racing, and the newest build for the latest release seems to continue that trend. The game looked outstanding on my PC, which does not hurt either. When you add in the level of presentation, strong AI, new on-track physics, and bike-to-track connectivity, it seems like something special is in store for fans of the series.
Have no worries for those concerned about the high level of difficulty found in MotoGP 22. Milestone has plenty of driver aids and difficulty settings that can be combined to help ease you into the sport and series. Milestone’s MotoGP 22 is coming to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and Steam on April 21, 2022.