STAFF REVIEW of MX vs ATV All Out - Anniversary Edition (Xbox One)

Saturday, March 30, 2019.
by Adam Dileva

MX vs ATV All Out - Anniversary Edition Box art While I’ve never actually rode a motorbike or ATV, I’ve played quite a few games covering the sport. So while I’m no expert in real life, I’m quite versed in the videogame counterparts. I completely missed THQ Nordic’s release of MX vs ATV All Out last year for whatever reason, though luckily with its year anniversary upon us, they’ve released the aptly titled MX vs ATV All Out Anniversary Edition that includes some of its most popular DLC for some added value.

Developers Rainbow Studios have crafted a racing experience that lives up to its name, allowing you to race with a handful of MX motorbikes, ATV’s and even UTV’s. While I think most will gravitate towards the MX bikes, I found I quite enjoyed the ATV and UTV’s much more when I was able to use them in races and events.

So what if you’ve played MX vs ATV All Out that released last year already? Well, then this version really isn’t for you, for the most part. This Anniversary Edition is essentially the base game along with a handful of the popular DLC that was released for it as well. I choose my words carefully there, as you may notice I didn’t say “all” of the DLC, and that’s because it doesn’t include it all, just a few of the main popular packs, but more on that shortly. As a newcomer to the series, or simply this version, there’s more than enough content here to keep you busy for quite some time, but for a returning player, it’s more of the same you’ve already experienced before.

So the main DLC packs that are included with this Anniversary Edition are: Ricky Carmichael Farm – GOAT, Slash’s Snake Pit and Hometown MX Nationals. This may not look like a lot of DLC, but some of this tracks are quite lengthy, and my favorite compared to the base game, so there’s a decent amount of bonus content within.

Ricky Carmichael Farm – GOAT includes a handful of races to compete in: 2 Opencross, 1 National, 2 Supercross, 1 Waypoint (my favorite mode) and a handful of new sections in Freeride. Slash’s Snake Pit includes 3 absolutely massive Supercross tracks alongside a FMX area where you’ll be able to pull of some crazy stunts. Lastly, Hometown MX Nationals includes authentic Nationals tracks and 2 Freeride places to have fun about in.

Again, while the DLC list may not seem large, some of these tracks take quite some time to complete, and add a ton of replayability on top of the base game itself. What took me by surprise though was that only select DLC was included, and not all of the available options. This means that even though you’re given extra content to play and compete in, you’ll go down the Series list or Bikes to buy and notice that you’re going to have to purchase them separately. While a few bucks here and there might not be a big deal to some, if certain DLC wasn’t good enough to be included in this Anniversary Edition, then why is it being charged for? An all-encompassing Complete Edition would have been in a better move in my opinion.

As you begin your MX or ATV career, you’ll be placed into an open area, essentially your home hub. Here you’ll drive to points of interest that will include Tutorials of the basics and race styles. I really enjoyed this hub-like area, as it allowed me to freely roam around and have fun and test out my rides, but could also easily jump into a Series race or other events through the menu system whenever I desired.

Racing is as you would expect, with you controlling your vehicle with the Left Stick, leaning with the Right, and Gas and Brake with the triggers. Where the challenge comes in is in learning when, and how much, to lean into a corner and rut, allowing you to take the sharpest turn possible while keeping up your speed. You’re able to play with your clutch for quick speed bursts, perform whips and preload your jumps, and learning to do so purposely will take quite a bit of practice.

The menu will have numerous modes and events for you to compete in, from Series, Single Events, Online and more. Series is essentially your career mode where you’ll take on a set number of events, earning points to go up the rankings, trying to edge out the competition to be in a first place standing by the end. With the included DLC from Anniversary Edition, there’s a decent amount of racing to be had here, especially when each Series is 5 or more races each. Win races and championships and you’ll earn money which can then be used to purchase new vehicles and upgrade parts. You’ll also be able to choose your difficulty which will determine just how braindead the AI racers are, and believe me, on the lowest settings I’m surprised they can even stay balanced on their bikes.

You’ll have a ton of variety for race types and tracks, but my favorite is the Waypoint races. Here you simply need to get to the specific checkpoint before moving onto the next, but there’s no pathway you need to strictly follow. I tended to go in a straight line, jumping over raceways at odd angles and hurdling through trees. It’s all about finding the quickest way from point A to point B.

Stunts are possible by holding down the appropriate bumper and moving the sticks in different ways, allowing for some insane aerobatics when you get enough air to perform them. While the stunts are easy to perform, the flashiest looking ones are obviously the coolest, but require much more airtime to pull it off. The smaller tricks, like sitting sideways on your seat can be performed simply by holding the button down, and you won’t even crash, but simply have the animation quickly reset. It’s a bit jarring and awkward, and I’m not sure why it doesn’t make you crash, as holding onto the larger stunts will have you crash if you land before letting go.

Buried within the menus is where you’ll be able to upgrade and even perfectly tune your vehicles to your desires. As expected, you’ll be able to upgrade your engines, tires, seats, chassis, clutch, handlebars and more for each of your bikes and ATV’s. Very cool is that you’re able to upgrade to original performance parts, though all of this is going to cost you the coin you win from races and series. Start saving too, as some upgrades can be quite expensive, and if you’re looking to upgrade all of your vehicles for different events, it adds up quite quickly.

Most impressive is how the tracks deform to the slew of racers riding over the same areas, causing ruts to form in specific areas. These ruts are like mini ditches, showing the line that racers have ridden on previous laps. These ruts will also allow you to dig your tires in and take sharper and deeper turns, and you’ll need to essentially stick to these lines if you want the smoothest path during each event. Hit a rut the wrong way, or land awkwardly off a jump and you’ll crash off your bike to some hilarious ragdoll physics. The collision detection isn’t very realistic either, as I’ve crashed off some weird angles and yet bounced off other riders and objects completely. Even ‘grinding’ against another rider doesn’t seem to really do much to force you to lose your balance, so there’s no reason not to do so if needed.

Also available is an online mode for up to 16 players to race against one another. Take into account that the original release was a year ago and you’ll come to realize that there’s really not many people playing this online much anymore. While I was able to find a random lobby here and there, it took quite some time sitting and waiting for it to fill, so if you don’t have a handful of friends to play alongside, I wouldn’t bank on a robust online community to compete against, given my luck trying to play with others.

While the graphics won’t wow you, MX vs ATV All Out Anniversary Edition is an Xbox One X enhanced title, so it can look quite pretty at times. Given that most of the areas are quite barren, nothing really impressed me either at the same time. There were even multiple times where I had severe slowdown, to the point of single digit framerates, somehow always when I was crossing into my final lap and the white flag was shown on screen for a few seconds. Audio was similar, as there’s some licensed music that plays in the background, but the majority of what you’ll experience is the hisses and whines of the bike engines as you take turns and launch off ramps.

For someone that wants to experience the chaos of MX bikes racing alongside ATV’s, and even UTV’s, MX vs ATV All Out Anniversary Edition will scratch that itch. It’s a shame that not all of the DLC is included in this version, but the ones that are will add a decent chunk of gameplay to keep you busy for a few extra hours. While nowhere near a perfect experience, it can be fun in short doses and allows an accessibility for newcomers to the series and genre to enjoy while having a decent amount of depth and replayability for veterans.

Overall: 6.0 / 10
Gameplay: 6.5 / 10
Visuals: 6.0 / 10
Sound: 5.0 / 10


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