STAFF REVIEW of MotoGP 19 (Xbox One)

Tuesday, July 2, 2019.
by Brent Roberts

MotoGP 19 Box art Being the avid racing fan that I am, I tried my hand at Moto GP a few years back and quickly came to a few realizations. For starters, I couldn't control a bike, know anything about how physics work and the list continues. Now though, Moto GP 19 is out, and I thought I would like to see how the game has evolved throughout the years, and I have to say, I was surprised. Priced at $49.99 I was wondering how this would hold up compared to other bike games out there, and it feels like Moto GP 19 has had major improvements throughout every facet. How about we take a look and see what you get for that $50 bill shall we? Get ready to ride.

Moto GP 19 comes right out of the gate and delivers a tremendous career mode, where the overwhelming majority of your time will be spent. There are going to be a couple options you can select for your career, those being standard and pro modes. You could call this more of arcade vs. simulation, where in arcade mode, you can tailor the driver assists, number of laps, weather, etc. You also have access to the rewind feature (which I'll be the first to admit I used from time to time) that is plucked straight from Forza, so if you happen to mistakenly take a hairpin right at 150mph, you can rewind to a position that allows you to break in time.

Now in standard mode, the laws of physics are somewhat forgiving. While this won't allow you to distort them in some Matrix, "I know kung fu" fashion, it will keep your bike and your rider upright for a majority of the course. It will still brutally punish you though should you wander very far off the striped paint on the sides. Also, you can expect your fellow CPU riders to act accordingly aggressive dependent upon the difficulty you set it to. You can also tailor your race weekend with multiple practice sessions so you can get used to the track before qualifying, should you opt for it. You have the option though to just jump right into the race, but I will stress that having the practice sessions to get used to the corners and the speeds you need to be at in the entrance and exits makes the qualifying sessions that much more valuable when you can start at the head of the pack, rather than skipping everything and going straight into the race from last place.

In contrast, the pro career mode locks in what drivers aids you will be running on and turns the physics up to an unholy level of pain. This means you have to be on your game if you think you can compete at a quality level. While standard was more forgiving, pro mode will take the slightest challenge to physics and immediately toss it, forcing you to have a spectacular crash. Now, normally in standard mode you would just hit the rewind button and adapt so you don't have that problem again. However, in pro mode, no such rewind exists. This could pose a monumental problem should you crash late in the race itself. See, in the standard mode, you get to set the laps you want, etc, but not in pro mode. Nope, in pro mode you're locked into the full race amount, so it's not uncommon to have a race last over half an hour.

One massive benefit of this career mode is that you can start, should you feel brave enough, to begin competing within the actual MotoGP Cup, instead of having to work your way throughout all the previous tiers of racing. Once you move on from the Red Bull Rookie Racing Cup though, the game will open up and allow you to upgrade your bike through the completion of various research and development tasks that your crew will set for you at the beginning of a race. Completing these mini tasks will allow you to upgrade various components within your bike and also allow you to customize the ride of the bike even further.

While the gameplay mechanics have improved as these generations continue, sadly the weather of all things doesn't seem to play as dynamic a role as you would find in other games. In other racing titles, there's dynamic weather that impacts the control and handling, and in MotoGP 19, that doesn't seem to be the case. It's a shame because this game looks jaw dropping beautiful on the Xbox One X. When you have the Unreal engine pushing beautiful graphics at 30fps, it's easy to see that MotoGP 19 appears to finally have a winning formula on the console. I took some photos in the game and was honestly surprised at how amazing they looked given the limited camera control/options at your disposal.

With the career out of the way, there really isn't that much more to MotoGP 19 unfortunately. Of course, you have multiplayer modes where you can go in and manage the independent aspects of the race before beginning, but it really becomes self-explanatory which is similar in nature to MotoGP 19's quick race mode. There is one small caveat though, and that is MotoGP 19 does include some very historical races that you can compete in. Think of these as situational challenges much like you would find in other games of racing and sports, and once completed, you are graded on your performance and earn stars, unlocking new material within the game.

There were a few hiccups as well. While I did enjoy being able to select what events on a race weekend I took part in, I did not enjoy the loading times at all. The loading times felt a lot longer than they should be and became a setback. Also, while I loved the look of MotoGP 19, I didn't enjoy hearing it. This is thanks to the bike noises which, by the time you get into the E bike series, will have your ears bleeding. Not because of some non-authentic noise, but because the sound seems like it has 2 modes: Off and blasting full on.

Overall MotoGP 19 is a fantastic racer that delivers the quintessential motorbike racing experience in a way we as gamers have never experienced before. Despite this though, I do feel that $49.99 is a bit too high. Let me explain why as this pertains to how I value the content within the title itself. For me, MotoGP 19's multiplayer and quick race options don't really interest me. Its pro mode career is something that not only will leave me frustrated to the point of not playing the game, but also provides such an experience that it doesn't keep my desire to continue playing.

Where MotoGP 19 really shines is in the standard career mode and its historical challenges. So, for me, with only 2 parts of the game that stand out as a must have, I feel that $49.99 is too high a price to pay. I will say though, $29.99 and below makes this a pickup all day long, and twice on Sunday.

Overall: 8.0 / 10
Gameplay: 8.0 / 10
Visuals: 8.8 / 10
Sound: 6.0 / 10


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