Reviewed on: PlayStation 5
Also available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Xbox Series X/S
Release: 16th December 2020
“In MXGP 20 you can enjoy the adrenaline of the current MXGP season, competing with 68 riders from MXGP and MX2 categories on all the 19 circuits of the season. Building your career starting as a rookie will be just the first step for glory: players will be able to join an official team or build their own one, personalizing their experience to fit their dream as a competitive rider. Track Editor is back with some new features added in. With Heightmaps feature, players can replicate the real MX tracks configurations, often built on hills and mountains, adding realism and all the challenges that real riders face during races. Four different types of terrain will allow players to choose and customize the element in order to create the track of their dream. Those tracks could be shared online with friends and community.”
MXGP 2020 is not your traditional ‘fun’ game, at least not at first and that's alright; because what it is is one of the most satisfying and rewarding experiences I've ever had. The learning curve here is extreme, but once you start to master the extremely complex control scheme, your sense of achievement is incredible. I usually find racing games easy and somewhat monotonous, especially on easier difficulties. This one however, for anyone new to the series, well, it's basically the Demon Souls of racing games. The mixture of advanced physics and difficult weather conditions make it near impossible at times. I had to start on the easiest difficulty until I found my feet. The more I played, the more I got used to the controls and physics aspect of the game, so it definitely got easier to play. But as a newbie, it definitely took me by surprise. I wasn’t prepared for just how in depth the controls were going to be.
Now I want to go into a little more detail in terms of what I mean by “the physics” of the game. Unlike your regular racing game, using the right stick, the player controls the rider's weight during a race. This is especially important through corners etc as you can use it to your advantage and shave those precious milliseconds off your time. This ability to control the rider themselves is unable to be turned off; you can turn it to “semi-automatic” but there are still some aspects of it. This, on top of the standard driving controls are really what give the game that immersive and rewarding feel. Combining this feature with the adaptive triggers on the PS5 and you're somewhere on your way to having your very own simulator. The adaptive triggers and haptic feedback allow you to feel every rev of the engine, every bump and jump; totally immersing you into the race.
Graphically, MXGP 2020 is, well, WOW! This one is well deserving of it’s next gen status. From sprawling scenery far into the distance, to the finer details such as the weather and mud, makes this one a truly great looking game. Rivalling just about any next gen game I've played so far, don't for a second think that this one won't be up to current “next-gen” standards, because it well and truly is. Running at 4K and a very solid 60fps, it's currently a perfect example of what the PS5 is capable of.
You'll quickly notice all the little details, the tracks themselves have lots of different little ruts and racing lines within them, which makes a big difference to your race. What I mean by this is, if you approach your corners correctly and get yourself a nice tight inside line, you almost feel the bike grabbing a bit of a rut left by a previous tyre which gives you a little extra speed and direction as you complete the corner. This is a very cool feature and something that becomes very important as you progress or as your difficulty increases.
Offering the standard “racing game” game-modes, such as time trial, career and grand prix, the game is exactly what you'd expect of it there, however one addition that I wish more games included is track editor. This allows you to both create your own tracks and to play tracks created by other players around the world. Some of these player created tracks are truly fantastic, some of which are as good as, if not even better than those created by the developers themselves.
The career mode, where I spent the majority of my time playing, is both relatively lengthy and enjoyable. The menus are super clean, crisp and are really easy to follow. The overall look and layout of the game is one of the less confusing I've played in recent times. Racing games lately seem to try and be a little too cute and clever in their menus and leave me a little lost when trying to follow along.
MXGP 2020 is truly unique for me; if you've played previous versions of the game, you probably disagree. Personally, I've never played anything even remotely like it. But then again, until now, I was never a huge fan of Motocross games in general. MXGP 2020 has definitely changed that. I have had a great time conquering the challenge and learning a new way to play racing games.