OUR SCORE: 8/10
Engines running: give the green light to the most immersive and authentic MotoGP™ gaming experience ever. Virtual and Real have never been so near in MotoGP 22!
A game like MotoGP 22 relies heavily on authenticity. This is a love letter to two-wheeled motorsports as a fully licenced simulation racer, with a wealth of options to explore that you may immerse yourself in for hours on end. MotoGP is a yearly series that focuses on ironing down the finer points of hurling high-powered motorcycles around a track. This year’s game has made a strong attempt to make itself more approachable to newbies, with numerous tutorials explaining how things function.
Ride to Win
In MotoGP 22, you won’t be smashing jumps for big air or sliding around corners. You can pull a wheelie, but it’s more for a show of bravado as you cross the finish line in first place than for any mechanical reason. There are lots of aids, though I’d advise turning off the brake assist early on because it takes away too much control from you while perched on the bike. Of course, it’s a wonderful feature for folks who are having trouble getting a feel for the bikes on offer, but it detracts from the simulation’s effect.
Even a seasoned sim-racer enthusiast may have to retrain their head for Moto GP 22 due to the “bike-feel.” Because of the bike’s incredible speed, you must brake and lean into turns well before you want to start turning. To come out of the corner, allow the rider to slowly reset back to a neutral position.
Spinning is not a good trick
Any MotoGP race is defined by its cornering, and this year’s game makes the bikes seem more stable and connected to the circuit than before. That’s not to say it’s simple, and it does harken back to the early PlayStation F1 games in certain aspects. If you even touched a speck of dirt off the track back then, you’d spin off and it’d be game over.
If you lean hard for a corner in MotoGP 22 and clip the dust off the track, you’ll be treated to a violent, trembling view of your rider and bike being torn from each other. You can remedy your error by using the rewind button (because this is a modern game), but the visual effect on the camera as your bike disappears beneath you is enough of a deterrent to make you want to avoid doing it again. MotoGP 22 teaches you how to brake, and how to brake early.
The career mode provides a comprehensive, in-depth insight into the sport’s environment. You can join an official team or start from the ground up, hiring and firing engineers, managers, data analysts, and other professionals, as well as forming a satellite team and hiring a team manager, technical director, and even other riders. It has a lot going on, and as you play, you’ll develop your bike and its components. If you’re a big fan of motorcycles and MotoGP in particular, there are a lot of menus and details to delve into.
The tracks themselves have a glistening finish. Faces are well-modeled, and the bikes themselves look and sound fantastic. It’s a minor quibble, but given the current generation of consoles’ capabilities, a little more life in the landscapes would be good.
Nine Season 2009 is essentially a playable documentary from that season, in an attempt to fully immerse you in the world of MotoGP. It is a more mature mode, with real footage and challenges allowing you to complete classic moments in the game, such as finishing position, number of persons overtaken, or setting a specific space between racers. I’m hoping for a separate release of the documentary, because I’d happily sit and watch it: it’s that wonderful.
If you’re a racing enthusiast or a fan of motorbikes, then MotoGP 22 is perfect for you. Yes, it steers more to the simulation side of things but it is fantastic. If you’re someone who grew up playing MotoGP games, you’re likely to enjoy this title as well.