There are two wheels on my wagon.
MileStone have released more than a few motorbike racing games over the years, but the latest title from their stables is something a bit special, simply because it has made an appearance on the PlayStation 4. This is special not only because it is Milestone’s first appearance on the latest generation of consoles, but also because there is a lack of racing games on PlayStation’s newest box at this point in time. There is a massive market out there who may have just got a little bored of Need for Speed Rivals and are looking at switching four wheels for two.
However, gamers who don’t usually indulge in motorbike racing may well find themselves fighting an uphill battle to even stay on their bike. Whilst MotoGP 14 is not a true simulator, it still manages to have a learning curve that can be brutal. There are plenty of times when the game has an arcade feel, but the physics are solid and will have new racers spending more time off the track than on. There are options to tame the physics somewhat, and there are much more forgiving races to be had in the pre-MotoGP sessions, but all roads lead to Rome and eventually players will be taking on the punishing MotoGP races. Hopefully by this point new players will have come to terms with the differences between two wheels and four.
MotoGP 14 manages to pack in a substantial amount of content across the various different modes. Racing game standards such as the immediate gratification of Instant Race and the slightly more involved Grand Prix modes are joined by some quick challenges in the Real Events 2013 mode, which has players recreate events from last year’s season, and the Challenge the Champions mode, which is also mostly made up of recreating or bettering real events. These modes may not last long, but offer something a bit different that fans of the sport will really be able to get behind. Throwing in the option to drive a BMW in the Safety Car mode was perhaps not the best idea, given how badly the car handles, but can easily be overlooked.
There are plenty of options for multiplayer racing with both online and split screen offered. While playing against other players is undoubtedly fun once you have the basics down, the largest amount of time will be spent in the expansive career mode.
Players will have the chance to create their own rider from a small selection of customization choices, and then start climbing the ranks from Moto3 all the way through to being the most awesome rider in the world, or at least that is the plan. The Career mode really is the best place for new players to start, as it will slowly ease them in with more forgiving handling and less competition.
Making an appearance on the PS4, gamers would perhaps be expecting something truly impressive in the visuals department, and it is safe to say that MotoGP 14 looks good. The bikes and their riders are all nicely recreated on the screen, and they move with a fluidity that matches the real world equivalent. The sense of speed and power is well portrayed. The only real let down is when it comes to the tracks themselves. Whilst all of the tracks from the current season are present and faithfully laid out with every twist and turn, the surroundings in which the tracks sit feel somewhat devoid of life and cardboard. This is only a minor issue as most of the time players will be concentrating on the track itself and the other riders, but it is noticeable nonetheless.
MotoGP 14 is packed full of content that will keep motorbike fans entertained for hours. The difficulty for newcomers can be off-putting, but the incredible handling and real sense of speed make it worthwhile putting the time in. If your need for speed leans more towards two wheels rather than four, then MotoGP 14 is where you need to be spending your cash.