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MotoGP 15 Hands-On Preview – High Gear

A welcome change in the world of racing.

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In a world that’s filled with a bunch of games that focus on stock car racing, it can be extremely refreshing to come across a racing game that offers a change of pace from the norm. MotoGP 15 is that game, offering what is probably the best motorcycle racing experience I’ve seen yet.

MotoGP is, obviously, about motorcycle racing, and when looked at against a normal racing game, it’s pretty hard to compare. This game is pretty unforgiving, especially for first time players. As is with real life, turning a motorcycle while going upwards of 80 mph is pretty tough, and MotoGP doesn’t forgive you if you mess up. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it would have been nice to  see the game give you the tiniest bit of help.

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If the feedback given by the controller was any indication of what to expect, then players can look forward to a ton of vibration. If you’re not the best at driving (like me), then you might be hitting bumps or skirting alongside the grass, and the controller will know it. Oddly enough, that creates a real sense of anxiety while racing, and with the games inclusion of dynamic weather, when you’re driving that fast even in a virtual world, you really do let yourself get immersed.

Despite the feel, the game played surprisingly well, and I never had any real problems when playing. Racing around the track felt pretty smooth, and while the details and looks of the track around me weren’t exactly breathtaking, they were still good enough to not warrant major complaints. I can only assume that the decision to keep the game alive on the last generation consoles hampered some development for the current platforms, so perhaps next year the game will begin to look the way it should.

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When it comes to racing games, you’re usually given a fairly standard set of game modes. For MotoGP, that remains partly true, but Milestone (the developers of the game) have tried to breathe some fresh air into the game by allowing you to create your own team of racers. Much like the actual Grand Prix racing, players can create their own team name and logo, and try to attract sponsors as they race along. The game uses a system of “GP credits” that, when earned, allows racers to customize nearly everything about their bikes and characters.

Alongside that, there is the addition of a brand new career mode, which allows players to use their teams to race against other bikers. In that mode, players will have a little more access to the business aspect of racing; managing contracts will be done by the players, and gaining credits and fans will all be crucial to helping yourself become champion. While it isn’t groundbreaking, it’s nice to see that Milestone is trying to keep innovation alive in this genre.

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While I may not be the biggest fan of racing games, I found that MotoGP 15 was more than enough to keep me entertained. Maybe it’s the unconventional style of racing that I’m not used to, or just the ways that the game draws you into its world. There’s something to darting around a race track, turning so tightly that you’re almost laying on the ground that’s so much more exhilarating than any experience a conventional racing game could offer. Perhaps this is why after I was done with MotoGP 15, I found myself wanting to go back and dive in.

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Anthony Nash News Editor
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