previews\ Oct 15, 2009 at 8:00 pm

MX vs. ATV Reflex - 360 - Preview 2

While attending THQ’s MX vs. ATV Reflex preview event, one thing became apparent: the development team is pushing terrain deformation, their latest feature, to the forefront. No longer will gamers drive around in circles and experience the same emotions with every lap – instead, they should prepare for nail-biting moments as they battle for the finish line with new impediments created by their opponents. 

Terrain deformation is an attribute that isn’t being taken full advantage of on the current generation of platforms, so it’s refreshing to see Rainbow Studios dedicate their time to adding it into the development cycle. Not only was it thrilling to see a rider react accordingly to a newly created trench in the middle of the track, but it was exciting to sit back and mess with the track to affect the riders who were in the lead.


Many of the times I found myself not worrying about the race and more entertained with the fact that I was creating obstacles within the terrain for other racers to overcome at the finish line. There’s nothing more amusing to see or hear the reactions of riders who are about to cross the finish line when, all of a sudden, they hit a huge rut in the middle of the track that sends them flying off into a tree.

Each bike, truck, ATV, and buggy in the game will lay down tire marks and the more riders ride over those tracks, the deeper the grooves will become. Every lap is essentially going to have a modified track with new bumps in the terrain – no longer can gamers anticipate the next turn since they could potentially be sent tumbling off the track due to a mount that has formed on the side of the track. For racing aficionados, this is a blessing since Rainbow isn’t able to implement a wide variety of vehicle damage since MX vs. ATV Reflex deals with a lot of exposed riders who ride ATVs and MX bikes.


Another thrilling aspect of MX vs. ATV Reflex is that it’s pure entertainment. There should never be a time that thoughts of boredom cross the gamer’s mind with all the tools provided to create a unique experience. From the Free Ride mode to the multiplayer-centric modes, such as Snake and Tag, Rainbow has presented racing fans with a title they should be proud of.  

If gamers haven’t been following the series, Free Ride is exactly as it sounds with giving gamers no time limits to adhere to. They simply can race around a large environment climbing mountains with their vehicles, throwing mud in their friend’s face, and much more. Snake is similar to Tron or any snake like multiplayer mode where players vie to eliminate their opponents with a trail they left behind their vehicle. As for Tag, it’s self-explanatory – gamers will hunt down the player who has the gigantic burning skull for a head and try to become “it” by tagging the opposing player to win.


The unadulterated fun of MX vs. ATV Reflex is the component that catapults the racer into the spectrum of a “must-buy” title. There are tricks provided to ante up the risk factor. They aren’t simple button combinations either as players will have to hold a trigger and then execute a sequence of movements on a joystick to pull off a trick. The tricks have no rewards besides the fact of pulling them off in mid-race to flaunt the talent of the gamer.

Graphically speaking, the Xbox 360 version looked better than the PlayStation 3 builds. They were cleaner, crisper and had a certain level of vibrancy that stood out. That doesn’t mean the PlayStation 3 versions were ugly – they were far from it. The output, such as the terrain deformation that is a beauty to see in motion, the environments that are jam-packed with nitty-gritty details that only an art director could notice upon close observation, and the foliage that’s scattered all over the levels, is up to par. 

It’s exciting to see the evolution of the MX vs. ATV series. Doubters from last year should have all their worries erased as MX vs. ATV Reflex is all about having a great time – online or offline – with friends.

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