Review: ‘MXGP 3’ offers fun, reactive play for motocross enthusiasts and newcomers alike
Whether you’re into motocross or just like racing, this game is perfect to get those competitive juices flowing.
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Developer: Milestone S.r.l.
‘MXGP 3’ offers a competitive, fast-paced installment to the series. Utilizing Unreal Engine 4, the game takes advantage of some of the most revered motocross tracks in the world by placing you in the fully realized renderings of popular courses featured in real competitive racing. With a full library of customizable bikes and parts from some of the most influential manufacturers in the industry, you can engineer the perfect racing machine to blaze your path to victory.
Most people might pass this game up considering motocross is a bit of a niche market. When a casual player goes for a racer, you can usually expect something in the car-based neighborhood; your ‘Mario Kart’s and ‘Forza’s, to name a few. While that notion makes sense considering how devastatingly popular those games are, ‘MXGP 3’ offers a pretty challenging change-up from the norm. While there is a heavy element of motocross know-how in the form of configuring bike specs and learning how to apply them in-game, it’s still a rewarding experience that might surprise you given the chance.
Maneuverability is a top priority, forcing you to learn the intricacies before you can master any course.
Like any racing game, no matter the vehicle, knowing how to maneuver effortlessly is your number one priority; a fact that is much more important here. Every single factor comes into play when making quick decisions out on the track, making this game perfect for those looking for a challenge. Anticipating turns, knowing when to properly sync the throttle and brakes around turns and tight corners, even paying attention to the rough unevenness of the dirt track all play into how you carry out your victory. The addition of “dynamic weather”, which is essentially procedurally generated weather patterns like rain and wind, all cause changes in visibility and deformities in the track itself, which can either make or break players that aren’t able to adjust to the randomly altered environmental conditions being thrown at them.
The game even offers the option to “reverse time” for non-multiplayer tracks. In the event of a mistake or getting stuck with no way out, there’s no need to panic. You are actually able to reverse the in-game clock by a matter of a few seconds and redeem yourself, which is great news when you consider how punishing mistakes can be. Crashing or falling off the track puts you at a major disadvantage, making it very difficult (and sometimes impossible) to retake your position or the lead. The ability to recover quickly and jump back in is the most important skill to hone after maneuverability. Bearing this in mind, there’s an important thing to remember: the object of the game isn’t just to win as many courses as possible, but also to garner reputation. Everything you utilize correctly like brake handling, speed, and throttle management is counted towards your rep which goes over with your career sponsors, even attracting new ones who provide better upgrades and equipment.
Bike customization gives you more control over your performance, allowing for an individualized experience.
If you’re a veteran to the series or a motocross enthusiast in real life, you probably agree that the mechanics of your bike need to fit how you ride. ‘MXGP 3’ offers a pretty extensive garage of options with which to trick out each bike for each loadout. Some of the options might be pretty foreign to anyone who doesn’t know bikes, so it’s important to figure out which configuration fits your playstyle best. There really is more to it than just picking a color and logo. You first need to choose from an MXGP or MX2 bike, each with different cylinder capacities, then your choice of 4 or 2-stroke, followed by a trusted brand like Yamaha or Kawasaki. Your options then vary from different tires, brakes, handlebars, suspension, etc. most of which play a role in how your bike performs. Regardless of whether or not you know the jargon, there is still a bit of a learning curve, so be prepared for some trial and error.
‘MXGP 3’ is a fun, competitive installment to the series. It doesn’t take a vast mechanical knowledge or even a particular affinity for motocross to get into it, which provides a very welcoming atmosphere for any player just looking for a challenge, especially for a racer. The game definitely takes advantage of the Unreal Engine 4 graphics with some of the most detailed visual environments you’ll see in a game like this and never lets you forget it. If you’re willing to take the time to learn a game that penalizes you for screwing up, but rewards you for your well-earned victories, this might be a pretty exciting and challenging experience for you.