I’m probably not the first writer you’d think of to tackle a preview of a racing game, but I do fancy the occasional competitive nature of the genre. With that said, I was able to get my hands on MXGP3 from the developer Milestone, a racing series that boasts a roster of recognizable tracks and riders as it attempts to provide the closest experience to the real FIM Motocross World Championship circuit as possible.
Unlike other racing games using paved roads, MXGP3 takes the sport to a dirt terrain which becomes altered during the progression of the race. This creates a rather true-to-life situation where a bit of skill is needed to take on some of the turns. An example of this: the race begins with a fresh track, but after a few laps it’s evident that the track changes after every passing. Inevitably, this keeps the player on their toes as they must notice the changing ruts in the dirt and use them for more accurate turns. During my time with the build, by no means did I become an expert, but I can respect a developer that knows their audience and what they expects out of the genre.
In the graphics department, MXGP3 uses Unreal Engine 4 and it definitely shows. The developer utilized the new engine to breath life into the series, which is evident when you’re speeding down a track, jersey flying in the wind, and you notice the amount of detail that has been put into the world around you. These extra touches to the world can potentially make or break the immersion that players want to feel when they are racing.
With only a limited amount of time, I wasn’t able to dive too far into the systems of MXGP3. However, the game has a rather large amount of customization that players can utilize to create the bike that is best suited for their playstyle. A hardcore player will understand what is needed to take on the more difficult tracks efficiently; as for me, each turn was a struggle as I attempted to rookie my way through the tracks while nerding out over the scenery.
Being an early build of the game, I noticed that the collisions felt a bit lifeless and stiff. Coming in contact with other riders will almost always throw you off course making the beginning of the race rather difficult to get a good start. Additionally, I couldn’t seem to get used to the controls in my time playing. However, this could be my inexperience with the genre showing because I could feel the attention paid to the weigh of the bike in the controller, along with understanding the mastery of physics needed for the sport.
MXGP3 is truly attempting to improve any shortcomings found in its predecessors. The graphical jump that Milestone has made from the in-house engine of MXGP2 to using Unreal Engine 4 for MXGP3 is noticeable at the start of the game. It seems as though with the team now using the new engine, time has been freed up for the developers to perfect what the series does best: racing and simulation.
I enjoyed my time with MXGP3 and I’m excited to see what improvements are made from this build to the final when the game releases in May for consoles and PC. Although I’m no expert in racing games, I could easily see the amount of care that the developers have put into this product. Hopefully its final release is exactly what fans of the sport want: as for me, I’ll probably be left in the dust trying to perfect those tricky turns.
MXGP3 will release for PS4 Xbox One, and PC on May 30th, 2017.