There’s nothing that terrifies me more than a middling video game, a work of labour that’s neither good enough to truly recommend nor is it bad enough to earn a cult status for its flaws. MotoGP 20 is very much that video game review phobia of mine come to life, another return to the racing circuits of the world that’s peppered with the most average of enhancements to its formula and seasoned with a layer of iteration that barely builds on what has come before.
It’s not that MotoGP is trying to be a humdrum run around the track, but when viewed next to its predecessors its clear that developer Milestone SRL is once again doing an alright job at best and calling it day when they’ve checked a few boxes, at worst. It’s a pity, because beneath the surface of barely-different-from-last-year improvements, there’s a foundation that’s just begging to have some proper TLC injected into its engine.
There’s a lot that MotoGP gets right, from authentic motorcycles and tracks, to tight lines on world-famous courses that require deft control of the throttle to physical handling that accurately emulates just how ridiculously dangerous riding a two-wheeled rocket really is. There’s a career mode that reasonably realistic in how it makes you consider multiple aspects of what it means to be a professional in the world of MotoP, gravity actually plays a vital role in determining which parts you should have on your bike and race weekends push to shave fractions of a second off your best lap while risking life and limb for glory.
There are so many elements at play here, but they’re undone by just how standard they feel in execution, barely coalescing into a sum of its parts that capture the sheer thrill of suicidal cornering on the tarmac. With an online offering that is currently devoid of essential features such as a proper league format for digital competition, the only real carrot on the end of the stick here is the trip down memory lane where players are encouraged to replicate the glory of MotoGP icons and the races that transformed them from professionals into legends.
It’s admittedly a fantastic production, stuffed to the brim with archival footage and classic bikes that scream into view when you’re given control, continuing the story that began in MotoGP 19. Beyond that, there is legitiately not much else to say. When you’ve got a game that is so similar to the previous year’s iteration that you could literally take that review, scribble out the 19 and add a 20 in its place with no one but your guilty conscience being none the wiser, you’ve got a product that doesn’t do justice to the brief moments of pure petrolhead passion that it wants to sell you.
Last Updated: May 6, 2020