Since video games have been around, attempts have been made to virtually implement the adrenaline rush of motorsport. From arcade racers to racing simulations to fun racers like Crash Team Racing, there is something for everyone these days who has gasoline in their blood and feels a longing for speed. Racing simulations in particular have benefited from the ever-improving technology and in recent years have put a lot of effort into graphics and realism.
With some titles you can only recognize at second glance that it is not a real racing sport, but a video game. In Corona times, Formula 1 and NASCAR games even served as a replacement for the templates that had to give way to the virus. The question arises: is MotoGP 20 good enough to tempt you to shift motorcycle rides from the real to the virtual road?
Motorbike races live in the background and are neither as popular on TV nor as video games as their four-wheeled counterparts. One more thing is at stake here! The races are extremely fast, are in no way inferior to Formula 1 in terms of excitement, and the smallest mistakes can cost a driver not only victory, but in the worst case, his life.
Source: PC Games
MotoGP 20 wants to implement exactly this tension. Motorcycles are very different from cars in their driving style and this is also noticeable on the racetrack. As a layperson, you have to get used to the new peculiarities. Not only is it important to brake correctly, accelerate and steer correctly, you also have to keep an eye on the driver's orientation. If the driver leans in a certain direction, he influences the driving behavior of the motorcycle. This means that you have to position yourself correctly in every curve, sometimes so that your body almost touches the asphalt. On straights you have to get up in the right moments or make yourself small to get even the smallest bit of additional speed. Sensitivity is required here, because every little movement too much in one direction or the other, and the driver ends up in the gravel bed. But after a few laps you get used to the controls and get a refreshingly demanding, but understandable driving experience.
The different driving styles and motorcycle classes also significantly influence the driving experience. A motorcycle from the Moto 3 class is completely different from one from the Moto 2 class or the eponymous MotoGP. The game offers both beginners and experienced players a wide variety of settings and driving aids, with which the driving experience can be individualized. This also gives beginners a frustration-free start to motorcycle games. The learning curve is otherwise very steep!
The heart of MotoGP 20
Source: PC Games
The career mode is the heart of MotoGP 20. Here you have the opportunity to create your own driver. You can decide for yourself in which of the three racing classes you want to start. In addition to the available motorcycles, this also affects the team that accompanies you on your journey to becoming a racing star. In addition to driving, you also do organizational work and hire mechanics, a manager and engineers. They have different specialist areas in which they are familiar and accordingly contribute to the development of your team. If you start in Moto 3, you have worse staff available,
gets less salary and has fewer opportunities to improve your vehicle.
To be able to install an upgrade, you have to assign the employees to a research branch. There, they collect a certain number of points every week, which in turn can then be used to produce new parts. So you can not only improve your driving skills over the course of the 52 virtual weeks, but also your motorcycle. In addition to the technical staff responsible for research and development, the manager takes care of contracts with other teams. With good performances, the chance of getting a contract from a better team or even a team from a higher racing class increases.
Source: PC Games
When you arrive at a team, the player can determine the appearance of the rider and the paintwork of the motorcycle – this of course also works outside of his career. Helmet and start number, sticker and the name on the suit can be changed freely. In addition to the paintwork, the motorcycle, the color, the material and the sponsors shown are also waiting for our personal touch. In general, drivers and companions look great and the details come into their own very well. MotoGP 20 lags behind the racing sim competition, however, if you pay attention to the environmental details, because there you often come across washed-out textures. Even on the highest graphics settings, some models and textures look bad on the PC and the anti-aliasing leaves something to be desired. Also annoying: the rear wheel of our motorcycle does not sit on the asphalt, but flies a few centimeters above it, which of course is not too good for the atmosphere.
Source: PC Games
The upgrades that you gradually unlock for your motorcycles ensure a pleasant feeling of progression. The effects of the improvements on the racetrack are clear. With several upgrades in the areas of engine, frame, aerodynamics and electronics, our motorcycle got faster in the test, but the driving experience did not change dramatically. After all, one of the upgrades actually had a huge impact, albeit differently than expected. After we had researched and installed all extensions for the frame in the Moto 3, we had arrived at the engine for the third upgrade. This led to an enormous increase in our fuel consumption. In one qualification round, we used up one tank of fuel, which would normally have been enough for 16 rounds. This "improvement" is not really wanted or sensible, especially since the upgrades build on each other. From this point, you can no longer avoid the use of advanced driving techniques such as "Lift and Coast" and very, very forward-looking driving.
trip to the past
Apart from your career, other game modes are waiting for you. In "Historical Mode" you can unlock teams and drivers from past times in the 4-stroke MotoGP and 500 two-stroke classes. You do this by collecting points in challenges with different levels of difficulty, such as races in fixed classes. Nobody is spared here, because the challenges are sometimes extremely difficult; even the easiest challenge has to be completed on the "advanced" level. Even absolute professionals should be around for a while, however, because to unlock all 41 drivers and 36 teams, you need tons of points and a lot of patience. This progress grinding is supposed to promote long-term motivation, but instead gnaws at the fun, especially in combination with the high level of difficulty.
Unfortunately we were not able to try the multiplayer as the servers were not yet online at the time of the test. The game definitely has dedicated servers, which should benefit from a smooth race.
The career menu gives you an overview of all important aspects. (Source: PC Games)