Game reviews

MXGP 2020 Review — A Muddy Good Time?

Dust and bone.

While developer Milestone’s official MotoGP games get a lot of love, their offroad sibling releases in the MXGP franchise tend to get overlooked a little — and it’s a shame. Because taking the action to the gravel-laden hills, muddy jumps, and sludgy corners of the offroad world is arguably a whole lot more fun, and MXGP 2020 brings the best bits of past games to a new look and feel in what makes it a unique package in the genre.

MXGP 2020 is what it says on the box. You get the multitude of modes and race-types we’ve come to know from the series (quick races, online, and a comprehensive career mode), but it feels a little different this time around. Physics have been tweaked, so that your rider’s weight and bike feel connected when managing the course, but at-odds when bouncing through portions that you should be avoiding. It’s incredibly enjoyable and makes you feel like you really need to manage your speed, angles, lines, and placement throughout a race, rather than just going flat out on the accelerator.

That dynamic feeling to races is also expanded upon with some improved weather systems and track deformation. Strong rain will make you feel like you’re in a heavyweight boxing match with the track itself, while constant deformation of clumps of mud and gravel keep each lap feeling different to the last.

Of course, you can also race in first-person perspective, which really does make the whole experience a lot more immersive, capturing the inertia and intensity of the speed and movement that real-world riders have to endure.

Alongside the Career mode, which makes up the meat of the experience, there is the Playground mode, which lets you roam free on a big open-world map, along with the track editor to keep you busy. Having new tracks at your disposal thanks to community sharing makes the variety of what’s on offer essentially endless, which adds a lot of life to MXGP 2020 for the foreseeable future.

Each race is a mud-covered mess, and we mean that in a good way, as visually, the game does a great job at adding some finer particle effects and details to capture the look of a motocross experience. Dirt and mud flying off wheels, riders’ clothing getting soiled, and rain and water looking particularly good on the tracks, makes MXGP 2020 the closest thing you’ll get to the real deal. Of course, there are some slightly lacklustre visuals off-track(with some crowd and elements in the distance looking a little underwhelming), but the things that matter stand out enough to not make anything an eyesore.

Verdict

If you’re a through-and-through fan of the series or just love dirtbikes and motocross, there’s enough to keep you hooked with MXGP 2020. There might not be enough to lure in casual fans for the long haul, but those looking for an offroad racer with accessible yet challenging difficulty options, there’s a lot of fun to be had with Milestone’s latest entry.

MXGP 2020 is available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, and PC.

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