MotoGP 10/11 – game review

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Xbox 360; £39.99; Cert 3+; Capcom

It takes a certain kind of person to want to be a MotoGP rider. Taking corners at upwards of 100mph with your knee inches from the floor, opponents clustered around you and little more than a bike helmet and a padded jumpsuit for protection just isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Capcom’s latest contribution to the bike racing genre may not involve quite the same levels of physical danger but it is probably fair to say that, like the sport itself, this game will be something of an acquired taste.

“This is the most authentic MotoGP game ever,” boasts the packaging, and it is clear even from a glance at the controls that this is no lightweight arcade fare. Players can manage everything from separate front and back brakes to adjusting their rider’s body position: allowing them to tuck in on straights, or shift their body weight forwards and back on the bike as the course demands.

All these options can be set to automatic, but even on its gentlest setting, MotoGP 10/11 requires some patience at first. The handling is – as you would expect – very different to car racing games and even an ideal racing line displayed on the track won’t keep most players on course in the early going. The commitment to realism is reflected in the bikes’ modest braking capacity and to navigate a corner at the end of a fast straight requires forward planning. Although the racing line does change colour when you are going too fast, by that point it may already be too late.

It is also, of course, far easier to lose control of a bike than a car and if the corners themselves weren’t tricky enough there is also a need to avoid significant collisions with opponents – easier said than done when there are more than 20 of them on the track. If there was to be one gripe here it would be that on occasion the game can feel inconsistent – at times you will stay on your bike even after a hefty whack against another bike, at others far less contact is required to send you skidding across the tarmac.

But that is the only real complaint and those who stick with it through the initial frustrations will find an engrossing game, with authentic sounds and graphics adding to the sense of realism and a level of challenge that makes subsequent successes feel all the more rewarding. Besides, as with various other racing titles out at the moment, there is also a rewind facility available for the impatient, allowing you to go back in time and undo a crash or mistake.

Career mode will provide most of the game’s longevity, with all the usual sorts of distractions you would expect to find – from altering your bike’s appearance to hiring marketing people to boost your income and engineers to improve your bike – as well as the opportunity to progress up the ranks from 125cc bikes to the full MotoGP class. True petrol heads can tinker with the minutiae of everything from their gears to traction control in-between races. Best of all, career mode even includes the option to play co-operatively, by adding a friend to your team and racing together.

For quicker thrills there is a time-trial mode as well as a challenge mode in which riders are required to pull off moves against the clock. Online play also allows for up to 20 human racers to take the track at once. In the end a faithful MotoGP sim will probably have limited appeal to those not already interested in the sport, but those who do give it a try should find plenty here to keep them entertained.

• Reviewed on Xbox 360

Rating: 4/5




Paolo Bandini © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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