Fans of Motocross video games are no doubt familiar with developer Milestone’s MXGP franchise. Every year we get a new one and usually the improvements are that substantial. MXGP 2020 released at the end of last year on last generation consoles, and now a month later the franchise is making its first appearance on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series consoles. I got to play it for review on the PlayStation 5 and while it didn’t blow me away there is some fun to be had here.
Upon starting the game up you can jump into a few different modes with those being the Career mode, Grand Prix, Time Attack, Championship, Track Editor, Playground, and Online modes. I jumped into the Career mode which lets you race across over a dozen events while earning money to upgrade your bike and rider. It’s pretty standard stuff for what this franchise has done before and I wish they could do something to make it a bit more interesting like some other sports/racing games have done with their career modes. It also still has that same high learning curve so don’t expect to go in and easily win every race. The AI is still just as hard to pass as ever and making any little mistake can easily set you back in the pack and ruin any chance of winning that race. There are a variety of options to adjust to help try and make the game a bit easier but no matter what I messed with the difficulty curve is still there. If you’re new to this franchise be prepared to spend some time getting good at it.
What also didn’t help during my time racing across the different environments in the game is that MXGP 2020 doesn’t do a lot to show off the power of the PlayStation 5. It does look better than the last generation version as you now get the game running at 4K resolution and a smoother 60 frames per second. Resolution isn’t everything though as many of the textures look outdated and pop in happened quite a lot while I was playing. I was much more impressed visually by Dirt 5 on the PlayStation 5 and even that wasn’t as impressive visually as some last generation games such as Forza Horizon 4. Milestone still has a ways to go in terms of getting MXGP to impress visually.
Most of the other modes in the game are just standard race modes but the Playground and Track Editor are a bit more interesting. Prior players will know the Playground mode puts you in a sort of open world environment where you can just race around and do what you want. There are a few fun things to do in here but I found it to be kind of lacking in stuff that made me want to stay in it. The Track Editor includes some new options this year like environments and such to give you some more freedom in what you create but It too isn’t as in-depth as what we’ve seen in some other racing games. You are free to share them with the rest of the world to play though so maybe we could see some cool creations here.
One of the things I was curious to see with the PlayStation 5 version was whether or not the team made use of the DualSense controller features. MXGP 2020 does to some extent but it didn’t impress as much as some other titles. The adaptive triggers provide some feedback while racing that helps make it a bit more immersive but the Haptic feedback wasn’t done as well as I would’ve hoped. You feel it when going over different surfaces and it feels great but I didn’t feel like each one felt any different from the next. The PS5’s SSD does help to improve the load times over the PlayStation 4 version but they still have a small wait time.
MXGP 2020 is improved over the last entry but its first outing on the next generation consoles isn’t as impressive as I would’ve hoped. It looks better, loads faster, and plays smoother than ever before but I think it’s still outclassed in most of those areas as well as in things like its Career mode by some last generation racing games. Dirt bike fans will enjoy the realistic handling model and the DualSense features help to make it a bit more immersive while playing. If you skipped MXGP 19 or are just that hardcore of a fan then this isn’t a bad pick up but it might be worth waiting for MXGP 2021 to see what the franchise can do on the next generation with a bit more time to fine tune it.
*MXGP 2020 is available now on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series, Xbox One, and PC. Reviewed on PlayStation 5. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.
MXGP 2020 - The Official Motocross Videogame$59.99
- Great handling model
- Makes good use of the DualSense features
- Load times are faster than ever
- Track editor has seen some improvements
- Things like textures and pop in still make it feel outdated visually
- Career mode and Playground mode feel lacking
- High learning curve where slight mistakes feel punishing