Milestone’s MotoGP 19 gives the franchise its annual update and then some.
You’ve got to hand it to Milestone. The Italian developer has become synonymous motor racing games. Whilst their rally games can be a bit so-so, no developer has embraced motorcycle racing in the way that Milestone has.
From the street-racing of their Ride series to the motocross of MXGP, Milestone’s bike and rider physics is unrivalled. Their flagship two-wheeled racing franchise is, of course, MotoGP.
MotoGP 19 recreates the 2019 season and features 19 Grand Prix events held on circuits across 15 countries from Silverstone in the UK to Philip Island in Australia. 20 riders compete in in races lasting around 45 minutes, without stopping.
But the game offers much more than that.
The Career mode give players the opportunity to work their way up starting from The Red Bull Rookies Cup, Moto3, Moto2 or jumping straight into the 2019 MotoGP season going head-to-head with the world fastest motorcycle racers.
The game covers the entire Grand Prix weekend from the Friday practice sessions, though to Saturday’s qualifying and the Sunday race day. You can, of course, skip to race day, but you really ought not. The circuits are unforgiving and your bike is powerful. Practising each circuit until you can keep the line is an absolute must.
Each of the circuits can be raced in a custom Grand Prix or championship. As we as the 2019 circuits, the game includes three historical MotoGP circuits: Donnington Park, Laguna Seca and Catalunya. There’s also a massive range of bikes and riders from MotoGP, Moto3, Moto2 and, new for the 2012 season, MotoE, as well as some historical 4-stoke machines.
There are also a series of historical challenges that allow players to recreate classic MotoGP confrontations. There’s plenty to do in MotoGP19.
Whilst there’s no doubt that the bike physics are second to none, the game’s graphics do let it down somewhat. I’ve been enjoying the delights of Codemasters’ F1 2019 and it’s near photoreal visuals. Even running the game on a PS4 Pro in 4K with HDR, it seems that from a visual point-of-view MotoGP fans are being left out in the cold. I won’t even bother comparing the game’s sullen looks with the likes of the Forza franchise on Xbox One.
As I mentioned, the game’s depiction of motorcycle riding is very good, especially when you consider most car racing games to only really come into their element when played with a racing wheel. Such a controller mimicking handlebars doesn’t exist. And even if it did, it could never mimic the way the rider’s entire body contributes to turning and race performance.
MotoGP 19 gives players full control of riders and their bikes. The controls can be customised according to the players ability. But it’s all their if you want it- front AND rear brakes, weight distribution and gear changes.
The learning curve is so vicious, it’s easy to switch the game off. But in doing so you’ll miss that feeling of success when it all starts to come together. There are a range of aids that can reduce the frustrations faced early on.
I would suggest switching off autobraking, but combining front and rear braking is a good idea to start. Manual gear changes were too much for me, although they do allow for better speed control into turns. Keeping the racing line on is an absolute must for newcomers.
One again, Milestone prove themselves to be the masters of motorcycle racing games. MotoGP 19 is a fully featured experience for MotoGP fans and newcomers alike. Whilst the learning curve is steep, the raft of riding aids should allow new riders to get to grips with the otherwise complex business of racing on two-wheels.