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Review

Review: MotoGP 10/11

Wheelie good?

Straddling the uneasy ground between sim and arcade racer is MotoGP 10/11, the latest instalment in Capcom’s popular series. Automatically it claims the position, left by its predecessor, of best motorbike racing game but is it any good? Yes and no. It’s a very solid effort and within precious inches of being something really special but it lacks a bit of much needed personality.

Info:
  • Published and Developed by Capcom.
  • The premier motorcycle racing game on consoles.
  • Straddles the line between sim and arcade racer.
It’s clear from the outset that MotoGP 10/11′s career mode is trying to do for bikes what Forza Motorsport and Gran Turismo did for cars. The wealth of RPG style options is pretty impressive. A cheery voice sounding a little like Danny Wallace (it’s not though) guides you through everything you need to know from bike controls to how scoring works and what staff are needed for what tasks. Each option is gradually unlocked meaning the career mode is far from intimidating. Indeed, it all feels rather exciting at first.

You can hire PR managers and engineers. The engineers thus enabling you to research new parts before upgrading your bike. It’ll come in handy too as in early races, even if you’re any good, you’ll find yourself not necessarily winning thanks to speedier bikes ahead. It’s all really rather reminiscent of Gran Turismo, gradually working your way up the rankings. Even friendly fake ‘Danny Wallace’ is happy to point out that anything above 10th is a good race for you. As you work your way up though, so to do you acquire more money and better staffing options.

Wild card races spring up too often, offering much more money than one of the championship races. A reputation level, coupled with achievements that spur you on, and sponsorship deals based on your success appear to ensure you know that you’re working your way up the field.


Bike models look really great.
The career mode is lengthy and clearly the meaty part of the game. It’s also the mode that reminds you what a cold and clinical game MotoGP 10/11 is. Once all the fancy features have been unlocked, you’ll find yourself dipping into it for an hour or two session rather than hours on end. The elements that are there are solid enough but it lacks passion and character. You’ll find yourself progressing through a few races at a time then you’ll find you’re not playing as well because your mind has wandered. There’s not even any soundtrack to speak of, a perhaps small but nonetheless important touch to any great racing game. MotoGP 10/11 entirely focuses on the technical side of racing. This is both a blessing and a curse.

The sheer array of assists that you can switch on or off depending on your ability is dazzling and fantastic to see. It’s the first game in the series to offer so much fine tuning and it really is hugely useful. While you can simply adjust the difficulty level to anything between gentle and insane (and it shows), you can also adjust how much the game is going to help you. Do you stick the anti wheelie, auto brake and auto tuck in controls on, thus ensuring you never really fall off unless you’re a total idiot, or do you control your own biking destiny? It’s amazing what a difference having one or more of them on can do to your performance.

MotoGP 10/11 does a great job of demonstrating the importance of weight balance, tucking in and not treating it like an arcade racer. Then it messes up. Collisions are sometimes just how you’d expect, painful and plain old essential to avoid. Other times, it’s as if nothing ever happened. It’s inconsistent. It’s irritating. Ultimately it’s disappointing when so much hard work has been put into the rest of the game.

Much like the previous MotoGP game, there’s no sign of the dual stick controls of previous games in the series. There is some adjustment needed if you’re used to car racing games though with the need for two brakes (front and back brakes) as well as a tuck in button to ensure extra speed on the straights (which can be switched to automatic if you so wish). There’s also a second chance button which has seemingly become all the rage in the racing genre, enabling you to control time and go back a few seconds to correct your mistake. Do bear in mind that you will be penalised style points though, which in turn affect how quickly you level up through the ranks. That and you’ll secretly know that you’ve let yourself down. Or maybe that’s just me.


Visually, it's very impressive.
There’s more to MotoGP 10/11 than the career mode of course. There’s the World Championship side of things which is basically the same as career mode but without the fiddly staff/sponsor/upgrade management side of things. Challenge mode and time trials goes in the direction of arcade style play with lots of battling against the clock. Challenge mode is rather enjoyable as you’re forever competing against the clock with precious seconds added when you do something well such as maintain a perfect racing line or slipstream behind an opponent for a while. It’s tough at first but immensely satisfying after a time, once you realise it’s vital that you don’t make a mistake.

The ability to play co-operatively via local split screen is a great touch for the career mode and infinitely makes for a more enjoyable experience. Online multiplayer is also possible with up to 20 players able to compete in a championship race and the promise of being able to spectate too. This wasn’t possible to test before release, unfortunately, but it sounds rather promising.

The problem is that MotoGP 10/11 feels confused. It’s too technical to be an arcade racer and too punishing with all assists off, but in turn it’s not as technically accomplished as it should be to be considered a true sim. With only 17 tracks, it feels limited and weather options are even more limited with only options for dry, rainy and night conditions. Again, another nod to not being a ‘proper’ sim. The style points also convey the feeling of a Project Gotham Racing rather than a F1 2010.

Pros:

  • Career mode feels pretty comprehensive and will last you a long time
  • Split screen local co-op
  • Graphically impressive
  • Plenty of options to get the experience that you want

Cons:

  • Lacks personality
  • Not enough tracks
  • Few weather options

Remember years ago when Gran Turismo 2 came on two discs? One arcade disc, one sim/career disc? Maybe that’s what MotoGP 10/11 needs. It’s the nearest to a bike equivalent of Forza that you’re going to get for now but it still feels like it needs a little more work to be a true must have. Roll on MotoGP 11/12, it could finally be what every bike fan is eager for.

Score: 7/10

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11 Comments
  1. Jambo
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    Of the two Motorbike games currently on market I feel that last year SBK X was by far the better option. Better sound, graphics, better (in my opinion) handling and also has an separate arcade option.

    Bike games have always been tricky due to the inertia involved and the effect that has on steering and also the dual brakes and I feel that SBK manages to convey this setup much better than Motogp.

    Based entirely on the demo I would say that the new MotoGP game has sadly not bettered last years SBK game.

    I think I will wait for SBK XI or 11 or whatever they are going to call it!

    Comment posted on 15/03/2011 at 17:05.
    • freezebug2
      Member
      Since: Dec 2008

      Totally agree, as I tried both games last year and based on the demo of MGP 10/11 there is no real advanced improvement from the previous MGP just a new digit on the title of the game, so SBK (with flaws) is still the better option.

      Comment posted on 15/03/2011 at 20:51.
  2. Smallville2106
    Member
    Since: Feb 2011

    I’ll be getting this when the price drops.

    Comment posted on 15/03/2011 at 17:47.
    • freezebug2
      Member
      Since: Dec 2008

      I think it’s only £26 at release, so you won’t be waiting too long :P

      Comment posted on 16/03/2011 at 08:52.
  3. heedbaw
    Member
    Since: Nov 2009

    I’m still waiting for TT2, or bikes in GT5. Whichever they go for I’m there.

    Comment posted on 15/03/2011 at 18:42.
    • freezebug2
      Member
      Since: Dec 2008

      Bikes added to GT5 with a whole new career like Criterion did with Burnout FTW.
      Now that would be DLC to pay for and if anything like Riding Spirits on PS2 then I’m very happy :)

      Comment posted on 16/03/2011 at 08:57.
  4. tom_lord
    Team TSA: Writer
    Since: Apr 2009

    I’m going to hold out for this years SBK…..the conclusion that it has promise and should improve next time was what I felt about last years MotoGP game so I’m struggling to see how the developers haven’t moved on in any significant way, seemingly at all

    Comment posted on 15/03/2011 at 19:01.
  5. Delriach
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    Looks like a good game to get when it’s on sale.

    Comment posted on 15/03/2011 at 20:05.
  6. planejoker
    Member
    Since: Mar 2010

    SBK all the way the moto lost it’s way after moto gp 3 on old xbox, and really the move to 09/10 to 10/11 really?…… should have been a DLC …….can’t wait for 11/12 next year Cash Cow game.

    Comment posted on 15/03/2011 at 21:10.
  7. matthangzhou
    Member
    Since: Sep 2010

    I thought the score was 10 out of 11 because of the title haha

    Comment posted on 16/03/2011 at 04:10.
  8. Tuffcub
    On the naughty step.
    Since: Dec 2008

    It’s sad day when TSA joins in the rest of the world and gives silly scores to games. I mean, 10/11? Come on…

    Comment posted on 16/03/2011 at 08:42.

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