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.
- Published and Developed by Capcom.
- The premier motorcycle racing game on consoles.
- Straddles the line between sim and arcade racer.
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 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.
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.
- 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
- 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.