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Review

MUD – FIM Motocross World Championship Review (PS3, Xbox 360, PC)

Stuck?

MUD: FIM Motocross World Championship (which will now be referred to as MUD, for my sanity’s sake) is a tale of two games. On one hand we have an arcade Motocross experience that lets you turbo-boost by guzzling energy drinks, and allows you to burst off the line Mario Kart style if you hit the gas at just the right time.

On the other hand, however, this is a game that has an official licence and real-world riders jostling for position on tracks that appear to degrade as the race goes on. Has Milestone managed to balance these contrasting play-styles?

The more serious among you will want to dive right into the Official Mode, where you can expect to enter officially licensed MX1 and MX2 competitions featuring a roster of 84 real riders, 32 teams and eight bike manufacturers. Then there’s the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations.


Cornering is a tricky skill to master, but has the obvious pay off.
This is a “massive and internationally recognised worldwide motocross annual event, in which the top riders of the world race for their country to obtain the prestigious Chamberlain Trophy.” It includes 16 national teams as well as 48 riders and bikes with all relevant liveries. So, if it’s official content you’re after, MUD won’t leave you wanting.

In terms of handling, MUD tries to straddle the line between arcade and realism. Whilst you don’t have to worry about independently operating front and rear brakes, there’s a knack to finding the perfect racing line and sliding the bike round it. As one might expect the tracks undulate, as well as being covered in ruts caused by bike tyres. This means just keeping straight is a task in itself, as you constantly battle with the bike which wants to go in a totally different direction to where you do.

Managing the bike’s throttle is also a key task. You can’t just open it up fully and hope for the best, as the first rut you hit will send you spinning. It takes constant adjustment and becomes almost instinctive as you feel the change in the track’s surface. Knowing when to hit the gas and when to hold back is very important.

Again, throttle control is needed when it comes to cornering. Slamming on the brakes as a corner approaches is a big no-no; instead the bike needs to drift round without the revs dropping too much.

When it comes to the opponent AI, they do provide a decent challenge, although there does seem to be a bit of rubber-banding going on.

For those wanting something a little less official, there’s the World Tour mode. This allows you to unlock and play as “Heroes”; fictional characters with names such as Lars “Shredder” Keller, who can have their stats and kit upgraded after earning money in a set of 15 different levels. These levels will see you take part in Checkpoint Races, Head to Head Races, Elimination Cups, Trick Battles, and Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations.

It’s a substantial mode, and apart from the Trick Battle it all plays very well. I have a couple of issues with the Trick Battle. Firstly, there were occasions where my button presses were just flat out ignored. There’s never a feeling of responsiveness, thus trying to time tricks becomes redundant as you never quite know whether your inputs will be recognised.


Near collisions like this are no concern in multiplayer, with the game's ghosting system.
It also doesn’t flow particularly well. I know one of the things about Trick Battles is planning out a free-flowing route around the arena, but that hasn’t made the jump to videogames particularly well. It’s a shame, as it could have been fantastic.

Graphically, MUD is unlikely to set your pulses racing. It’s by no means the worst looking game I’ve ever seen, but the backgrounds are quite sparse, and the tracks are uninspiring, although there’s not much you can do with a big length of mud and dust. I’m also not a fan of some of the character artwork used in the World Tour.

What I really don’t like, however, is the music. The shouty, angry guitar wailing made me actually reach for the mute button, instead choosing to listen to songs on my iPod. Not my cup of tea, I’m afraid.

When you’re done with the single player modes, MUD offers up solid, if rather basic, online racing. As with most racing games, going up against human opponents is much more satisfying than racing against the computer. As the narrow tracks would more than likely turn into one big pile-up with twelve people racing at once, I found that the game makes your opponents almost transparent, and you can actually pass through them rather than crash.

It‘s all a bit disconcerting at first, as when I overshot a corner I prepared to rebound off another player, only to pass straight through him and into a wall! What I can’t fault is the total lack of lag; MUD’s online section runs as smooth as silk.

Pros

  • Lots of official content.
  • Substantial World Tour mode.
  • Good handling model.
  • Smooth online experience.

Cons

  • Never looks that great.
  • Music sounds so dated.
  • Trick Battle feels broken.
  • AI rubber-banding.

Whilst never breaking any new ground, MUD offers a good chunk of challenging content, coupled with an official licence and solid online mode. It won’t convert those who have never played Motocross before, and it does have a few issues, but fans will find lots to like.

Score: 7/10

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7 Comments
  1. kjkg
    Member
    Since: Apr 2010

    Hate rubber-banding. It’s why I will never enjoy Hot Pursuit in the slightest.

    Comment posted on 09/05/2012 at 09:48.
    • freezebug2
      Member
      Since: Dec 2008

      Great game, but as you say the rubber banding (especially the cop AI) is atrocious lol.
      Interesting to see that the store has the game for digital download at roughly the same price as retail disc (shopto anyway) £29.99 PSN store and £27.85 shopto.
      That makes a refreshing change for a new release!

      Comment posted on 09/05/2012 at 10:22.
      • freezebug2
        Member
        Since: Dec 2008

        Prices refer to MUD btw :P

        Comment posted on 09/05/2012 at 10:23.
  2. Tomhlord
    Team TSA: Writer
    Since: Apr 2009

    Great review Dan, very well written and balanced. Seems the game suffers from the usual Milestone traits.

    Comment posted on 09/05/2012 at 13:06.
  3. Mickey2010
    Member
    Since: Jan 2010

    Thought the demo was okay and being a fan of Motorcross i will pick it up within the next couple of weeks

    Comment posted on 10/05/2012 at 01:06.
  4. Origami Killer
    Member
    Since: May 2010

    I always find myself purchasing a motorcross game at this time of the year. Have done so for the last two years with the MX Vs ATV series, so I will no doubt pick this up very soonish. Nice review, and the score seems pretty good.

    Comment posted on 12/05/2012 at 11:02.
  5. Robin Jack
    Member
    Since: Jul 2013

    This type of game are very popular by the people, this game arranged in the world wide and many type of people take part in the race. Motocross is a very famous and dangerous game for everybody, the participators are very professional and got the training for the race. At the time of riding the bike they wear the motocross dress and for the safety use helmet,shoe and glass. In the mud it is unlikely to set your pulses racing.
    http://www.tremx.com

    Comment posted on 08/07/2013 at 09:54.

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