A lot of racing games vie for attention over the gaming year, Forza and Gran Turismo leading the charge as usual. Some of their rivals get notable mentions, like Grid, and the now ever improving Dirt series, and there are others, that perhaps, get overlooked and are left in the slipstream of other faster moving, more popular titles.
It's the same in the sporting world as Formula 1 often over shadows it's two wheeled rival, Moto GP. So let's take a look at the altrenative scene. Like every game that comes out on an annual basis, they tweak and redefine it. This however is the first Moto GP that makes the transition to the current generation of consoles and I have to say it does it very well indeed.
There's no story line as such to speak of, create a rider, customise your helmet and leathers, pick a team to join in the lowly ranks of Moto GP 3 and try and make it through the ranks to Moto GP 2 and of course ultimately to Moto GP 1. You'll be faced with not only trying to beat your rivals, but also faced with the task of making sure your team can update your ride with the best technology there is to offer. In the early stages of the game this is easy to do, pick the area you want to upgrade, such as tyres, chassis, engine, or handling and complete just one lap for every package there is to aid the upgrade. It doesn't matter where you finish in the race, just complete that lap.
You will notice a slight improvement each time and that's a nice thing to be actually notice, you will 'feel' the grip improve, the acceleration and it gets more challenging to unlock those packages as you progress but gosh, diligence pays off. Team objectives are of course, par for the course, such as finish better than 15th in the early stages, to harder targets such as beating your nearest rival in both qualifying and the actual GP race itself. This is formula 1 only minus two wheels. It's sick, it's fast and maybe not as polished as it's F1 rival but by golly, it's still a challenge and a satisfying result if you achieve all the objectives needed to advance and maybe get a contract offer from a better team, where rivals could become team mates, but heck, if you have upset them during your career, well need I say more than Hamilton and Rosberg in F1? And we could all see how that panned out!
Graphically this is fairly slick, frame rate is nice and smooth. In wet races you can see lights and the bikes reflected in puddles and on the tarmac, and the light on the night tracks reflects beautifully off the chassis and helmets as you whip around Abu Dhabi and Singapore which are the only night races in the tour (same as F1) and they look lovely, not that you have much time to actually admire the scenery!
So is it all perfect? Sadly no, I lost connections trying online mode (though this WAS at times, partway through the Sony hack attack) and the loading screens online seemed to take longer than expected to get through. But if the race went ahead, it was fast, slick with little or no lag althought there was some pop up in the far distance, but you really should be too busy trying to keep that delicate balance between balance, breaking and acceleration as you take bends at break neck speeds and try not to take a skin scraping tumble off your bike.
And for beginners that's easier said than done. I recommend beginners (such as myself) take the 'Old School' setting for rider style until you really get the hang of it. So go for the career mode, and either go for the full race weekend (practice, qualifying rounds etc etc) or just got for the main event. It is the same as F1 in every respect only you have two wheels and not four. If you enjoy racing games, like a challenge then this is for you, same goes if you just fancy satisfying your need for speed in a different arena.