Milestone has been working on a lot of racing games the last couple of years. MXGP, Valenti Rossi, Ride and Sébastien Loeb Rally Evo are just some of the examples. Since they’ve worked on a lot of games in the racing genre, they are considered as one of the better developers to create a good virtual racing experience. MotoGP 17 is their latest effort and focusses only on motorcycles. Is it worth it or should you stick with one of their older games?
Pick your career
Something that has been bothering me in Milestone games is the lack of innovation. The developer works on racing games on a yearly basis, so you would expect some innovation or better gameplay mechanics with every new release. Sadly this isn’t always the case. MotoGP 17 tries to spice things up however by adding two different Career modes. That’s right, you’re able to pick one out of two different career options. What do they have to offer?
The first option is the one we’ve all played before. This is a classic career mode where you create a driver, pick a team and race your way from rookie to a true champion. It’s a mode we’ve played in older racing games so it has nothing really special to offer. The goal remained the same, you have to become the best driver out there and besides that, there’s not a lot to discover. If things are a little too easy you can always change the AI to make it a little harder. You can also switch on/off some of the guidance mechanics if you want a more realistic approach and you’re even able to customize the motorcycles. Nothing new for those who are familiar with the franchise or similar games.
The other career option offers more innovation and is perhaps the better one if you like some more depth in your game. The Managerial Career offers a lot more than just the joy of riding a motorcycle. In this career, you’re not only a driver, you’re also the manager of a team. This means you’ll have to do a lot next to racing alone. You’ll need to look for sponsors, put together a team, keep your team happy, invest in new motorcycles and a lot more. Managing a successful racing team isn’t easy and will demand a lot of your time and attention. Milestone created two career modes to give you the freedom to choose what you like most. If you’re looking for some more depth, becoming a manager is certainly a good idea. If you’re just looking for action, the classic career got you covered, although it’s rather repetitive.
Having two career options is a little strange at first but it isn’t a bad decision at all. Of course, the career mode would mean nothing if the actual gameplay isn’t that good. Since this isn’t Milestone’ first racing game, the racing mechanics really are on point. Don’t expect a lot of innovation, this still is a classic racing game without a lot of surprises. Meaning the AI is strong enough to offer some challenge but it’s also too predictable to really offer a lot of fun. Don’t expect epic crashes or one on one racing, the AI behaves as they should but they all are a bit too soft and don’t dare to take risks.
If the AI isn’t offering enough challenges you can always go online and compete against other players, something that really does offer the needed challenge you’ve been looking for. Besides that, you can also race on regular courses, do some time trials or other, more classic racing modes. Everything you would think of is included in the game and driving the motorcycles feels fast and fluent, as it should. The only real problem is that it still lacks innovation, it doesn’t feel like an entirely new game if you’ve played other Milestone racers before.
Not the best looking game
Another thing that bothered me was how the game looks. The motorcycles look good and driving in first person mode really offers a great thrill, the problem is the course. Before you start racing, you’ll see an epic video introduction of the track you’ll be driving on. The disappointment is huge when you finally start racing on it. Aside from the roads, all tracks look too empty. There’s no real crowd and no real environment to discover next to the track. It seems like you’re racing in an empty world, even during the championships. It really takes away the immersion and is something the developers should fix in the next installment.
MotoGP 17 plays it safe and plays very similar to other racing games. Adding two different career modes is a fun idea but it isn’t enough to take the experience to a new level. It’s not a bad game at all but it does come with flaws, empty environments being the biggest one here. If you’re looking for a fun but realistic racer, this one got you covered, just don’t expect miracles from it.