Milestone S.r.l’s MotoGP 19 might just be their best MotoGP title yet since they picked up the license for the game back in 2012. While not much has been added to the game in terms of features, a lot of the existing features and mechanics have been refined and fine-tuned for a much better gaming experience.
We’re not huge fans of the MotoGP series here in the test labs. A lot of us haven’t really played the older MotoGP titles. Naturally, when we first picked the game up we sucked at it. So much so that we almost gave up trying. However, after a little perseverance, we found that the whole sucking at riding bit was part of the experience in a way. MotoGP 19 is a racing sim, of sorts, and they’ve made an attempt to make the ride as realistic as possible. They’ve taken measures to deviate from the arcadey feel that MotoGP games have otherwise been known to have of late.
Once you actually get into the game, you start to get a better handle on the bike. You start to figure out when to start leaning into turns, when to release the acceleration, when you need to break, etc. On the lowest difficulty setting the number of things you have to keep in mind are significantly less thanks to all the assists the game throws your way. Acceleration assistance, automatic gear shifting, easier control off-terrain, single button for both brakes are all present, so an occasion to use the electronic brake system never really arises. You can probably imagine that with all of these assists off, the challenge increases significantly. Even on the lowest difficulty it took us a while to get the hang of riding the bike.
Once we actually figured things out though, it was a much smoother experience. Then we began to truly enjoy the game. It comes to a point where you can almost mindlessly follow the track and weave your way across the race course’s bends and turns. Of course, we were on the easiest difficulty again, and so we had a route assist as well, showing us the optimal route to follow for the easiest turns and such.
Bike and driver physics have also been improved. The way the bike wobbles in grass or sand, when you run off the edge of the road or (accidentally) run into another bike, the animations all look fairly realistic.
MotoGP 19 uses an artificial intelligence called A.N.N.A or Artificial Neural Network Agent which Milestone have worked on for two years alongside Oribix. Orobix is an AI Solutions company. What A.N.N.A does is, it provides the AI with a goal and rather than having preset behaviours, the AI is taught how to reach that goal.
Milestone have stated that the training phase for the AI lasted several months, with over 200k simulated races taking place every day to teach it realistic and natural driving behaviours. The result, is some of the most realistic AI in a racing game we’ve seen to date.
Graphics and Audio
The graphics in MotoGP 19 is its weakest element. It looks washed out and dated, and at times, very bland. There’s a bit of rider customisation to do in terms of biking gear and stickers and such, but overall the game’s looks are pretty meh. The same goes for the human models, who appear emotionless in all the cutscenes. A lot of them look identical to each other. There’s also the fact that they only have about three of the same cutscenes that they keep looping every time you start a race. Bike models look decent.
The game’s audio is alright. There are the same few lines that the commentators will keep repeating before and after each race, accompanying the looping cutscenes above. The sounds within the race, the noises the bikes make, they’re all pretty good and fit right in.
MotoGP 19 – The Finish line
Developer – Milestone S.r.l.
Publisher – Milestone S.r.l.
Platforms – Xbox One, Windows, PlayStation 4
Price – Steam: 1099 | Console: 3499
In comparison to previous titles, there isn’t anything new in terms of features, however, just in terms of gameplay improvements and refinements, MotoGP 19 is worth picking up. The neural AI in the game are some of the best racing AI you’ll ever see, and you’ll probably see a lot more of them in future racing games.
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Manish "Trigger-Happy" Rajesh
If he's not gaming, he's... no wait he's always gaming.