MotoGP 07 - PS2 Review
While we are used to seeing MotoGP games coming out of Namco's stable and published in Europe and Australia by Sony there was a change in April 2007 when Capcom announced that they had secured the rights to the series, and handed development of the title to Milestone. While Milestone may not be a household name they have a history of developing some decent motorbike and car based racing games. Can the developers bring something fresh to the MotoGP scene? Well we've got our hands on the game and, well, perhaps you should read on...
|Sitting at the start line...|
Now I'll admit that I'm not a big motorbike fan. I rarely watch the races (although with Casey Stoner doing so well I have watched more then usual this year) and my motor sport allegiances lie with four wheel
variety. But we have enjoyed Namco's MotoGP titles in the past and I was keen to see what Capcom, and developers Milestone, could come up with. With the official license this game is able to include all the riders, bikes, teams and 18 official tracks (including Phillip Island in Australia) that featured in the 2007 season. Game modes include Championship, Quick Race, Time Attack, Challenges and Multiplayer. For the most part these are pretty self explanatory. The most interesting of these is the Challenges which offers 100 events to enter across three difficulty levels and sees you trying to compete for best times on various tracks, or pass through gates placed on the track.
|Graphics are, umm, average.|
So this is a motorbike game which promises to bring the excitement and thrills to consoles, and it is indeed possible to change between a simulation or arcade style. MotoGP '07 allows you to turn on driving aids, modify your riding style and also modify the bikes to an extent. Unfortunately the game lacks a sense of speed and the detail in the tracks is severely lacking which, while that usually brings down the graphics marks, also affects the gameplay. It's quite clear that even on hardcore simulation this doesn't pack the same punch as Polyphony Digital's Tourist Trophy. That's not saying this is a complete disaster though as the races can be pretty tight, and you do have to be very careful when speeding around corners not to apply too much acceleration.
|Another poorly textured building.|
When we first fired up MotoGP 07 everything seemed to be fairly solid. The intro movie was nice enough, the menus were easy to read and navigate and it all looked slick. Then the starting grid in our first race appeared and the bikes and riders looked adequate enough, but then we flicked around to the in-game viewpoint. Now we know the PS2 is starting to age, but this game isn't what we would expect from a system that has fully matured as a development platform. The backgrounds in that first Qatar track were dull. Grey track, some green grass, some off-white sand traps, a couple of walls and blue sky. Hardly inspiring stuff. Worse still when it's moving it's no the silky smooth experience one would expect as the occasional frame rate issue crops up.
|Rain effects are adequate enough.|
But we still like to give the developers the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps Qatar isn't the best setting for a MotoGP race. Perhaps that track is boring in real life too... Sadly almost all the tracks are the same and the game really does look quite terrible overall.
Audio is another area which fails to truly capture the excitement of the sport. Actually it really fails to capture anything as it is among the most bland, uninspired trash that we have ever heard. There is no commentary, not even some "Holy smoke, you've overtaken Stoner!". Actually I don't think they used a microphone at all for the sound production. Oh but there are engine noises which sound worse then my lawn mower, and if you happen to put the bike into the grass or gravel it sounds even worse. This is despite the claim that the developers have actually recorded real motorbikes for the game! Yes folks, the sound design here is as exciting as a dogs turd.
|Racing can be pretty close.|
So MotoGP 07 has a new developer but even for a first outing this is a very poor title, especially from a developer with such a long line of racing titles to their name. It looks and sounds dull, and can't really generate much excitement in the gameplay stakes either. Still, there is a grounding for a solid franchise in the years ahead (given a hell of a lot more work), but this years effort is strictly for those MotoGP fans that must have this game. Very, very disappointing from a company such as Capcom.
Review By: Dave Warner
Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version).
Talk about MotoGP '07 in this forum topic now.
|GRAPHICS||Did we just time warp back to the earliest PS2 releases? Dull.||57%|
|SOUND||Dire and boring. No speech, little music, poor engines.||42%|
|GAMEPLAY||The entire game is quite depressing and you'll be hard pressed to get to excited while playing.||66%|
|VALUE||This would be a rip-off at $40, let alone the $80 pricetag!||47%|
|OVERALL||Sorry to say, but this game still needs a lot more work to reach Namco's standards. Unless you're a made MotoGP fan this is probably best left as a rental.||62%|