While car racing has had its fair share of hero franchises, motorcycles, which are arguably more exiting, don't have much to boast about when it comes to video games. The ones around are undone by half-baked production values and we are yet to see a video game built around serious motorcycle racing. But, the MotoGP 14 could change all that.
The biggest change over last year's iteration is the overall presentation of the game. Everything looks better and is presented in a format that we can easily relate to. The motorcycles look sharp and crisp, and the replays are almost photo-realistic. The tracks are still quite static, but the game gets away with its with great lighting and weather effects.
As a beginner, you're eased into the gameplay mechanics via a simple but effective test-drive mode that allows you to experiment with Standard, Semi-Pro and Pro play-styles. Standard is best suited for beginners, as it has all assists on, including turning and braking. But, as you get the hang of the game, you'll find the latter two modes more exciting, as they offer you complete control of the motorcycle.
You're urged to create your character right off the bat, and once you do, you can start your career as a Moto3 rider and climb up to Moto2 and MotoGP. As you keep improving, you are offered more control of the way your motorcycle behaves, and also the ability to upgrade by unblocking various Data Packs. It's not a strict simulation per se, and MotoGP enthusiasts will point out how races never really shape out the way they are portrayed in this game. It may be true to an extent, but the gameplay here seems fairly well balanced between simulation and simple, accessible fun. To us, that's the better end of the stick and anally-strict simulation.
There are a number of great modes to try out, and fans will absolutely dote on the Real Events 2013 mode, in which the game recreates the events of a race that happened last season, giving you control of one of the key riders to change the outcome.