The MotoGP series of videogames started out as an impressive franchise that degenerated into increasingly arcade style outings. Time for a reset, then, in the form of both a new published and developer.
The latest MotoGP 2011 game is the first console game that has managed to capture the sensations of riding a motorcycle, let alone racing one. The MotoGP bike physics are superb, with attention to detail. Ride sloppily, and pay the price with poor traction, highsides, and lowsides.
Sadly, your MotoGP bike and rider both escape damage in any off, which detracts from the sense of realism. We'd also like to see tire wear over a number of laps to keep you on your toes in the closing stages of a race.
The Career made sees you star in the 125GP, then earn your way up to the Moto2 and ultimately the MotoGP bikes, GPs as you open up opportunities to race for different teams. Each series does feel distinct, with famous riders coming across every bit the animal you'd imagine them to be. There's a real sense of development through the ranks, even if the game does fall a bit short of what we've now came to expect from the likes of Race Driver:Grid.
As you'd expect from the official game of the 2011 MotoGP season, all the riders, teams and tracks from this year are in the game. The circuit details are impressive. You'd expect the layout of the racetrack itself to be accurate, but they've also managed to capture the individual feel of each circuit, with varying track widths, background detail and convincing elevation changes.
The controls work well, with analoge throttle and independent control over front and rear brakes. Luckily, MotoGP 2011 manages to be playable for both gaming and biking novices and TT veterans alike by offering a genuinely worthwhile range of difficulty options in terms of physics and handling.