Review of MotoGP 21

The Italian studio Milestone has been supplying us with licensed MotoGP games at regular intervals since 2013. This year's MotoGP 21 is the ninth work of the Milan team. The series with the new year focused on the new generation of consoles for the first time. However, as the parts of the previous and other series have shown, this fact does not automatically mean a supply of significant innovations and technical innovations.

  • Platform: PC (peer-reviewed version), PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X / S, Nintendo Switch

  • Date of issue: 22. 4. 2021

  • Manufacturer: Milestone (Italy)

  • Genre: racing

  • Czech localization: no

  • Multiplayer: yes (online)

  • Download data: 22 GB

  • Game time: 25 hours

  • Accessibility: 3+

  • Sales version: physical and digital

  • Price: from 899 CZK in the Xzone store

Aimed at the driving model


From the trailers and materials before the release, it was clear that the developers in the development of MotoGP 21 focused mainly on the driving model and greater authenticity of the whole experience, which was to be even closer to the real model. And the developers succeeded. The driving model has undergone significant changes compared to last year's work ( review ). You will feel them most when all assistants are turned off. Previously, the game was relatively benevolent even in this setting. The new year changes this trend and immediately punishes mistakes. Switching off various helpers has a really noticeable effect on the difficulty and behavior of the motorcycle. The learning process will therefore be a bit longer, especially for new players.

In MotoGP 21, for example, you can feel the weight and strength of the individual machines more. When cornering, it is not at all easy to hit the ideal braking point and track. Motorcycles often lift the rear wheel spontaneously during heavy braking and roll each other in various ways. When exiting corners, you have to be very careful with the gas for a change. Otherwise, an unpleasant high sider or rapid degradation of the rear tire follows. Overall, MotoGP 21 brings the most sophisticated driving model in the series yet, surpassing even the sister Ride 4 or the competitive TT Isle of Man 2.


The successful driving model is complemented by other interesting mechanics.


So if you're all about racing, and you prefer a shift to realism, the new MotoGP definitely has something to offer you. Thanks to countless assistants, helpers, and various difficulties, however, fans of arcade gameplay can easily adapt the game to their preferences. Milestone thus managed to create a product for a relatively wide group of players. There is a direct comparison with, for example, the F1 series from Codemasters, which, thanks to the rich possibilities of various settings and difficulties, can also be enjoyed by seasoned virtual racers and holiday players.


Brake management and a new penalty system


After all, the developers have prepared an extensive tutorial for new players, during which the controls and all-important mechanics are thoroughly explained to you. Subsequently, the game will recommend difficulty and assistants according to your performance. The successful driving model is complemented by other interesting functions that bring the racing experience closer to reality. During the races, you have to monitor the tire wear, the fuel level, and now also the brake temperature. It is the size and type of brake discs that you now choose together with the tire mixture before the race itself. When choosing, it is good to take into account the profile of the circuit and the track temperature. During the race itself, it is then advisable to save the bridles and tires so that they remain usable until the finish line crosses.

The novelty in the form of brake management is further supplemented by the possibility to switch off respawn completely. If you select this setting, the game will not automatically return you to the track after a fall. Instead, you will first have to run to the motorcycle on your own and lift it manually. The system of penalties was also reworked. If the track is shortened, the game will first give you a few reprimands, and only after repeated transgressions will it give you a so-called long lap penalty. In order to complete it, you must extend the route at a predetermined and marked place on the circuit. The authors' effort for an authentic experience and approach to real MotoGP can also be seen from these novelties.


The menu of game modes is traditionally dominated by a career.


While the gameplay, led by the driving model, has undergone interesting changes, so don't expect any significant innovations in terms of content. Of course, there is an official license for the current season of the World Road Motorcycle Championship, thanks to which the game contains a complete list of riders and teams divided into Moto 3, Moto 2, and MotoGP classes. Sometime after the release, the developers promised to add additional MotoE and Red Bull Rookies Cup, classes. The list of tracks includes a total of 23 circuits. Surprisingly, Brno is not missing among them, which is no longer part of the real championship. In the case of MotoGP 21, however, it has moved between historic tracks, where it is complemented by British Donington and American Laguna Seca.


Old-new career


The menu of game modes is traditionally dominated by a career. In it, you first create your own rider and then choose the category in which you will start your career as a racing rider. Then just sign a contract with one of the teams and your journey to the forefront of motorcycle sports can begin. In addition to the racing component, the career also includes a managerial part. Between individual races, you will also enjoy the role of team leader. The most important component is the development department. In this section, you research and then install various enhancements for your motorcycle. The top class of MotoGP includes four areas of development in the form of engine, frame, aerodynamics, and electronics. Of course, it's up to you which section you prefer. However, each will in some way improve the performance or behavior of the motorcycle.

The direction of development can also be influenced by the choice of two important team members in the form of chief engineer and data analyst. You can accelerate the development of individual components by collecting development points, which can be obtained by completing additional tasks during the race weekend or by participating honestly in training. During the season, you will also be negotiating with other teams that are interested in your services. Offers will come from official and unofficial teams. In an ideal situation, you should have good results about a seat in one of the leading teams in MotoGP.


The concept of the regime with historic motorcycles on paper does not look bad at all.


For example, the progression from the lowest Moto 3 category to the royal category will take a few seasons anyway. If you played last year's part and you get a career description identical to the previous part, then you are not far from the truth. In this respect, MotoGP 21 does not bring much extra. The developers simply took the functioning regime from last year and transferred it to the current year unchanged. Regular MotoGP players can therefore be slightly disappointed. On the other hand, it should be remembered that last year's episode came with a significantly reworked career. For this year, the developers in this area stayed grounded and focused on other parts.


Traditionally sold historical regime


Of the remaining modes, in addition to the traditional fast race, championship, and time trial, it is worth mentioning the potentially interesting historical mode, in which you saddle machines from previous years. There are two-stroke five-stroke engines from the early 1990s, four-stroke liter machines from the turn of the millennium, and eight-stroke engines from 2007 to 2011. The concept of the regime with historic motorcycles on paper does not look bad at all. Like last year, however, it remains in the background of interest.


In fact, with MotoGP 21, we can no longer even speak of a stand-alone mode. You can try historical standing at most in the normal mode of a fast race, championship, or time trial. In MotoGP 21, you would look in vain for a special game mode in which the developers of individual machines and famous riders of the past would introduce you in more detail, for example in the form of period shots. It is enormous damage and a clearly wasted potential. In this way, the new year remains firmly bound by the official license, beyond which it does not offer much. In terms of the breadth of content, MotoGP 21 can only quietly envy the already mentioned Ride 4 from the same studio.


There was no relatively commonly used dynamic weather.


In the old dormitories, everything remains even when looking at the menu of multiplayer modes. You will only find online multiplayer here. In the current version, a maximum of 13 players can compete in one race. In the future, developers would like to increase this number to 22. Given the ongoing efforts to develop e-sports, this effort is understandable. If you prefer offline multiplayer, then you have to look elsewhere. This time, too, there was no split-screen in the MotoGP series. Traditional game modes are complemented by an editor, in which you will find countless stickers and graphic designs. You can then create your own helmet, coverall, or race number design, for example.


Technical evolution


If you have expected a revolution in audiovisual processing from MotoGP 21, I will probably disappoint you. The new year brings a rather light evolution. In direct comparison with last year's work, the novelty has better lighting, reflections, and models of motorcycles and riders. On the contrary, the surroundings of the tracks and more distant objects such as grandstands, trees, or spectators remain below expectations. Again, there was no relatively common dynamic weather. The overall presentation also deserves more significant care.


For example, the animation of the podium creates a very archaic impression thanks to not very successful faces and rough animations. But partial progress has been made, for example. Above all, engines sound more pronounced. Traditionally, good optimization deserves praise. Except for the exceptional declines in the pictures at the start of the race, I did not notice any technical problems during the game. On the other hand, significantly shorter loading screens are clearly visible.


You can buy MotoGP 21 in Xzone


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