If there's one thing you can say about the world of Motocross, it's this: it is hard on the knees. The developers of MXGP: The Official Motocross Videogame take great delight in explaining that you meet some Motocross riders and they walk ‘like this’ because their legs have been broken so many times and involved in so many collisions with other bikes, they don’t work properly any more. Lovely. But what must be cripplingly painful in real life translates well into a fast-paced, close-contact racing game. And that’s exactly what MXGP is.
That said, sadly you don’t actually get to throw punches or kicks manually--rather your rider will perform them automatically when necessary. But still, if you get your bike down the inside of the leader into the final turn, you can watch your rider push them to the floor. It's very Road Rash. So is the moment when a rider falls in front of me on the brow of a hill and I can’t react in time to avoid him, instead using his stricken body as a ramp to get even more air off the jump. Awesome.
The game is officially branded up everywhere you look, with everything from the full roster of riders from MX1/MX2 last year to a real life Monster Energy grid girl. The audience sounds were recorded at real race meetings, the riders all stamp down their startline track surface before the race and you can use scrubs and whips in the air to adjust your landing trajectory mid-jump, just like in real-life. The controls have a simplified layout on Easy, but expert riders can use both sticks to fully control their rider, turning with the left stick and shifting their body weight with the right.
The game is not coming to new-gen, but rather Xbox 360, PS3 and PS Vita. In fact, the PS Vita version, which I was not shown, is said to feature everything the big version does, aside from deformable track surfaces (like in Sega Rally) and 10 racers on the track, down from 16 for the main version.
The game is due out on March 28.
Check out the following screenshots for additional info!