Milestone always amaze me. Not so much as to the quality of their video games, but by the sheer number of them, and how they continue to evolve one particular genre of motorsport time and time again.
See, it’s the Milestone team who have proven themselves to be dab hands when it comes to delivering virtual replications of the supercross scene, with their Monster Energy Supercross series, and how they manage to continue taking us for a two-wheeler ride with, well, the RIDE franchise. But if you thought having two motorcycle racers in their catalogue was enough, think again, because they continue to drop a new MotoGP title on a yearly basis too. The latest is the upcoming MotoGP 23.
We’ve grabbed the skid lid, donned the leathers and jumped astride some of the fastest MotoGP bikes on the earth with MotoGP 23 ahead of it releasing on Xbox, PlayStation and PC come June 8th. With Milestone promising the most exhilarating, intense replication of the MotoGP series yet, if you’re a two-wheeled race fan, this is going to scratch a big itch.
During our preview time with MotoGP 23 we’ve been limited to a few of the options that will be available at launch, and whilst we’ve been locked out of taking in the career, building out full championships, practicing in the tutorials and partaking in multiplayer racing, the chance to put our bikes and riding skills to the test in the MotoGP Academy, through one-off races and in the Time Trial section has been plentiful enough. At least for now.
Quickly running the rule over those sections and the MotoGP Academy gives a decent opportunity for you to understand what is required of a MotoGP rider, picking up Bronze, Silver and Gold medals as you attempt to complete track specific challenges. It’s here where Milestone split each track into various sectors, completing things with full laps, as you try to nail specific times for each. Medals are rewarded dependant on your success.
The Academy is a great little way of ensuring you get to understand the needs of riding in MotoGP without the hassle of other competitors or the need to run full laps, a la Time Trial. It’s certainly somewhere we can see ourselves spending time when the full game releases, jumping on a bike whenever we have 5 minutes to spare.
All the circuits you could want are available too, with iconic tracks such as Silverstone, Catalunya, Le Mans and more complemented by those that a more hardened MotoGP fan will know; Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina and Indonesia’s Mandalika International Street Circuit, for instance. We’re well familiar with the more famous pieces of tarmac, and those created in MotoGP 23 look pretty decent too. We’re not sure they reach EA SPORTS F1 22 standards, but Milestone are more than capable of making a good looking bike racer.
Enjoying those circuits in the Grand Prix section is good too, especially as this edition of MotoGP comes with variable weather as an option. The only issue we see with the inclusion of rain and wet weather riding is that MotoGP 23 is an absolute beast at the best of times, and so getting tyres to stick onto wet asphalt makes it all the more tricky. This is certainly going to be a game you will need to spend time with, becoming one with your bike as you do so.
We would hazard a guess and say that anyone intent on dropping hours into MotoGP 23 upon release will be right in line with the real world racing scene, and for those people, this could well be perfect. With all the riders, teams and circuits from MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3 and MotoE in place, you’ll find everything you need for virtual access to the 2023 championships. Further, there is a ton of customisation available in the form of a fairly powerful graphic editor, new features and mechanics, as well as a multitude of accessibility and riding ‘helps’, this could well be a MotoGP fan’s dream test. It probably helps that online cross-play is promised for Xbox and PlayStation folk too.
And if you’re not a bike fan but want to have some fun with MotoGP 23, Milestone have added some ‘Neural’ settings in regards the steering, throttle and braking systems. Honestly though? We hate their overpowering nature and would prefer to ride to survive through our own skills. Each to their own though, eh?
We’ll be sure to follow with full review of MotoGP 23 as it launches on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and PC come June 8th 2023. You can get preordering over at the Xbox Store if you like.
Huge thanks go out to Milestone for providing us with a Steam code for this preview.