Moto Rush GT may sound like it’s a racing sim, but it’s less about racing and more about not crashing. Whether you get somewhere fast or not is by-the-by: it’s more important that you reach your destination without becoming a smear on the tarmac.
Someone should tell the one and only racer in Moto Rush GT that there are better places to race. Because the ‘Grand Tour’ of the title takes place on an interstate, packed full of cars, often with onrushing traffic. Oh, and it’s punctuated by construction work. This is not the Nürburgring: this is a road, gridlocked with innocent drivers, and you are putting the pedal to the floor, risking your life and theirs without any other racers involved. It’s a bit reckless, really.
The aim of Moto Rush GT changes from level to level, but the most common is a distance objective. You need to travel a certain number of kilometres before the time runs out. That means weaving through traffic as the time ticks down, looking to pass a chequered flag before the counter reaches zero. But that’s made all the more difficult by obstacles, namely cars, hurtling past you.
In terms of the general shape of the game, we’re in Outrun territory, or Road Rash without the chains and punching. It’s a game of switching lanes, rather than navigating corners, chicanes, drifts, or anything like that. The action is always directly in front of you, and the primary buttons are left and right. Success depends on your ability to choose the least hazardous lanes, and to sneak between cars when things get hairy.
That’s as limited as you might expect. Moto Rush GT’s overwhelming issue is a lack of variety, which will compound as this review goes on. As we played, we could imagine a more gripping and enduring version of Moto Rush GT that leaned into things like corners and branching routes, but alas it’s not to be found here. This is very much a one-trick pony.
Fair play to Moto Rush GT, it does try to enliven what it has. Often, that enlivening comes from differing objectives. In the game’s Career mode, which is far and away the most engaging way to play Moto Rush GT, more and more goals get introduced. Instead of overcoming distance markers, you might be required to spend a certain amount of time in the oncoming lane. Or perhaps you might need to perform stunts, via the game’s wheelie button. Maybe you are required to complete ‘near misses’, which trigger when you narrowly avoid cars, or sustain a combo of those near misses without wiping out completely.
There’s undoubtedly a lot of these objectives, and a lot of thought has gone into creating them. But they tend to be very slight variations on the same theme. A ‘Near Miss’ objective is the same as a distance objective, except you might get closer than you normally would to the cars. You’re not really changing how you play; you’re just being slightly more reckless. Combo objectives are the same as Near Miss, but with a punishment if you get knocked off the bike. When the glaring issue with Moto Rush GT is that fatigue creeps in quickly, these minorly differing objectives aren’t enough. They’re a wet towel on a raging fire.
That said, we did quite like the Stunt objectives. These require you to pull off wheelies whenever there’s a break in the traffic. The challenge comes from the wheelies filling your game-view with bike, so you can’t actually see where you’re going. So, it’s a gamble, as you chance your visibility against some sweet sweet Stunt points. But even that enjoyment didn’t last: we unlocked a smaller, faster bike that made the road visible during stunts.
But we have to keep giving it credit, because Moto Rush GT doesn’t stop trying. It’s determined to keep building on its repetitive foundations. Completing races gives you cash, and cash can be spent on upgrades for your bike, as well as new bikes for your garage. The money doesn’t come quite thick or fast enough (bikes are expensive but upgrades aren’t, so there’s a strange rhythm of buying a bike and then immediately upgrading it to max) but the fact it’s there is appreciated and needed.
There are more game modes. You can race endlessly, for example, but that seemed more like a sentence than something to cheer about. We knew ourselves well enough to sense our diminishing patience with Moto Rush GT, so we stuck to Career. It’s where the tracks vary most, occasionally stirring in a new obstacle or objective (ramps! Slipstream! Bollards!), so we didn’t dare play anything else for long.
Moto Rush GT isn’t so much bad as it is simple. Take the controls: they’re refined and perfect, but there’s not enough of them. Moving left or right, with the odd speed up or wheelie, doesn’t offer enough agency to really vary an approach or try out new things. Tracks are all straight lines, too, so the designers run out of methods for making them look or feel different. There’s not enough joy to support everything else.
In the end, the best analogy is pimping out an old banger. Baltoro Games have done a stupendous job of modding the chassis with 100 levels, multiple game modes, objectives, cash to earn and bikes to buy. Love has clearly been lavished on Moto Rush GT. But underneath it all is a bike that’s simply not revving. The snazzy presentation and surplus of content applies spark plugs to the engine, but there’s just no saving it.