The clue is in the name – MX Vs ATV Legends should be the best MX Vs ATV game yet. See, many years have passed since the last instalment in the franchise – MX vs ATV All Out – and that should have been enough time to give the development team at Rainbow Studios and their publishing friends at THQ Nordic the chance to hone their skills, make the most of new technologies and ensure that MX vs ATV Legends is nothing short of stellar. 

But it’s not. In fact, it’s an utter mess. At times, an utter mess that is occasionally bordering on the unplayable. For that reason we don’t like MX vs ATV Legends, and that makes us more than a little sad. 

mx vs atv legends review 1

There were high hopes for this one, especially as the basic premise is pretty much as you would expect of an MX vs ATV title – ride some bikes, some ATVs and some UTVs as you take it to the opposition and prove to yourself, and the world as a whole, that you have the skills to become a full-on off-road racing legend. What more could you ask for? Well, as it is, quite a lot. 

You’ll get involved in this journey to the top by working through a Career, split into the three MX, ATV and UTV categories, giving you the chance to work through multiple races, calendar weeks, Tours and more. Unlocking as you make progress – initially with everything locked up behind progress in the MX scene – there’s certainly a host of content included here. At least it would be if you got to play through it easily. 

The problem is, MX vs ATV Legends is so buggy, so glitchy and so inconsiderately put together that the determining factor in that success will be whether you can actually find it within yourself to put up with the frustrations it brings. The Career initially has you needing to work though a few tutorial sections, giving the chance to get to grips with how the bikes handle, how the various states and positionings of your rider affects things and how the camera works. It’s a right old chore moving through these, with the finest of lines the difference between success and failure. 

Struggle away and you’ll eventually open up new opportunities, with mission structures and race types given to you via the most simple of NPC chats. Found throughout the open world that Legends attempts to purvey (something that should have been the best bit of the entire game), taking on new challenges and following instructions should be a cinch. Except, nine times out of ten we’ve found MX vs ATV Legends looking to totally glitch and bug out, so much so that as we’re writing this, it’s now asking us to redo all the tutorials again. 

mx vs atv legends review 2

We’ve done the tutorials, we’ve even progressed in races and accepted NPC missions, but for some reason the game has decided those tutorials need re-actioning. Not a problem you may think – just crack on and do them again. Well, the second issue is that not a single prompt will let us do so – we’re stuck in a state of MX vs ATV emergency, caught in a loop of wheel spinning, with a ‘ride to each active waypoint to begin tutorials’ message slapped on our screens. WE’VE DONE THOSE DAMN TUTORIALS! We’ve even got the Xbox achievement to prove it. 

It’s not like the Career is overly enticing either. When/if you do ever get to race or ride your  MX, ATV or UTV, handling is extremely poor, super twitchy and highly unrealistic. You never know what may happen in fact, whether you’re going to nail a jump and land perfectly, or bail with the crappy ragdoll physics that then play out; left to twitch and slide across the floor as you pathetically await a respawn.

You’ll also find yourself riding through structures, being flipped by others, dropped by more or just left slamming into those that decide to work as a brick wall. We’ve found our bike get stuck in fences, unable to be reversed or reset and have driven through NPC characters in the open-world who have previously stood firm against an oncoming bike, living or dying on a ‘you shall not pass’ attitude. Like I say, MX vs ATV Legends is a mess and extremely inconsistent. 

We’ll go as far to say that it looks half decent, at least in terms of the machines you get to ride – they are well detailed and nicely designed. But other elements are pretty old-school to say the least. Buildings, static trucks and the like all reek of something from a decade past. 

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It’s a shame too that everything is just so on edge, so much so that it feels like MX vs ATV Legends is looking for the first opportunity to ditch itself into the nearest lake, as it flings its rider into the ether. The camera is highly amendable and attached to the D-Pad and View Button to ensure that you can grab a whole host of different camera angles. It’s quite nice to ride around with cinematic-styled viewpoints too, but that does only highlight the weirdnesses that Legends delivers. It’s not always good to be able to see more. 

Coming out of the Career and things get a little better; not much, just a little. Exhibition will let you ride through Quickplay events and Time Trial options, but it’s only really the latter which we’ve found to work properly on a consistent basis. Get into it and again you’ll find plenty of event types, covering the Supercross, National and Invitational scenes. Perhaps when you’ve seen one track, you’ve seen them all for rarely will you care for their differences, but at least TT’ing and going up against the clock works as intended. 

Quick Play is okay too, opening up races as you see fit with the Rhythm and Trails sections the main highlights. Again though, any race just provides more anger as it showcases just how much is wrong with MX vs ATV Legends; AI competitors bouncing around like they’ve come straight out of 1999 is just the half of it. There really is a serious lack of joy to be found in any race in Legends. 

What else do we have? Well, there’s the multiplayer and that sometimes works, but the majority of our testing has been met with errors (shock horror) and a serious lack of competitors frequenting the online world. Opening itself up to sixteen player online multiplayer should in theory be brilliant, but the most we’ve found are two other leather-clad mugs sitting astride their bikes. Maybe we shouldn’t be slating a game for a lack of players, but then, maybe if that game was shipped in a more playable state, the players would then flock. It’s the circle of life. 

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We guess split screen options are nice to have for times of need too, but really, there are a million and one better games you should be playing with a couch-based friend.  

Further problems exist though – seriously, you didn’t think we were done with the list of problems, did you? Loading times are stupidly lenghty and kick in after pretty much every choice you make, whilst even working through the menus is clunky, slow and full of bugs – hell, there have been times when we’ve tried to change vehicle only for absolutely nothing to load in, whilst constantly flickering menu visuals are pretty much the standard. You can also throw in a horrible vibration mechanic which has your Xbox controller rumbling around more than you would ever care to imagine. It’s like Rainbow Studios have tried to include some kind of ‘feel’ to the gameplay, but have instead just turned every single vibration motor in the controller up to 100%, 100% of the time. Oh, and to finish with the complaints, aside from the rather tasty curated soundtrack that accompanies the racing (there is something we like!), the audio is again pretty rubbish, with little to differentiate the machines you ride. But did you expect anything else at this point in the review?

So, MX vs ATV Legends can be summed up in just a couple of words – a mess. It’s unrealistic, horrible to play, full of bugs and glitches, rarely works as intended and will leave you with more than a hint of frustration. If you want to throw a bike around some time trial tracks for a little bit, by all means crack on, but if you try to do anything else in MX vs ATV Legends, you’re going to be met with a host of issues. Is this an MX vs ATV Legend? Not in the slightest. 

MX vs ATV Legends is available from the Xbox Store

The clue is in the name - MX Vs ATV Legends should be the best MX Vs ATV game yet. See, many years have passed since the last instalment in the franchise - MX vs ATV All Out - and that should have been enough time to give the development team at Rainbow Studios and their publishing friends at THQ Nordic the chance to hone their skills, make the most of new technologies and ensure that MX vs ATV Legends is nothing short of stellar.  But it’s not. In fact, it’s an utter mess. At times, an utter mess that…

Pros:

  • We like the soundtrack
  • We also like Time Trialling

Cons:

  • Many, many bugs and glitches - both in-game and in-menu
  • Rarely works as it should
  • Vehicle handling is extremely twitchy
  • Controller vibration is turned up to 11

Info:

  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - THQ Nordic
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5, PC
  • Version reviewed - Xbox Series X
  • Release date - 28 June 2022
  • Launch price from - £34.99
TXH Score

2/5

Pros:

  • We like the soundtrack
  • We also like Time Trialling

Cons:

  • Many, many bugs and glitches - both in-game and in-menu
  • Rarely works as it should
  • Vehicle handling is extremely twitchy
  • Controller vibration is turned up to 11

Info:

  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - THQ Nordic
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5, PC
  • Version reviewed - Xbox Series X
  • Release date - 28 June 2022
  • Launch price from - £34.99

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