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MXGP 2021 – Review – The show in the heights

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For many years, if not decades, the Italian studio and publisher Milestone has focused on two- and four-wheel experiences. It is the strongest law of engine capacity, championships and official competitions, world champions and the champagne of consecration. From Moto GP games to Sébastian Loeb Rally, passing through the renewed adventure in Ride and micro racing in Hot Wheels Unleashed, the offer is vast and diversified, even so, aimed at the audience that chooses motorsport as their preference.

In a year marked by the arrival of a few games with the stamp of this Milan-based studio, the official MXGP game with the motocross world championship is the latest foray into the domains of two-wheel driving over highly uneven and muddy terrain. furrows and skidding and jumping with the greatest control. Motocross excels in rally-type driving. Here, more than the wide and slick tire on asphalt, grooves prevail for greater traction and grip on the land. It’s the rally of high bikes, of dirt and mud thrown up at each curved pass.

Remember that MXGP 2021 joins Monster Energy Supercross 4, the official supercross license, filling the ranks of Milestone. Personally, I prefer the MXGP races, although we have to say that these games, being annual, are much more subject to permanent scrutiny, which does not prevent many producers from making mere adjustments and updates to squads, bikes, circuits, relegating a solidity to later moments. higher in physical and performance terms. Precisely what happens with MXGP 2021, which like the other games released annually, although based on other disciplines, makes it difficult to see remarkable improvements.

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We can even go two to three years without playing, that in the hands of the same producer, we can almost guess the game even if blindly. MXGP 2021 does not introduce major changes, nor realigns the way of playing. Something that Milestone has been consolidating in these two-wheeled experiences is a greater tribute from the side of the simulation, without however ever renouncing to an arcade assumption, opening the game to all those who do not intend to go through great difficulties and want above all have fun in these circuits full of curves.

Any motocross fan knows that mastery of the bike, cornering and ramping, is crucial to achieving stunts. Speed ​​is not everything, and more than walking fast, it is essential to walk well, well and relaxed. And often, almost always, what counts is the exit and entry into a curve. The straights tend to be scarce, the maximum speed is rarely reached, and when we make a jump, the important thing is to perform acrobatics, without the bike failing to reach the contact point as far ahead as possible. They are also very tough physical races. Focusing on approaching the curve dictates much of the success for a quick lap.

In terms of driving, MXGP 2021 meets the middle ground, somewhere between simulation and arcade recording. It’s possible to tweak the settings and change the damage and the type of ride, exploring options that make driving the bike more realistic. The demand is greater when we hold the left and right analogue sticks to mould the body to the curve and in the course of the jump. The realistic difficulty is not for everyone and requires a good mastery and understanding of the game, otherwise, it can be frustrating. Still, I don’t notice big differences compared to the last games. It’s a clear bet on continuity, for better or for worse, which means that if you played any of the latest editions of MXGP, it won’t be this 2021 edition that will change your appreciation in terms of driving.

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To make matters worse, there are animations that aren’t quite ready yet. Falling moments when our pilot looks like a piece of clothing flying under the other bikes, in progress, still provoke some laughter. On the other hand, physics does not always allow to accommodate in the best way the hardness of a collision or a fall, with some behaviours a little, we would say, unrealistic. And this happens whether we’re playing an arcade tune or a realistic one.

With regard to the much-desired content, the renewed material takes shape through the career mode. With all the official names, riders, bikes and brands, the objective is to climb the rankings. We start from a simple editor of our pilot, where we can customize some aspects, including the equipment. Then you have to sign a contract for a team and start producing results. The form of progress is not endowed with many conditions and is mainly based on classifications. There is no such rivalry between riders, but we can terminate a contract and move to another team. For the Águeda track enthusiasts, we are not disappointed, as it presents itself in the form of a legendary circuit where some of the biggest challenges are inscribed. Other tests pass through Italy, Mexico and France,

In addition to the career and after the usual options that include fast laps, autonomously holding a grand Prix and a championship, there is the Playground, which is reduced to the concept of free driving, almost without restrictions, in three different environments. Here is the terrain that makes the hardships and knowing its limits is a good way to learn to take advantage of the bike, through races created by markers or by free exploration. Added to this is a set of multiplayer options, in the form of sharing the competition with more players connected to the network, as well as the track editor that lets us manufacture new designs and change the tracks to our liking.

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