OS Scores Explained MXGP The Official Motocross Game Overview (PC)
Fully licensed FIM game; Terrain deformation; Varied courses
Unchallenging AI; Poor collision physics; Dysfunctional online system
Bottom Line
Though superior to 2013's MUD, MXGP fails to reach the standards of Milestone's top racing franchise, MotoGP.
out of 10
MXGP The Official Motocross Game REVIEW

MXGP The Official Motocross Game Review (PC)

If dangerous speeds, challenging rivals, plausible physics and deadly collisions are necessary parts of a functioning motorsport simulation, then MXGP is a stranded machine, stuck at the starting line with a set of flat tires.


While developer Milestone S.r.l has been marketing MXGP with a mantra of “Adrenaline! Speed! Mud!” the current in-game experience achieves only the dirtiest of its three mission statements.

True to the sport of motocross, MXGP's dirt bikes travel around 30 to 40 miles per hour during most races, with frequent bumps, turns and jumps interrupting any opportunity to break residential speed limits. This low-velocity, highly physical style of racing depends on pack maneuvering, driver battles and artful jumps to excite its audience.

Whereas real motocross events often include up to 40 participants, all offline races in MXGP feature just 16 competitors. Online race tracks are even less crowded, allowing a maximum of 12 players into the starting grid.

Since MXGP's 14 licensed courses are all recreated on a 1:1 scale to their real-world dimensions, this reduced field of racers fails to generate the same claustrophobic, chaotic feel as a live motocross event.

It doesn't help that MXGP's AI shows no aggressiveness in protecting its pack position or fighting for control of the prime riding paths. Instead, each computer motorist seems stuck to a predetermined racing line, afraid to touch the 15 other bikes around him. After the initial holeshot, AI bikers settle into a fixed order, making few passing attempts. Driving alongside computer-controlled riders often triggers a bizarre tendency where they will hit their brakes and slow down so that your bike can safely pass by.

Despite setting the AI's difficulty to “realistic” and adjusting the bike physics to “pro” level, it's common to beat the entire field by five or more seconds, even while wiping out several times during the default three-lap contests.

MXGP's lack of difficulty is also reflected in how lightly it punishes players for crashing their bike or illegally cutting through corners. Both actions will cause the game to immediately teleport the offending player back onto the track, without losing much time or forward momentum.

In some instances, triggering the “teleport restart” after flying head-first into a barrier will actually save a few seconds compared to slamming on the brakes, turning your wheels around and getting your bike safely into gear. Because these riders never risk injuring themselves or ruining their multi-thousand-dollar machines, MXGP's races lack any sense of danger -- the fuel that keeps adrenaline running.

Collisions between dirt bikes animate in an equally unsatisfying manner. Computer opponents are largely immune to contact from human-controlled bikes. It's possible to slide wheel-first like a bowling ball into a pack of ten computer pinheads, only to find that your driver is the lone wipeout. The AI's tires will commonly clip through fallen bikes, and even fallen bikers, like they were completely nonexistent.

MXGP's jumping physics are just as unrealistic, as bikes float in the air for far too long, even when approaching small ramps at reduced speeds. More bothersome, is how hard, front-wheel landings, which can cause horrific accidents in real life, are frequently landed without penalty.

How messed up are the jump and collision systems in MXGP? I once had an airborne computer player land directly on top of my head. Rather than wrecking us both, I balanced the full weight of his bike on my skull, carrying him like a water jug across an ancient city street, until the next turn finally shook him free.

Career Mode

Jeff Gordon had Dale Earnhardt. Ricky Bobby had Jean Girard. Captain Falcon has Black Shadow.

MXGP has your generic, created character facing 26 European riders in 14 (mostly) European venues, and unless you're a native of the continent or an FIM aficionado, it's unlikely that you've ever seen or heard of any of them.

Though anyone can immediately appreciate climbing up the dangerous hills of Italy or circling around the peaceful forests of Sweden, it's difficult to develop any sort of rivalry with the masked men who populate these tracks.

To an American outsider, who enjoys motocross video games but doesn't follow the FIM Motocross circuit, the name of seven-time world champion, Antonio Cairoli, only suggests that he might be one of Adam Carolla's distant cousins.

This initial obscurity would not be an issue if MXGP made some effort to personalize its roster to unfamiliar audiences. The game's only cutscenes, regrettably, involve the same mute bike technician patting you on the back before and after every race.

Since all competitors share the same set of animations, and everyone's physical features are hidden by huge helmets and full bodysuits, there isn't much, besides colors and sponsor stickers, to distinguish rider 222 from rider 777.

MXGP does include some moments away from the track, but these brief trailer scenes are little more than interactive menus, where you can check the league standings or read through dry sponsor emails and uninteresting fan tweets.

Your rivals' avatars do appear on social media, congratulating you after each win, but these tweets are so devoid of personality, that they all seem sent from the same public relations firm.

You can act like a total jerk on race weekends, cutting corners, ramming opponents off-course and slamming into innocent spectators, but no one on social media will ever call out your lack of sportsmanship.

Your created biker's ascent from “wild card” entrant to MX1 superstar is so straightforward, repetitive and undramatic, that you'll likely lose interest before the initial MX2 season is even halfway through.

Milestone S.r.l. has put great effort into simulating the schedule of a race weekend, offering practice sessions, adjustable bike parts, qualifying runs and two-race events. But the company has completely ignored all of the human frictions and corporate tensions that are a part of any lucrative, traveling race circuit.


Unlike most STEAM games, MXGP requires you to create a separate “RakNet” account just to access any of the game's online features.

Though I was able to validate my RakNet profile and complete two online races last Saturday -– the day after MXGP's release –- the service seems to have stopped working sometime last Sunday, as many gamers are no longer able to log in.

At this moment, time attack can only be played offline, without functional leaderboards, and the main multiplayer menu will not even open up.

MXGP lacks LAN and split-screen multiplayer options, but its online races do support up to 12 bikers per track, with the option to place AI drivers of customizable difficulty into any empty gates.

In addition to one-off sessions, which support friend and global leaderboards, an online seasons mode similar to FIFA Soccer and Madden NFL is offered, which will promote or relegate you to different skill divisions based on your online success.

Exhibition matches come with many options, like map voting, bike class restrictions, steering assist limits, a bike collisions toggle and even the ability to hold a qualifying round before the actual race begins. Online contests can take a little as 3 laps or as many as 20 laps. You can even string multiple events together in a grand prix format, for up to 18 consecutive races.

Online performance was smooth the one time I was the match's host, but it deteriorated to a choppy, unplayable mess when I randomly joined another person's room. Having experienced only two online games before the account system broke, it's impossible to make a final judgement on MXGP's online latency.

Final Thoughts

Milestone S.r.l's art team and legal department deserve applause for reproducing so many real-world courses, racers, motorbikes and sponsors. But only FIM enthusiasts will find much to appreciate in MXGP's mediocre gameplay.

Steering your bike through the game's gradually degrading dirt and sand courses does possess some novelty, but the physics used to calculate collisions and judge jumps are so wonky, that it only takes a few turns before most races become unenjoyable.

Combine the substandard player count (16) with a lack of challenge and awareness from AI competitors, and completing the 56-race career mode feels more like a job than an exciting worldwide trek.

Even MXGP's online experience fails to clear the starting gate without wiping out, as all of the game's online features are currently inaccessible, over a week after release.

Milestone S.r.l and racing fans can both do far better than MXGP.

Visuals -- 26 FIM riders and 37 licensed dirt bikes are rebuilt in native 1080p resolution. Each track's surface degrades in real time, though the terrain effects are marred by frequent texture pop-in. The lighting conditions and time of day are specific to each venue. Bikers animate awkwardly, especially during wrecks and jumps. Spectators sport minimal animations and show no concern for their safety, even when out-of-control bikes come flying into the stands. The game can be played from fixed third-person or first-person perspectives.

Audio -- Weak, whiny engine noises can be mercifully silenced using MXGP's audio sliders. Crowd noise consists of an annoying five-second sound clip cycling endlessly. Race commentators are not present. The game's forgettable guitar riffs are thankfully confined to the pre-race menus.

Controls -- Synching up a dual-joystick controller to your PC is a must, as MXGP was designed to have one stick controlling steering and another stick controlling body leans. Throttle is assigned to the right trigger, and though there is no clutch present, the game does offer a front brake on the left trigger, as well as a rear brake on the A button. The inability to disable controller vibrations will bother players who prefer shock-free gaming, or simply wish to conserve their wireless controller's batteries.

Replay Value -- MXGP's monotonous career mode will likely lose your interest early in the opening season. The AI offers little challenge, even on the hardest difficulty settings. With no storylines or unexpected swerves, rerunning the same events against a faceless pack of clones quickly grows dull. Multiplayer is limited to online only, and though these modes contain several smart options, account authentication issues have completely shut down MXGP's online functionality since the day after its STEAM release.

Final Score -- 5.5 (Average)

MXGP The Official Motocross Game Videos
Member Comments
# 1 TCrouch @ 04/07/14 12:35 PM
Strangest thing I've ever experienced on here. I agree with almost everything he wrote, but it bothers me far less than him, I guess. I really dig the game and still have fun racing it, but mostly because I enjoy the rhythm of cruising around the track in first person camera.

Definitely too easy, definitely weird "warp after wrecking" stuff, and the jumps are a bit too floaty, but that doesn't bother me nearly as much as it does Jayson. I think it's a bunch better than the MX vs. ATV floatiness, and they probably had to make some concessions for "fun" vs. "realism" for the average gamer.

I know everybody gets wrapped up in numbers, but I'd consider it far better than a 5.5, even though the text pretty much matches his score. Like I said, strangest thing for me ever. I see the flaws, and yet it's a total blast for me.
# 2 scoman @ 04/07/14 04:27 PM
I would rate this game in the 7.5-8.0 range.
# 3 Dazraz @ 04/07/14 07:12 PM
I think all in all this is a solid game. What can't be ignored is that a company developing what is quite a niche game doesn't have the luxury of a massive budget to play with.
It's hard to argue with the comments in the review but as TCrouch states how much these affect you is quite an individual thing.
The Online issue is pretty unforgivable but thankfully I'm an Offline gamer only.
# 4 JMD @ 04/07/14 08:43 PM
I've been playing the demo for the past few days. I received the full game in the mail today. I think this game is excellent. I'm a huge MX / SX fan, I used to ride back in the late 70's. This game does a good job portraying the sport. I give it a solid 8 out of 10 and that may go up as I play more.
# 5 hrudey32 @ 04/08/14 09:53 AM
Well, honestly, in my opinion, this was a very poor review of a great game.

I'll post my review and also compare it to the games everyone will always compare it to...MVA...in a separate post.
# 6 eagletal88 @ 04/08/14 12:11 PM
Yeah I personally have it at a 8.5.

Great foundation for hopefully a annual series.
# 7 hrudey32 @ 04/08/14 01:32 PM
Personally, I'm not very happy that this review was posted. The problem is the gaming world is starving for MX games. Compared to most genres, we MX fans have next to nothing. And then when we do get a game...a very good one at that...a very reputable site like OS puts a less than favorable review up although most on the forum rank it much higher, thus shining another dark cloud on the MX genre. These reviews affect sells and in this case I think it was harshly done. As a MX fan, it bums me out as this game is deserving a very high score for bringing so much new to the MX gaming genre. Plus it is a blast to play as TCrouch mentioned.

Just wish it wouldn't get such a negative review. It deserves better and reviews like these will for sure not help in getting a sequel or more MX games.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion but this review represents OS which does have a lot of pull in the gaming community.

If you want a more positive take on this EXCELLENT game please check out my review and tips and thoughts on the thread I posted.
# 8 JMD @ 04/09/14 06:03 PM
I finished my first offline season today. The more I play this game the more I like it.
# 9 hrudey32 @ 04/10/14 04:00 AM
I wish the OS team would post my take on MXGP as an official counter-point review that goes to the masses and on their web site. Reviews like the OS one, based on his opinion, which is valid, as all opinions are, hurts games more than you know as a lot of people, myself included, look to OS for good, unbiased reviews.

I, and almost everyone else playing, MXGP just happens to disagree with this reviewer's take and overall score.

It is, overall, the best MX game to date. IMO.
# 10 JMD @ 04/13/14 06:48 AM
Ok I played a full mx2 season on medium 3 laps basically to get used to the game and the tracks. Then I moved up to mx1 on hard this was more of a challenge but I still won the championship with two races left in the season. Now I've started my second mx1 season on realistic , 10 lap races and this game really shines. I'm having some very nice battles with the A.I. , 4 races in I'm leading by 4 points.

My only real complaint is how quickly you get back up after a crash. There needs to be a realistic setting for the amount of time it takes to get going again based on the severity of the crash. I know the 3 lap arcade crowd would not go for this , but guys like me that run longer races enjoy the challenge of fighting back through the pack after a crash. So for the short race guys keep it as is, for me I want a setting to delay the time to get back on the bike. I've actually started waiting a bit before I start back up, allowing some bikes to pass me before resuming the race.

I now give this game a 9.3 out of 10

I hope next year they release the next version of this game for the PS4.
# 11 hrudey32 @ 04/13/14 04:50 PM
Great review, man. Yeah, it really is THE best MX game we have ever seen thus far. I stand firm on that, despite OS lackluster review.

Read my MXGP tips thread below. I talk about waiting 4-8 seconds before starting again. An average tip over costs someone about 8 seconds to get up, pick bike up, remount and start again, barring any major issues. So wait 4- 8.

Have you got it on manual transmission as well? I've got tips for that as well!

If someone says they are on Pro, Realistic AI, Manual Transmission and if they tip over allow 8 seconds to get started again and they are STILL killing the AI....well I call BS.

No way. These elements make the game quite a challenge and very realistic feeling.

BEST MX game to date!!
# 12 Richzilla @ 04/13/14 08:57 PM
You guys are killing me

I'm still waiting for my copy to arrive...lol

I've been playing the heck out of the demo though.
# 13 bluengold34_OS @ 04/13/14 09:36 PM
Originally Posted by Richzilla
You guys are killing me

I'm still waiting for my copy to arrive...lol

I've been playing the heck out of the demo though.
That sucks - can't wait to see what you're thoughts on the retail version. I will readily admit that I am a novice to the sport, but I really am enjoying this game.
# 14 hrudey32 @ 04/14/14 06:27 AM
Rich knows I live and breat Motocross and Motocross games!

This game is amazing. Not perfect, but the best MX game yet. So much content, so much authenticity. Bravo, Milestone!!

If you disagree with the OS review please check out my MXGP tips, thoughts and review. Totally different take on this brilliant game!
# 15 TCrouch @ 04/14/14 10:23 AM
Hrudey, I would say that I have it on Pro, Realistic AI, manual transmission, and wait for 6 seconds (tough to say, but I sit there a while) and definitely still kill the AI. I wouldn't be too quick to call BS. The " wait for 6 seconds " thing doesn't hurt me too bad, because about the only time I usually wreck is at the start or when somebody comes up on me that I don't see and puts a wheel into mine.

The manual tranny doesn't really kill it too much (I loved the tip about L stick and R stick for shifting, thanks!), as I'm so used to crazy shifting in a ton of racing games, so it wasn't adding much as far as difficulty for me. In addition, the total lack of a clutch makes it seem overly simplified as it's just a button press and once I could nail down the fact that it's a 2nd gear hard right, get my 4th gear rhythm sections down, etc., it really didn't add a ton of difficulty IMO.

I'm not trying to make one of those "I'm so good!!!!" posts at all--but I wouldn't call BS on any claim of beating the AI routinely, because I only run 3 lap races and frequently win by 10+ seconds, even with Pro Physics, Realistic AI, Manual Shifting, First Person Camera, and waiting when I occasionally dump the bike (maybe once per race, usually).

I also really enjoy your posts about the game, and I trust your opinion about all things Motocross more than damn near any official review, because I see you pimping most MX games on here and DSP over the years, and you're very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about them. It's also a slippery slope for the site to be on to request your review to be a "second take", as it then questions the reviewer's thoughts and sets a dangerous precedent for a site based on reviews. It seems ages ago, but I hated a game on XBox that everybody loved and gave it a poor score here. I think it was Rallisport or something, and the scores were overwhelmingly positive everywhere. I took a pretty good beating for my review on that one, but reviews are always highly subjective. I just don't think it's a good path to take to start having reader reviews as official, even though I TOTALLY see where you're coming from.

Just the "other side of the fence" on this issue. I am firmly in your camp, though. I think it's amazing, and the MX game that I've waited years to play. Especially in first person, they even made it incredibly well-done as I can see when the bike is wobbling, when the front tire is coming off the ground, and they really made it a highly rideable camera. It's a little tough since you can't look around and guys can take you out, but their very "safe" AI renders that a moot point most of the time. If I know guys are around and I don't do any outside/inside cut maneuvers, it's usually pretty easy to race them that way.

Absolutely LOVE the game, agree with most of what you say, but I also respect Jayson's thoughts on it, and see how some of the things he says are definitely valid. It's all a matter of perspective, IMO. For a guy like you (and me, to a lesser extent), it hits every checkbox we needed it to hit for an awesome MX game. For somebody else, it may be an average game with not a lot of challenge, I have no idea.
# 16 inkcil @ 04/14/14 03:46 PM
Thanks hrudey32 for the review.

I'm in agreement that I like the demo but not sure if I like it enough to import right now at the $60 price...might wait until its $40 like I did with Moto GP 13.

But anyway, I suck compared to some of you guys at this game and I struggle to place higher than 4th on the demo. And I'm playing on the easiest AI setting with nothing set to manual (I believe it's called "semi-automatic" in the game).

Hrudey32 I've watched your youtube videos on Alive - and even on the easy AI setting I couldn't replicate how bad you beat the AI, just to let you know where I'm coming from.

So it's funny to see you and TC give tips on how to slow yourselves down when I need tips on how to speed up.
# 17 TCrouch @ 04/14/14 04:30 PM
That's funny--almost the same thing I had with the demo. I was slow as a snail on Easy, thinking I'd never get it. But once you find a groove, you can really start doing well. The other part, though, is if they fixed the AI so they weren't so conservative, maybe it wouldn't be an issue, either. They seem to slow each other down so much that once you get out front, you just run away from the field. However, when you have 1 guy out in front of you and you're chasing him, it's much more competitive. When they go single file behind you, they stay with you a while longer.

But overall, yeah--when you figure out how to move the stick around to put the weight where you want it, you can cut into corners and lay the rear tire down where you want to get traction. But forgetting to lean forward as you accelerate is the end of that good lap, as the bike will shoot out from under you. Keeping the bike gripping before trying to do anything with the R stick is mandatory or the front end grip will disappear faster than a fart in a whirlwind. Bottom line, just takes time getting used to it. I've completed a couple full seasons and I don't know how many races in the demo at this point. Probably 20 or 25 before I ever got the full game, and I don't think I won my first race until my 8th or 9th try.

But so much of the MX genre is rhythm, and I think MXGP nails that more than any other game I've ever played. Find the line you want, learn how to slow down enough for corners and lean the bike, THEN lean the body, lean forward and back for grip and good acceleration, etc. It's an unreal handling model. The fact that I can see the track coming up and just instinctively know how to react to it, then it works, that separates it for me. I can lean back, rear-wheel-hop through a rutty section, dip the nose forward and shift my weight back when clearing the last bump to try to keep the bike low and landing on both wheels, hit the gas (sometimes quick rapid-firing of the trigger to avoid the full throttle wheelie effect), lean forward to keep it from shooting out from under me, etc.--all in the span of about half a second, then repeat through the next corner. It's a very engaging, incredibly immersive riding experience.

The racing AI and difficulty, not so much--but like hrudey mentioned, when you change it to manual tranny and stay on the ground if you fall, you will at least worry about losing races. I just think it's silly that when you do wreck, the game spawns you where your BIKE ended up, not where you wrecked. So not only do you get up too fast, but you frequently get an extra 20 or 30 yards you never worked for, as well.
# 18 inkcil @ 04/14/14 05:37 PM
Thanks TC that's good stuff. Just like in "Alive," I'm able to move the rider's weight side to side well enough and cut into corners, but I struggle with leaning the rider back and forth. I need to be thinking about getting low and not going too airborne after every little bump. I try to whip but it almost feels too "floaty" when I get in the air for me to whip successfully...maybe I don't have enough speed before I go into the whip attempt.

And forget about real-wheel-hopping (RWH): that was my least favorite thing about Alive, because mastering RWH was so prevalent and necessary on the tracks in that game in order to win. Seems like MXGP tracks may be better for racing and not so much RWH required.
# 19 hrudey32 @ 04/14/14 06:28 PM
TC, glad you enjoyed the shifting control re-map tip, bro. And you make some very valid points for sure.

Really glad you enjoy the game as well, man. As a diehard MX fan it really is nice to FINALLY see a real valid, authentic entry into the gaming market for my sport.Not since EA Supercross 2000 have I had so much fun and authenticity with a MX/SX game.
# 20 TCrouch @ 04/15/14 04:04 PM
One thing I did do was switch what my shifting was--I used LT for rear brake, the Left Stick click for Front Brake, and the bumpers for shift. I used LB for upshifts and RB for downshifts, so I'm able to upshift quickly while still squeezing the throttle, and downshift when braking for a corner, etc.

It's much more intuitive for me, while still keeping my thumbs on the sticks for lean and bike. Once you get out front, you still ride away from the field as long as you don't screw up. But when you spill it once or twice, it's definitely much tougher to work your way back up (especially in First Person cam, which is what I always race in. Crashes tend to breed crashes).

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