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Game review: MotoGP 23 (Xbox Series X)

There is an ongoing problem with sports games that comes out each and every year. The main problem with this genre of gaming is that each game can feel and look the same. This is because there’s not enough development time to add anything really substantial or new.

EA Sports is the king of sports games, although Madden and FIFA games always have a sense of familiarity to them. The same can be said for the MotoGP series, which has been dishing out annual games since 2017.

However, there is something new about MotoGP 23, and it’s the fact that it’s one of the first in the series to be truly accessible. Past MotoGP and motorcycle games have been super hard, thus making them very difficult for beginners to try this genre.

The last motorcycle game I played was Ride 4, which is actually made by the same developer as MotoGP 23. Ride 4 was very hard because I struggled to turn my bike, and I wasn’t able to even place on the podium most of the time. Not to mention the AI was super aggressive and kept bumping into me.

I have not played MotoGP 22 yet, but I have heard from people online that that game was very hard to play too. The main issue that beginners had with the game is controlling their bike. Simple things like turning a corner can be a real hassle.

Thankfully, MotoGP 23 is a friendlier and more accessible video game compared to the other titles that I aforementioned. This is because the newest MotoGP game adds a new control setting that is perfect for beginners. This setting adds a ton of racing assists that make it easier for you to control your bike.

If you have all of the racing assists on, you can control your bike with ease. Not only is there a racing line on the track, but the game will also auto-brake and slow down for you during corners. Using this setting also makes you less prone to crashing your bike during tough corners of the track.

If this setting sounds too easy for you, you can opt to play on the harder racing settings. The hardest setting does not feature a racing line, plus you will need to use the brakes on your own. I’d only advise you to play on the harder settings if you have already mastered the game’s controls.

The AI is more forgiving in MotoGP 23 as well on the easier difficulty settings. The AI doesn’t ram into you as it did for me in Ride 4 on the so-called ‘easy’ mode. The riders actually give you enough space to overtake them, and less crashing occurs.

Aside from racing and trying to get first place, MotoGP 23 adds a new feature, and that’s a dynamic weather system. This means during a race, you could see the rain dropping onto the track and any time. Racing in the rain makes the game harder, so you may need to change your tyres to try not to slip and crash!

Graphically, MotoGP 23 looks very realistic if you are playing on new hardware such as the PC, Xbox Series X, or PS5. The game also features real-life tracks that you may have seen in other racing games too. The game also runs at a stable frame rate, as I didn’t notice any slowdown or lag. The only thing that looks off is some of the human character models, although it’s not that important since they’re not the main focus of the game.

In terms of game modes, most people will dive their heads into the lengthy career mode. The cool thing about the career mode is that you can practice laps before you race, or you can fight for pole position. I thought this was neat because I remember playing other racing games, and they usually make you start in the last position when you race.

As a whole, this game features all of the official tracks and racers from the real-life 2023 season of the sport. The career mode also includes rivals, where you get extra points for beating a specific individual during a race.

Even though most people will play the single-player offering of MotoGP 23, the game also features some multiplayer modes too. The game features cross-play, which means you can play against other players using different hardware. MotoGP 23 also has split-screen action for most platforms apart from the Nintendo Switch version.

The only thing that MotoGP 23 lacks is some variety in the gameplay. Like in Gran Turismo 7, you can break the monotony of racing by doing some missions or license test quests. There aren’t any side activities to do in MotoGP 23 aside from a very short tutorial mode. Not to mention most races are quite long in the career mode as you need to usually complete five or six laps in each race, and this gets repetitive after a while.

Overall, MotoGP 23 is great since it’s one of the first in the series to be accessible for everyone. That being said, the repetitiveness of the career mode might not be everyone’s cup of tea because it’s long and lacks any variety.

Verdict: 8.0/10

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