We have played the series since 2014, and in the current world situation, it’s the only riding we can do. After sinking over 400 hours into Moto GP19, it’s time to do it all again. Make a rider, with their custom helmet, and race against the best in Milestone’s latest MotoGP game. Here we look if the Moto GP20 game is good.
What’s new in Moto GP20?
Moto GP20 uses an updated Unreal engine with long-awaited updates to both the AI and game mechanics. Their new AI learning system is a massive advancement from Moto Gp19. Jumping into a race on medium difficulty was a challenge for us, and we’ve been playing for years.
Along with the new AI, Milestone has updated the tyre wear engine. Wear now occurs in three areas of the tyre (left, centre and right) rather than just the tyre in general. Wear is assessed in the pits by a percentage, or there is a visual graph when in a race. The wear of the tyre affects the amount of grip available, and also, the tyre temperature can affect grip too.
The final new mechanic to Moto GP20 game is damage and fuel.
Fuel levels can be adjusted in the pits, and engine map settings changed on the fly, with three settings, 0 being conservative on fuel and 2 being full power, which uses more. In qualifying, full power on a light fuel load on soft tyres gives the most performance, whereas in a race you may want to dial it back for longevity.
Your bike can also get damaged from contact with other riders or obstacles. This varies from light, medium, severe and critical. These differences are profound through the bikes handling. If the player reaches critical, the race is over, and the result will be a None classified finish. This can also happen to the AI, who seem to have lost their invincibility cloak from last year. They seem to make more mistakes, both unforced and forced.
Milestone go for a huge content push with new modes
The new Moto GP20 game sees no MotoE or Red Bull Rookies on launch day, (these may come as DLC(we hope for free)). Historic mode is an addition and runs slightly different from last year. In 2019 players we’re encouraged to do the historic challenges to unlock helmet and sticker shapes. This year you complete the historic challenges to unlock more historic bikes and riders. Race Director (Spectator) mode for Multiplayer, I would say primarily to be used for Esports players to watch online races as a spectator for streaming. Other than this, it doesn’t add much (yet).
Career mode gets an update too
Career mode has also been revamped. Moto GP 2019’s career mode was good, we both enjoyed it, but this year seems to have taken another step forward in both feel and realism.
The realism has been turned up a level, with the player in charge of one’s backroom staff. Choose an agent responsible for getting you better rides and more money, choose a crew chief and a data analyst. As youngster selections are pretty new and potential gambles, but as you progress improved staff are available. Each member of staff is rated, so you can see the progress from a C rated crew member to an A-rated crew member.
But Staff won’t work for free…
To keep things realistic, Milestone also makes you pay these team members, who knew these people actually want payment? To afford their services, you better win some races.
On top of managing the crew, paying them their monies and winning races, there is also the fact of developing the bike. If you don’t develop the bike, you won’t get any quicker compared to your competition. This works by development tests, in free practice sessions. Complete the task, and you gain reward points, which can be spent on Chassis, engine, aero and ECU upgrades, all of which take time.
Custom kit, try designing your own rider
Your rider is customisable down to the nth degree. Protective equipment brands, knee sliders, riding style etc. are all customisable.
Building on the beautiful customisation in Moto GP19, Milestone has taken it a step further by allowing small changes in the creator mode. When designing different textures are now available (gloss, matte and metallic) which builds on last year’s designer.
However, some of the colour options are a bit weird. The black in the colour picker is not black. It’s a mid-grey, and that puts a lot of designs on hold due to the mismatch in colour. Hopefully, this will be patched to make colours look real.
This year we also get the addition of Custom teams. You can pick a manufacturer that you like, and one of a few official Moto GP sponsors and design your colour scheme for both bike and rider. Now you’re not just the new kid; you can also be the new team. This is available for all classes so build a Moto 3 team and try to get to Moto GP will be great fun.
No sticker downloads like Moto GP19 (yet)
So far, there is no sticker download feature like in MotoGP19. We hope this will be added in a later update as it was an excellent addition. In 2019 the sticker sharing feature contained great in-game designs. Players would reproduce company logos (such as Monster or RedBull) which you can download and apply to your designs.
Moto GP20 gameplay
The first thing we realized was that the research is fundamental from the off. The disadvantage is evident from the start, so every practice session is critical. Even more significant is bike setup, use the on-track testing to perfect every increment, especially in your rookie year. There’s also the added task of assigning staff to develop your chosen parts outside of race time. This development work is vital, in progressing well throughout the season.
Milestone has made the Moto GP20 game feel much more of a racing simulation than an arcade game. Playing previous games, you had the ability to jump in for a quick race, whereas GP20 seems to slow it down. This is good, though, and it gives time to take in everything. The game forces you to think like a racer. Learning the track, bike, and physics engine, and getting the bike running ideally takes up time. What gear should be used for each corner, are the gear ratios optimised for the track layout?
We noticed, especially in Moto3 and Moto2, slight changes to gear ratios can make a massive difference. Get it wrong, your exit speed will be low, and the AI will just pull away.
What is the Moto GP20 game like to play?
We are playing on a PC, using an Xbox controller. One thing we learned very quickly is that controlling the rider’s weight using the analogue sticks is very important. This new skill is paramount in the Moto GP class where it can minimise wheelie, and stopped. Stoppies in Moto GP20 are now much more significant than they were in Moto GP19. How to avoid stoppies include changing the front brake size, reducing engine braking, adding front spring and preload.
Bikes feel different between manufacturers
Once again, Milestone has nailed Moto GP20 for the bikes handling characteristics. Each bike feels different, a light, underpowered yet agile Moto3 bikes feels worlds apart from a heavier powerful Ducati. The comparison doesn’t just stop there. Differences between manufacturers feel realistic too. The Suzuki feels perfectly planted through the corners, and the Ducati feels superior on corner exit acceleration. 500cc two strokes also realistic with them trying to throw the rider off at every opportunity. Two-stroke legend Kevin Schwantz said ‘Riding a 500cc two-stroke was like having a fight in a dark wardrobe. You knew you were going to get hit; you just didn’t know where from, or when.’ Milestone has got this sensation spot on.
Visually Moto GP20 is really pretty
Again, this year the visual side of the game has been improved. The animation and visual teams at Milestone have upped it yet again. We get stunning new camera angles during the warm-up lap, better pit animations of the player leaving the box. Graphically the game looks great.
Make contact with another rider, and there is an apology animation, fall off, there is an angry animation with the rider pummeling the tank in frustration. Also, the animated cut scenes look great too, with faces looking realistic and some guest stars from famous faces.
A great game, but not perfect…yet
There are still bugs and problems; it is expected as Milestone have only just released the game. It almost feels as if there hasn’t been a proper test as some glitches and issues are glaringly obvious. They don’t affect the actual game; it’s just visual. Time will tell whether they get fixed or not, previous games apparent issues have been ignored, time will tell if they get fixed.
A small problem is entering the pits. If you come in at a slight angle, you wobble and bounce into the pit wall when the autopilot takes over. There’s nothing you can do, and it doesn’t affect gameplay, but it is something that could be fixed.
Starting grid ten pin bowling is common. On the warm-up lap, the cut screen just shows carnage. Some riders start, others stay put. This ends up in a collision with riders on the floor and bikes going everywhere. This is of no detriment to the actual race start. Surely this should have been fixed after also being present in MotoGP19.
No MotoE class yet
The lack of MotoE and RedBull Rookies is disappointing. RedBull Rookies was a great way to start a career off; you got the full journey from rookie through to GP. MotoE was also a fun race mode because it was different. The bikes weighed significantly more and behaved very different due to the insane torque output. Cornering and throttle control was different from any other motorcycle in the game; it was a real challenge in the wet.
The only other gripe so far is that riders photographs are not up to date. We guess that with the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic official photos haven’t been taken and therefore couldn’t be implemented into the game.
Overall our Moto GP20 review is positive, it looks, feels and rides excellent. There are some bugs and issues we would like to see fixed, but I have no doubt this will be a game we will sink another couple of hundred hours into.
Overall the glitch list does grow. It feels as though it hasn’t had a final check over and play through to spot glitches. With Milestone being an Italian firm, and at the time of release, the Coronavirus sent countries into lockdown, so we imagine this could have caused issues. Still, even with this, the game is worth buying and enjoying.