Matt Keller
02 Nov, 2007

MotoGP '07 Review

PS2 Review | Does Capcom's first Moto GP effort claim pole position?
For many years, Namco has been the top dog when it comes to MotoGP games on the PlayStation 2 with its four titles seeing varying levels of critical acclaim and commercial success. However this year, rival Japanese publisher Capcom has picked up the MotoGP license and handed it to Italian developer Milestone, who had previously worked on the Superbike series for EA and Screamer 2 on the PC. The major problem with MotoGP games on the PlayStation 2 was that they always played second fiddle to the superior MotoGP titles from Climax on the Xbox and PC – and from our time with Milestone’s MotoGP 07, we can expect this trend to continue for another year.

MotoGP 07 boasts the usual things you’d expect from a licensed racer – all of the professional riders (including world champion Australian Casey Stoner) and their vehicles, a season mode and so on. There are five basic modes – the aforementioned season mode, quick race, time trial, challenge mode and multiplayer mode. The whole experience is decidedly bare-bones – the season mode simply involves competing in all 18 races back to back – there’s no team element to the game, so nobody will be on your back about failing races or pushing you to try harder. Players can’t see how much prize money they’ve won or where they stand in the points rankings. The challenge mode provides 100 different tasks for the player to complete, again with little in the way of awards for enduring the experience.

Unfortunately, you can't bash your opponents Road Rash-style

Unfortunately, you can't bash your opponents Road Rash-style
As previously mentioned, MotoGP 07 developer Milestone had previous experience with motorcycle racing with EA Sports’ Superbike series - Superbike 2000 and 2001 carry metascores in excess of 85, so we know that the studio should know what makes a quality motorcycle racing game. The thing is MotoGP 07 just really doesn’t feel all that exciting to play. Sure, it might help if you’re a huge fan of the sport, but there is another game on the market offering the same full MotoGP license with a bevy of other features. There’s little in the way of customization options – players can’t create their own rider or customize their bike to any great degree. Multiplayer options are also extremely limited, offering only split screen racing – there’s no online play here. Load times are reasonable, but err towards being lengthy – players may get distracted by the pictures of the riders and tidbits of trivia on display, but the point stands.

Despite its lack of depth on the content side, MotoGP 07 does get the actual riding part of the game right - for the most part. The driving physics seem about right, and the weather actually affects conditions on the track, so the player will have to take account of these factors. The game has three different control methods with varying levels of computer assistance – arcade for those who just want to slam the accelerator and care little for the nuances of riding a motorcycle, advanced for those who want more control, but not absolute control, and simulation for those who want to be responsible for all aspects of their racing experience. The game’s control setup can get in the way a little, particularly when it comes to front and rear braking, but it does all work. Perhaps the biggest thing missing from the riding experience in MotoGP 07 is an accurate sense of speed - these machines are flying down the road in excess of 300km/h, but the game has a tendency to feel more like a Sunday drive at the best of times.

Strange things happen when you're going 'round the twist

Strange things happen when you're going 'round the twist
If players are searching for a visually impressive motorcycle racing experience, then MotoGP 07 is not for them. It is quite possibly the ugliest racing game we’ve seen this year. The tracks are just a boring mix of primary colours with blurry textures and low detail environments. Fortunately, despite their lack of visual stimulation, the tracks are faithful to their real life counterparts. The actual machines look the part, though they’re decidedly lacking in detail, but the riders themselves look rather blocky – almost like LEGO men. With such low detail, one would expect the game to at least run at a lightning pace, but unfortunately, MotoGP 07 limps along at 30 frames a second – it’s really quite sad. The game sounds authentic, but after a couple of races, players won’t really care what the bikes sound like.

There’s not a whole lot to MotoGP 07, and most players will see everything the game has to offer fairly quickly. It’s a shame that the developer and publisher didn’t push to include a bit more depth to the racing experience – we want team managers yelling at us over the radio, celebrations of racing victories and more in-depth bike tuning options. The game feels like it’s more of a foundation for the future of the series – don’t expect to get the whole house for your eighty bucks. Regardless of how big a fan one is of the MotoGP championship, this one needs to be left on the shelf. We know that Milestone is quite capable of delivering a solid racing game, based on their experience with the EA Sports Superbike series, so we will be expecting quite a bit more of the inevitable sequel to this game.
The Score
MotoGP 07's sheer lack of content is offensive, given the asking price. 5
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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1 Comment
6 years ago
On my tv the graphic are pretty good. The sounds are what one would expect (realistic) while racing a motorcycle. The game modes are there to teach you how to ride properly and to excel and beat the competition. Championship mode is where it's at. Win the championship with different brands of bikes is a challenge. The incentive to race the 18 races in the championship to WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP!!!! The reviewer must not follow Moto GP or have an interest in motorcycles in general. This game is marketed as a Moto GP simulation and IMO it succeeds. To the average person who does not ride, race or really like motorcycles it may not seem like a great game. To Moto GP fans it is a must have!! BTW you could not change the livery on the EA Superbike series nor the GP500 game. Climax had that option in that abomination they marketed as Moto GP. That was fun to play as purely an arcade racer but had basically no simulation aspects. The bikes could corner at stupid speeds even with 100% sims. Lap times were a joke and don't get me started on the "Extreme Mode". If you enjoy motorcycle racing in any form this is a must buy.
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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  24/10/2007 (Confirmed)
Standard Retail Price:
  $79.95 AU
Year Made:

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