MotoGP 24 review – on the podium (just)

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MotoGP is back. Developer Milestone has long since established itself as the only name in the game when it comes to MotoGP sims, iterating on their games year after year. And while the foundations for MotoGP 24 are strong, it remains to be seen whether Milestone has managed to take these iterations far enough, crafting a solid but somewhat barebones experience.

Many of the new features of MotoGP 24 are focused on realism, adding new mechanics to ensure it’s the most immersive game in the series to date. And these are certainly welcome changes. Career mode receives a Riders Market in which both player and AI-controlled riders can be swapped between teams depending on how they perform during seasons.

 MotoGP 24 review: A rider among a group of other riders rounding a corner of Sepang Circuit in Malaysia.
Fulfilling race objectives can impact how the Riders Market develops. Image captured by VideoGamer

This doesn’t just come down to a set of numbers on a screen indicating how much a rider is worth but includes extra features focused on the social media function introduced in last year’s game. Players will form rivalries based on their performances, driving rumours about transfers and potentially impacting a rider’s value.

And when it comes to the races themselves, Stewards have been added to the game. Just as in real races, Stewards will enforce the rules of the track and deliver penalties to players and AI riders alike. For players who would prefer just to have penalties turned off, options allow players to determine how severely these punishments are eked out, letting them find the right balance between fun and realism.

There’s also a new adaptive difficulty feature that will calibrate how well AI drivers perform against you. For experienced players, this is unlikely to have much impact, but for new players it’s a decent way for them to naturally come up against tougher racers as their skills progress.

MotoGP 24 review: The points table of the Teams Championship.
You can swap between teams mid-season depending on how you’re doing. Image captured by VideoGamer

These are sure to be welcome changes among the majority of the game’s dedicated fanbase, but it’s hard not to feel that they aren’t a tremendous step up from what was available in last year’s game. And if you’re someone new to the franchise looking to pick up a MotoGP game for the first time, beyond the new adaptive difficulty feature, things are even worse.

In at the deep end

MotoGP 24 is woefully unequipped to bed in new players to the franchise. The game’s tutorial system is a clunky mess of menus and often tedious explanations of complex mechanics. In the game’s settings, you can tinker with a few options that let you choose how much control you want over your bike, with the idea that new players can use mechanics like turning and brake assist, while veterans can ride with everything turned off.

But this just feels like a failure to teach players. Instead of making more of an effort to introduce players to mechanics bit-by-bit, they instead receive more of a baptism of fire and are expected to either teach themselves via the lacklustre tutorials or turn the assists on, at which point you can simply hold down the throttle and the game plays itself – not exactly a great tool for learning, is it?

MotoGP 24 review: A rider before a race with a team member showing them something on a laptop.
Simplified controls do little to teach newcomers how to play the game. Image captured by VideoGamer

There are certain options such as the ability to slow down or rewind time to help less experienced players navigate more difficult tracks more easily, or to try and remedy any mistakes they make. But with little to no explanation for newer players, these serve to do little more than let them repeat their mistakes over and over again.

Graphically, the game looks good, though it isn’t a particularly noticeable improvement on last year’s iteration, and I did find that some of the rider models felt a little uncanny valley, though these are nitpicks. A nice touch is the addition of dynamic weather, which can, for example, cause it to start raining halfway through a race. This is a nice way to switch up the visuals while still having an impact on gameplay, forcing players to be cognisant of what tyres they have on and forcing them to change them if necessary.

MotoGP 24 review: A man waves a red flag in front of the grid before a race.
Graphics look good, but are no major improvement on last year. Image captured by VideoGamer

MotoGP 24 does not shy away from the fact that it is catering to its dedicated fanbase with these games, adding in tweaks and new mechanics to make the game ever more immersive, while not doing enough to make the series more approachable for newcomers. But even for those veteran players, it doesn’t feel as if there’s a huge amount of new content in this year’s game to make it distinctly different from last year.

That isn’t to say that there isn’t a game worth playing here. MotoGP at its core is a decent game, and if you had fun with MotoGP 23, you’ll have fun with 24 too. Fans of the series will certainly enjoy the new content, and MotoGP obsessives will appreciate the more realistic additions such as the Riders Market. But when all is said and done, MotoGP 24 feels like a game that is doing just enough to justify a new edition, but never threatens to meaningfully upgrade the series in any way.

Reviewed on PC. Code provided by the publisher.

About the Author

Alex Raisbeck

Alex is a Guides Writer for VideoGamer. He is an indie gaming obsessive with a soft spot for Zelda, roguelikes, and Football Manager, as well as an unhealthy relationship with his backlog.

MotoGP 24 review: A close-up of a rider with their bike leaning to the left.

verdict

MotoGP 24 scratches the itch it needs to thanks to the strong foundation laid down by previous entries. But while new features and increased realism are appreciated, they rarely feel like meaningful additions to last year’s game, leaving MotoGP 24 sometimes feeling more like an update of MotoGP 23 than a whole new title.
7 Solid foundations mean racing is always fun New mechanics add realism Riders Market makes Career Mode much more interesting Poor tools to teach new players Not much new content to distinguish from last year's game