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MotoGP: Ultimate Racing Technology 3

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After this we hopped onto a 1200cc bike for a spin around a far more open, rural track that was light on bends and heavy on straights. Using the extensive wrist-twisting skills we've accrued from years of administering Chinese burns to each other, we bit down hard on the throttle and watched in awe as our surroundings began blurring and shaking as the power-packed engine powered us forward with a genuinely throaty growl. Then with the bend approaching we violently tugged the brakes, forcing our mechanised beast's rear wheel to skid out as we heroically overtook the racing line-hugging AI opponent in front of us.

"We've made the bikes much faster and we've put much more emphasis on throttle control," clarifies Bryant. "We also want to iron out the parts of the game that made MotoGP 2 [Issue 17, 9.4] very difficult, like over-sensitive handling at high speeds, so we've tightened up the leaning." The team seem to be doing a good job so far, creating what could well be the most rewarding two-wheeled racer on Xbox to date.

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"We've added a new Seeding System, which is our key driver for the game," adds Alexander. "Essentially, how you perform against the AI riders in the Moto GP Championship will determine your seed. As your seed increases, it'll unlock new rider abilities such as confidence, which will see the rider opening up the throttle more aggressively and leaning harder into corners. Also, the higher your seed, the harder the game will become, as your bike will start handling more like a real-world bike and less like a watered-down motorcycle."

While the new Extreme racing mode will no doubt prove most popular with those amongst us who like to play around with the bikes' looks and feel, hardcore MotoGP enthusiasts need not feel left out. Lying in wait is a 16-race MotoGP Championship season containing all of the riders and liveries from its real-life counterpart, so expect to be tussling with the likes of Valentino Rossi and tweaking your gear ratios - if you're into that kind of thing - as you endeavour to become world champion with the team of your choice.

Climax isn't just concentrating on revamping the single-player game though, as the team is placing every bit as much emphasis on creating an enjoyable and accessible multiplayer experience too. "We wanted to keep it persistent between the single-player game and the multiplayer game, so we're providing every feature from the single-player game in the multiplayer game too," explains Bryant.

But that's all the information Climax is revealing regarding the multiplayer modes. Alexander and Bryant are very reluctant to reveal any more concrete details at this time, simply stating that you'll be able to play over Xbox Live and via System Link and promising to reveal more juicy info in the coming months.

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To finish off, we took part in an exhilarating 16-bike Moto GP Championship race in which we became embroiled in a titanic battle against a full contingent of AI opponents, the forgiving physics allowing us just enough leeway to stay in contention, but proving realistic enough to have us struggling for control around every bend while our faces contorted with sheer concentration.

As we left Climax, mopping ourselves down with a complementary MotoGP 3 towel, it was hard not to feel that the team has potentially crafted a real gem. Accessible yet intuitive, challenging yet fun and realistic without ever being intimidating, it's a two-wheeled racer that could finally find the middle ground between realism and entertainment that we've all been waiting for. And with more information and hands-on time promised soon, you can rest assured that an update will be hurtling its way to these pages within the next couple of months. Don't blink though, or you might just miss it.

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