When a game arrives with a yearly suffix
at the end of its name, it often proves a challenge to work out what, if any, shiny
new features have been added. In the case of officially licensed racing games it normally extends no further than a list of new teams, drivers and a few tweaks to the circuit list. We're happy to report, however, that MotoGP 09/10 is very different to its predecessors.
Most important is the inclusion of a team managerial element to accompany the track action. Unusually for a licensed racer, MotoGP 09/10 allows you to create your own team and rider to enter into a new season. This even extends to hiring press officers to secure sponsorship deals (your source of income) and mechanics to improve the performance of your bike as the season progresses.
Good job too, as the 125cc bike you start with is a wheezy and gutless machine that's totally uncompetitive. On the plus side, it forces you to extract every last ounce of speed from it; meaning you'll try hard to keep to the racing line as well as learn to gradually dial out the intrusive driver aids that strangle the performance of your bike.
With the addition of a Project Gotham-style Kudos system (overtaking is good, accidents are bad), you will be scored after each performance. A higher rating will level up your driver and unlock more skilled employees and better sponsorships. It really gives you the incentive to plug away at races and work your way up to a 'proper' 1000cc MotoGP bike for the 2010 season.
What's disappointing, then, is that Monumental have given with one hand but taken with the other. Visually, this is easily inferior to the competition; the feeling of speed is forced, produced by an unpleasant blur effect, and the bikes and drivers are lacking in crucial detail (the on-board camera even missed out hands on the handle-bars in our review version). We'd also suggest that last year's Milestone-coded game trumped this for the actual feel of the bikes - they're too lightweight this time round.
So, we've got the best Career mode in the series to date, but not the visual spectacle or handling to match. A real shame.
The best MotoGP for years, thanks to a great Career mode. Just a pity about the handling...
- Superb Career mode
- Deep and rewarding
- Needed polishing