MotoGP 10/11 PlayStation 3
Published by Capcom
Developed by Monumental Games
MotoGP 10/11 is the latest two-wheeled racer to appear on the PlayStation 3 and all things considered, it's an enjoyable racing game. The modes on offer include World Championship, Career, Challenge mode and Time Trial single-player game modes. World Championship allows you to take control of any rider from last season and take part in a full season or one-off race. Challenge mode feels like an arcade mode that you'll find in other racing games as you're racing against the clock. You can recover time by driving well, by overtaking, slipstreaming and keeping to the racing line.
The game's Career mode is the heart of the single-player experience and here you'll create your own team and work your way through the ranks. You'll begin with the 125cc bikes before progressing to Moto 2 and finally MotoGP. There's a little more to the mode than simply choosing a bike to ride, tuning it and participating in full race seasons however. There are sponsorships to earn and staff to hire. Hiring your own staff (and paying their wages from your earnings) to work for your team is essential to further your career. Hiring a PR manager, for instance, will allow you to acquire sponsorship deals and engineers will allow research to be carried out. A sponsorship essentially offers you increased income if you manage to satisfy the sponsor’s conditions. Early in the game for instance you have to finish 14th or better in order to earn money from your sponsor.
During the Career mode you'll increase your reputation by driving well. You're rewarded for fancy manoeuvres, slipstreaming, keeping to the racing line, completing clean sections and clean overtaking whilst you're punished for leaving the track and colliding with your opponents in addition to using the Second Chance feature (more on that later). At the end of a race your performance is tallied and a grade awarded. It's a nice inclusion and encourages you to not simply drive through the races in a roughshod fashion.
MotoGP 10/11 allows you to tailor the experience from fairly accessible to pretty punishing. There are a variety of difficulty levels to choose from and whether to have tyre wear etc. Regardless of what level you decide to race on however, there's no denying that the game takes a fair bit of work in order to get to grips with it. Initially the steering can feel too sensitive and braking could certainly be made a little more arcade-like. However, with a bit of patience you'll learn to appreciate the steering sensitivity and you'll also notice that the colour-coded racing line signals for you to brake far too late on most occasions. Should you make a mess of things you can take advantage of a 'rewind' feature called Second Chance. Essentially this allows you the opportunity to rewind a few seconds and attempt to avoid making the mistake you've just made. Using the Second Chance feature will void the current lap time however and it will detract from any reputation you've earned during the course of a race. If you're after a realistic feel you can handle the riders tuck in and weight transfer as well as disabling traction control and braking assists. Be warned however, it's a real beast to get to grips with when riding with none of the assists.
Some aspects of MotoGP 10/11 could be better. I find that when I collide with the AI drivers they seem to be unaffected for the most part, but if they hit me I'm knocked off my bike and I’m sent almost always to the back of the pack. I’ve also noticed that on occasions I've been thrown off my bike when leaving the track at a fairly low speed yet at other times I've misjudged a corner and managed to stay in the saddle when I'd expect to be thrown from the bike. The game also lacks a set of tutorials to fully allow you to get to grips with the game. Sure most that are playing the game will have played previous games in the series and won't need a tutorial but if this is your introduction to the series, a set of tutorials would certainly be welcome.
The multiplayer options in MotoGP 10/11 are satisfactory. You can engage in local multiplayer (via split-screen) and one-off online races. Perhaps the best multiplayer feature however is the ability for a second player to join you in the game's Career mode. Some may be unhappy that this is a local multiplayer only feature (via split-screen racing) but whilst it would have been great if an online co-op career had been included, there's no denying that having the option included at all will certainly be appreciated by many.
Graphically MotoGP 10/11 is decent but it could have been better. The character models for the grid girls are a little disappointing and only look marginally better than what you'd find on the PlayStation 2. Some of the textures on the various circuits look a little flat and the lighting effects generally could be better. The bike and rider models look quite good however. The load times are actually quite impressive (even if you don't choose to install game data to the hard drive) and the frame rate remains smooth. The game generally gives a good sensation of speed too, which is essential in any racing game.
Unfortunately there is quite a lot of important speech from your Race Manager in MotoGP 10/11 and none of it is subtitled. For instance, you may be between races in the Career mode and the Race Manager's comments make you aware that you can now employ an engineer (and also tell you what benefits an engineer can bestow). There's no visual notification of this and deaf gamers will be completely oblivious to it unless they access the staff menu to see who they can employ. Other information is given out in this verbal only fashion during races too, and very little of this information is given out visually which is a shame. That said, none of this information is absolutely essential but it's disappointing that deaf gamers are not being made fully aware of what's going on in the game.
If you're in the market for a two-wheeled racer for the PlayStation 3 then MotoGP 10/11 is the sensible choice. The game's Career mode is satisfying and interesting enough to keep you coming back for more. The fact that it can be played co-operatively is also welcome, although it's a shame it can't be played co-operatively online. Some aspects of the game could have been better however. A set of useful tutorials would have been welcome and subtitles even more so. In fact the amount of speech that deaf gamers will miss out on here is very disappointing, even if none of what is missing is absolutely vital to the experience. Still this is a solid MotoGP game and fans of the series will certainly appreciate it.