I feel like it was just yesterday that I sat down to type out my review of MotoGP 21. These racing simulators come out so fast these days and one can’t help but wonder whether or not a break might do them the world of good. While MotoGP 21 was still the unrivalled bike racing game in gaming, it was pretty much MotoGP 20 with some slightly new features like a tutorial mode. MotoGP 22 suffers from the same repetitive deliverance of “same same but different” as last year’s entry.
Outside of the career mode in MotoGP 22, there isn’t really much going on in the game. This makes it an even tougher sell than last year which rode on the whole “first time on next-gen consoles” wave. The improvements in MotoGP 22 feel almost lacklustre and the visual refinements don’t do enough to make this worth the upgrade. However, MotoGP 22 isn’t a bad game. In fact, it is rather incredible. I just does the same thing over and over again which feels a bit watered down year on year.
Controlling my bike in MotoGP 22 felt fantastic. Breaking, turning, accelerating and bending are unlike any other bike racer I have played. The general gameplay on offer here is industry-leading without a doubt. This is thanks to the incredible combination of refined mechanics and streamlined physics. This gameplay then feeds into the game’s modes and the new additions make for a good time. Even if that time feels way too familiar for its asking price.
MotoGP 22 now features a new Ride Height device that allowed me to adjust the height of my suspension on my bike. This could also be done on the go which gave me more control over the centre of gravity. In turn, this helped increase my acceleration. While this seemed like a feature that should have been in the series from the start, the addition does help make the game feel even more realistic.
A big new mode in MotoGP 22 is the Nine Season 2009. Set across over 15 chapters, each Gran Prix contained a handful of challenges that I had to beat in order to proceed through the game. These challenges also delivered a varied checklist across the chapter. Some tasked me to complete the race first within a certain number of laps. Others timed my tracks and some even had me focus on losing some positions throughout the race. These chapters were fun to complete especially thanks to the additional secondary objectives that forced me to replay them a number of times.
It also helps that the Nine Season 2009 focuses on some legendary racers including Valentino Rossi. This new season content adds a few extra hours to MotoGP which is good news for those looking for something new to do. It is also the biggest reason to play this game instead of last year’s entry. Sadly, Nine Season 2009 remains the most of the new content in the game which doesn’t really say much for what is new here.
You will notice a few new additional features here and there that make MotoGP 22 stand out but these range from customization options that unlock new ways to tweak your helmet and bike design. The same robust number of difficulty options are still available too.
This means that MotoGP 22 is just as accessible as the previous games. However, one thing that the game has yet to do, even if you play on the easiest difficulty, is to master its recovery feature. Sadly, like last year’s game, if you fall riding a race you still have to get back into the race by reversing onto the track. It makes it worse due to the fact that the AI racers just respawn out of nowhere. While this doesn’t matter if you’re playing with easy opponents, it does become an unfair advantage when they are cranked up to be better racers.
Visually, MotoGP 22 doesn’t look that great either. Sure, the bike and driver detail is superb but the tracks are generally mediocre with pop-in textures in the distance and low poly objects creating an eyesore throughout the track. The game still doesn’t have any dynamic weather. You would think a feature like that would have been implemented. Especially given that it is in basically every simulator around. But Milestone will probably do it next year and make you pay for the game again to experience it.
In the end, MotoGP throws up the same debate we hear every year. “Do we need to give these annual games a rest?”. Those who are die-hard fans of the series will buy it and love it but this is now the third game in a row to bring very little worth the asking price to the table. It is still the best racing game around but that doesn’t make the annual release worth it.
This MotoGP 22 review is based on a code sent to us by Milestone. You can get the game on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC starting at R750
MotoGP 22 Review
Gameplay - 8.5/10
Presentation - 7.5/10
Value - 8/10
MotoGP 22 is pretty much the same thing as last year’s entry but the game is still a leader when it comes to MotoGP simulators.
Nine Season 2009 is great
Still the best around
Not enough new here
Visuals still aren’t great