MXGP games and other annual bike racing titles have done very little in the past to prove themselves worthy of a yearly purchase. MXGP 2020 moving onto the PS5 means that players expect a smoother game with some fantastic DualSense support. If anything, this marks a big move for the series from a technical point of view. However, at the same time, I so wanted more than just a sharper resolution and a vibrating trigger button. It is a shoddy port and often the rough edges take away from the “current-gen” experience.
MXGP 2020 and its gameplay, in general, won’t blow you away. The recipe still feels unchanged from the last game I played in the series back in 2019. With that being said, it is not entirely a bad thing. MXGP has always featured a rather spectacular racing feel and the same can be said for MXGP 2020. The same difficulty adjustments make the game approachable for all skill levels and the experience is still able to combine an arcade-like racer with a pinch of simulation.
The DualSense support on MXGP 2020 for PS5 also helps add another sense of immersion into the game. As I turned corners I could feel the controller replicate a skid and the trigger vibrations added to the thrill. There’s also some fantastic tension which caused resistance to the trigger while I was accelerating. It is what makes Sony’s home console the go-to platform for experiencing this sort of immersion and it works well to sell a basic game as something unique. Because that is what MXGP 2020 is. It is a basic offroad bike game and that’s it.
Unfortunately, much of MXGP 2020 from a technical point of view is rather lacklustre. Sure, the game runs at a gorgeous 4K 60FPS but other than that, it is hard to notice anything outstanding. It is easier to spot the ugly texture blocks on the hills in the distance and the nasty object pop-ins that keep occurring during a race. This is something the PS5 or any new hardware in 2021 should not have. It is not the console’s fault. This is unfortunately just due to a quick port for the game without any other further optimizations. You get the SSD and its super-fast load times and the improved performance. Other than that, it is generally just okay.
While the game may not look like a 2021 game, it definitely feels like one. MXGP 2020 is a fantastic racer and includes loads of modes and refinements that can keep you busy for ages. The career mode follows your traditional “gain ranks and sign sponsors” rhythm and the multiplayer modes deliver some good sessions too. Of course, if you have done it all before you may find the general pacing of the career mode a bit slow but it is a nicer approach to the 2019 variant.
You can also sit and build your own track if you want to using the Track Creator mode. It not only gives you a nice break from the grind but lets your imagination challenge the physics in the game. Playground is another mode which delivers a sort of open-world setting to the game. I could take on various trials around the area which tested my skills and speed across a range of unique terrain. It is sort of the same thing as MXGP 2019 but fun while it lasts.
MXGP 2020 Review Verdict
MXGP 2020 falls flat when it comes to the enhanced experience on the PS5. In terms of improvements, there’s really nothing here to make it a worthwhile investment to show off your new console. The PS5 at least has the DualSense controller support. This would be a snooze fest on Xbox. I just expected some fancy visual tweaks here and there.
There isn’t even a 120Hz mode which is definitely possible here. Already, the game suffers from being too close to the last release and now asking for a PS5 version is just pushing it. Let’s just hope Milestone makes a bigger effort to elevate the next game instead of just pumping out a higher resolution. When you have racing games like Dirt 5 pulling those tricks out of its hat, you are going to be left behind in the dust.
This MXGP 2020 PS5 review was based on a code sent to us by Milestone.
Available On: PS4, Xbox One/Series X/S, PC | Reviewed On: PS5 | Release Date: 14 January 2021 | Price: R849