MotoGP 22 competition promises: we have played it and it is the perfect tribute to Valentino Rossi

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True to its annual appointment, Milestone speeds up its motorcycle again to try to bring us the best possible simulation with MotoGP 22, the official video game of the Motorcycle World Championship. I have already been able to play the new installment, more than a month before its launch, and I will tell you about my first sensations at more than 300 kilometers per hour.

We are all well aware of the difficulty involved in getting a annual sports video game. Falling into repetition and exhaustion is a very easy risk to reach. It happens to soccer with FIFA, to Formula 1 with its games, to the NBA and, in general, to all the big sports that bet on this rate of releases. This requirement means that the games have small improvements every year, which are sometimes insufficient, but in others they represent a leap in quality.

It is too early to assess what will be the case for MotoGP 22, but I can already tell you some interesting details about this new installment. Milestone has allowed us to play the video game for a few days, which will be released on April 21 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S, Nintendo Switch and PC. I have been able to enjoy the preview in the computers version.

In this test I have been able to play several modes for a few hours: fast mode (with races, time trials and championships), the new split screen mode for 2 players locally and one of the main novelties of this installment, the mode “Nine – Season 2009”, a look back at the season in which Valentino Rossi won his ninth world title. Get in first, because we start with these first impressions of MotoGP 22.

The Legend of Rossi

Regardless of whether it falls better or worse, Valentino Rossi He has been one of the best drivers (if not the absolute best) in the history of motorcycling. In 2009, the Italian won his ninth (and last) world championship with the Yamaha team. As you surely know, “Il Dottore” retired in 2021 and Milestone wanted to pay him a small tribute with “Nine – Season 2009” mode.

This mode is a gift for motorcycling fans, especially those of Rossi. The game offers us relive that 2009 season, to understand the value of that victory. To do this, it uses real MotoGP archive images, with more than 50 minutes of video directed by Mark Neale that help us remember that championship. It’s really cool to look back and remember the strong rivalry between Stoner, Pedrosa, Lorenzo and Rossi.

MotoGP 22 PC

But what do we do in this mode? Basically, we have to put ourselves in the shoes of these drivers during each of the championship races and try to meet some challenges that they offer us. For example, we can control Lorenzo, with the aim of reaching second place in the race that is underway in the next three laps. In each race we will have several tests and we will handle several pilots.

In this version I had the first four chapters available, but it has left me a little cold. I think it’s great and interesting to remember that season, and seeing those archive images (many of them live) will be a joy for the fans, but the gameplay of this mode has not told me anything. In the end, the objectives lose interest, because the final result of the race will always be the real one. I think it’s an attractive mode for very loyal fans of Rossi or MotoGP, but for the rest I see it weak in these first few hours with it.

One more step in the simulation

MotoGP 22

As I said at the beginning, this requirement to which sports games are subjected (someone would have to look at the example of Assetto Corsa Competizione, I’ll leave it there) means that the news is scarce. Milestone has introduced more variables here so that the handling of the motorcycle is more realistic, and it is true that I have noticed some of these changes, but we are talking about little steps forwardnot of a total revolution of the management.

Among the key innovations we find that the suspension system of motorcycles, for example causing them to be more nervous when playing pianos. I have also noticed it even in hard braking. I do think they feel better than previous releases, and it’s totally true that you have to run more carefully when playing the pianos, but don’t expect a huge change. It’s an evolution, within a management that I already consider very good. By the way, during the race we can now change the suspension height setup, as well as other details regarding the engine mode or traction control.

MotoGP 22 PC

Another interesting detail, more difficult to appreciate when driving, is that the tires now deform more realistically in their contact with the track, taking into account the angle, braking, acceleration or speed. This, in addition, is combined with another of the improvements: the surface of the circuits has been polished to have a better handling and that the motorcycle has more realistic behaviors. It is difficult to tell you if I can notice the changes, I am not going to lie to you, but in general terms I see the handling at the level of more worked simulation, more credible, more demanding. I have also observed how the tire wear tries to be as realistic as possible considering the track conditions.

The big news is the Nine – Season 2009 mode, a tribute to Valentino Rossi, and the split screen modeStill, don’t worry, as always, MotoGP 22 has a brutal level of customization. We can put many aids to make driving almost a walk, find a balance between simplicity and simulation, or go directly to the purest experience possible. I have opted for very little help and, of course, the game is still demanding if you are interested in simulation. Be that as it may, it is a very elaborate option in terms of accessibility and I think that whatever you are looking for in terms of handling you will be able to enjoy the game. In fact, in the game there are some revised tutorials that will teach you to understand how to drive a motorcycle and I have found them useful, although in the end what you can get out of them will depend on your level of experience with these titles.

Of course, each motorcycle in the game has its own handling. In this game you will find the Updated bikes and riders of the different championships, such as our Ana Carrasco in Moto3. In MotoGP 22 you will find the 2022 MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 championships, MotoGP 2009 and a very interesting and great selection of classic motorcycles, from 1992 to 2011 (there is Simoncelli, by the way).

Split-screen multiplayer in MotoGP 22

MotoGP 22

Career Mode is not active in this version, so I can’t tell you about it at all, but what I have been able to try is the local multiplayer mode split screen for two players. I don’t have much to tell you about it, apart from the fact that it works perfectly and that in the races you will compete against your friend and the AI. It is a highly requested addition by fans that Milestone has decided to include and I am grateful that there are studios that continue to remember ways like this, because many of us use them, oddly enough.

On a graphic level, Milestone ensures that the game looks better than ever. I have been able to enjoy it at 2K and 60 FPS on my 1070Ti, with some totally logical minor errors for a version like this, but I don’t notice much graphical difference, not with the previous one, but even with MotoGP 20. They are details, an evolution, but nothing that leaves me speechless. I’m looking forward to seeing the next-gen versions to see if there’s a bigger change. Beyond this, and being an early version of which there is no need to comment on a technical level, the game has worked for me in a stable way, that is, the sensations are good.

MotoGP 22 PC

The handling of the bike is more realistic, but we are not talking about a total revolution in handlingCircuits and motorcycles follow good level As for the models, especially the motorcycles, since I have found the circuits somewhat poorer in the exterior parts. The bikes have great detail, exquisite sound and are, without a doubt, the best thing about the game. I don’t have so many words of praise for the pilots, because their faces seemed quite poor to me. Marc Márquez, to name one, is not that he looks too much like the real version of him.

MotoGP 22 feels like a good evolution of the saga, which continues year after year refining its formula. It’s early to tell if it will be worth an instant purchase or if it will be a good option for fans, but not so much for casual players who already bought the previous installment. We’ll know that in a few weeks, but what I do know is that I’m left wanting to keep fisting for a few more hours.

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