The only official MotoGP™ Videogame, available for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC/Steam, Nintendo Switch, developed and published by Milestone S.r.l. released into the world on the 21st April 2022.
*Disclaimer: A code was provided for the purpose of this review. This in no way affects the piece, as the thoughts are mine and mine alone.
Milestone have been producing exceptional MotoGP games for a number of years now, but how does this version compare to those in the past? What is new this year, and what can we expect from their first Cross-Buy title? Continue reading to find out what I discovered were the biggest changes.
I must state first of all that the MotoGP series is arguably my favourite series of my video gaming journey. I have played, and enjoyed them for a number of years. This year is no different, with the number of different modes on offer that can have you playing for hours on end. Back are the standard Career, Online, Time Trial, and Grand Prix modes, but this year we have the addition of NINE Season 2009…. More on that later!
After creating your character I’m jumping straight into career mode, where you are given the option of difficulty, as well as the length of your Career Seasons. Something that was in sorts removed from the 2021 version of the game, but it is a welcome return with “Short” seasons now available for those that want to power through into the bigger classes as quickly as possible. It has a very familiar feel during the menu screens after recently playing MotoGP21, however it seems somewhat cleaner, with what seems a refresh and a smoothing out of the menus. The racing however was so different.
Moto3, the “Junior” category within the game is where you want to start out, where you want to get a feel of the action, and this was pleasantly different to the previous year. There was a new feel to the action, a different way of controlling things, and a whole lot more going on. The removal of the classic “Joint Brakes” from the game was a little tricky to get the hang of too, as it is something I have always used; it made me think about what I was doing (or trying too) more than before.
After a dozen or so races, and moving onto the Moto2 bike, the experience enhances further with the feel of the speed beginning to get real. The “Motion Blur” setting can be adjusted to give a real feel of speed, whilst maintaining the exceptional graphics of the track, background scenery, and grandstand etc. There seems that there is not one thing that cannot be adjusted within the game.
Trying out the MotoGP bikes during a Time Trial is a step up once more. Jumping straight from the previous years’ version you really feel, and see, what I can only describe as a “rubber band effect” on acceleration/deceleration that I haven’t seen since way back when on the 09/10 version of the game. This effect gives you the impression that the motorcycle is getting away from your screen during those high acceleration parts, with the cycle almost coming out of your screen when under heavy braking. I cannot express enough how much this stands out compared to the more recent versions, with the impression of the speed portrayed with fantastic effect.
The traditional online multiplayer has also been enhanced, as for the first time we are privileged enough to have cross system play between PS4/5 & XBox One/S|X; giving us more chance to play with out friends across a multitude of platforms, consuming endless hours of fun.
Without doubt however the jewel in the crown for this year is NINE Season 2009! For those of you that are not up with MotoGP, this is historic for being the final championship winning season of the GOAT, Valentino Rossi. Featured within this mode, and available within other modes in the game are other classic riders like Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Petrosa, and Casey Stoner, along with the awesome sound of the 4-Stroke engines from that era, and historic tracks that are no longer on the calendar.
NINE Season 2009 takes us back to a “challenge mode” where you are faced with a number of different objectives for every one of the 17 races that year. This is something similar to MotoGP19, where we faced with “Historic” challenges that represented different points in MotoGP history. NINE Season 2009 however has more of a storyline, something that is a refreshing change from the standard race/win of these types of the game; and with real footage used under the direction of documentarian Mark Neale this certainly fills a gap that needed filling.
The 70+ classic bikes available in the game remind me of why this genre appeals to me so much. A racing fan that was introduced to MotoGP during that time, it gives me goose bumps to be able to play through a whole season that I recall watching on the TV. The sound of the machines has been portrayed magnificently, and the attention to detail of the riders is clear when you enter the Photo Mode, something that I’ll admit I got carried away with.
A substantial trophy/achievement list is also on offer for those that are interested in this sort of thing, with the standard “win here, win there” accompanied by the Career Mode playthroughs. On top of this we’re looking at a requirement to complete the whole of Season 2009; which is a great move to get you more engrossed into what it can offer, and the story behind it.
Having played through the first half of the season we are not looking at a difficulty spike similar to MotoGP19, so I can only encourage all to play this out.
You will not be disappointed!
- NINE Season 2009
- Speed / Cleanliness of Gameplay
- Cross-Buy / Cross Play / Split Screen
- Career Mode Similar to Previous Games
- No “Manager Only” for Junior Team
- A Little Too Easy
Milestone S.r.l. have come up with another gem. I found it extremely difficult to think of anything that hasn’t been improved on from the 2021 version of the game. The [re]introduction of challenges is a welcome addition, as these types of games can become flat without them. Junior Teams are back in the Career Mode, which continues to add more substance to the standard career mode, and the Cross Play/Split Screen is a lovely touch.
The attention to detail is clear to see all around the game, with the graphical improvements, and portrayal of speed second to none.
For anyone that enjoyed MotoGP20 & MotoGP21, you will not be disappointed with your purchase of this fine game. NINE Season 2009 will have you both pulling your hair out, and smiling from ear to ear.