From the developers who brought us MotoGP19 and Ride 2 and 3, Milestone is bringing us a new Motocross game. I must admit, as much as I love all racing games, including water racing on N64 and Dreamcast. Let's start off by saying I have not played any of the previous motocross games but have always found dirt racing quite fun, probably more so than MotoGP. It's a lot more technical and it's why a ton of pro riders practice using motocross in the off-season.
Onto MXGP 2019 then, and I absolutely love the game. It has its quirks and features but overall it's fantastic. Milestone has crammed in every team and every official MX track for what makes a thoroughly comprehensive racing package. The dev team has also taken the customisation of Ride 2 and put it into a motocross game. If you race for a team, not much is customisable as they're team owned motorcycles. However, race for a sponsor and the bike is fully customisable. Tinkering ranges from changing the suspension for better handling to changing the colour of the brake lines to match your paint scheme. It's always great to see so much customisation, adding to the replayability for those of who love messing around tuning and cosmetics.
Now, this isn't exactly a game you can play with a steering wheel like other racing games, unless someone comes out with a handlebar setup but I doubt the market is there for the very few motorcycle games we have available to us. It's not the sort of game I'd recommend playing with a keyboard but there are also zero controller setup options. You have button mapping and that's about it - no dead zone or sensitivity adjustment, which is a real shame. Besides that downside, you get two different options for bike handling: Standard, which feels much easier to control and more arcade like; and Advanced, which feels much more realistic. High sides and bad landings are very possible in advanced, although the bike feels much more twitchy and quite harder to control.
One of the downsides, and it was one of the downsides in MotoGP19 as well, the crash physics are horrible. You can drive into a competitor and absolutely nothing happens. You bounce off them like they're a sponge-y wall and keep on going. That's something which we'd really like to see Milestone fix in time for their future outings. Otherwise. MXGP 19 is actually quite enjoyable, perhaps even more so then MotoGP19 due to its greater technicality. As of writing this review I sadly haven't had a chance to try out multiplayer as there wasn't a single lobby available but Milestone is usually pretty good in that regard. I can see it being quite fun with a few friends.
Graphics wise, MXGP 2019 is absolutely beautiful, especially on the playground, which is a free to roam and test dirt track. Changing between medium and ultra, MXGP 2019 was still quite demanding though, even on my Vega 64 . I'm not sure if that's something that will be fixed with a planned patch but it was a bit weird to see. It's a very lovely looking game, from the off-track section to the mud and dirt on track. As usual, there are a hoard of options that can be changed, from FPS lock to bloom and motion blur, for those who want to fine-tune their visuals as well as their bikes.
MXGP 2019 also sounds great. Audio is the one issue I have with both Milestone and Codemasters' titles but it's largely top quality here. Some of the volume levels can only be set to 50% as a minimum but thankfully music and some other aspects can be set to 0%. But, having engine sounds only able to go down to 50% is kind of a annoyance. I don't see that being fixed in any patch so it's something to note, although you could always turn the game volume down in Windows volume if need be.
Overall, MXGP 19 has ended up being a great game. I didn't think I was going to enjoy it as much as I did, to be honest. It still leaves some things to be desired, such as a ropey physics model and a lack of controller options, but there's some fantastic fun to be had here.. Some of the tracks are just incredibly tricky and technical, adding a layer of depth which just isn't found in more straightforward racers. The downside being, the same as any other racing game apart from the very few, replayability. Hopefully the multiplayer aspect does well and lots of people buy the game and should be quite fun.