|System: X360, PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Milestone||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Conspiracy Ent.||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 3, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-8||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
In addition to the various difficulty modes, there is an assortment of standard racing modes including challenge, time attack, quick race, championship, and multiplayer. There are a dozen different tracks including Valencia, Monza, Donington, and Phillip Island. Exerting extra influence on your handling are four weather conditions. Rain will slow you down but it doesn't seem to adversely affect the A.I. There are 22 riders and 22 high-powered, stock bikes. Graphically, the bikes are showroom condition, especially the Ducati's, and they look good even after a crash, of which there's no shortage.
The animation of the crashes is realistic enough but it's in contrast to the rest of the graphics such as the generic tracks. There's not a lot of detail in the backgrounds, just the basics to determine your location in the world. The framerate is slow but steady. Despite some blurring, there just isn't a great sense of speed to get your adrenaline pumping. Overall, the game just does not push the envelope on current-gen systems, and nowhere is that more evident than with the pit girls that look like they just escaped from a PSOne game. The motors are sampled from the actual bikes and they are capable of purring, screaming, thundering, and rumbling. The game could use more ambient sound effects as well as more rocking music and voiceovers.
Online allows for up to eight player to take part in quick races. It's the most fun I had with the game but I was never able to find more than four people online to race against. In the previews the developers hinted at a 16-player online mode. I personally don't think the game suffers from the lack of more players. Technically, the game was solid online with no slowdown and responsive controls. That's what really matters to me.
Learning the control system is easy enough but making the right move at the right time is another story. It's really all about cornering. Learn how to lean into a corner, when to brake, and when to accelerate coming out of it, and you'll be on your way to mastering this game - if you have the time and patience. What was missing for me was a sense of accomplishment and a motivation to continue, in other words, there's very little reward for so much work.
CCC Senior Writer