Please note that this review is based on the UK version. The North American version of Moto GP 4 is scheduled to be released in Q1 2006 and may differ from the product reviewed below.
When was the last time you played a good motorcycle game? Personally, the last one I played was Road Rash on the PlayStation. Remember? Not only could you race, but you could also beat the crap out of your opponents on the way to victory. Ahh, the good old days. But nowadays, that’s too clich. We now focus on realism. Is that a game or an actual race? And that is what Moto GP 4 brings to the table.
There is obviously no story to the game, although this game has been around for a while now since it is the fourth installment to the series. But this makes it all the better, since all you have to do is race.
Single player mode offers Season, Arcade, and Time Trial mode. Season mode is really nothing special. You get two choices: you can race in the Moto GP, which means that you start off at the lowest class and work yourself to the top, or you can choose a real rider from the Moto GP. The downside to picking a rider is that first, you have to unlock one. And if you choose that mode, at the end of the season, that’s it! Game over. So you’d be better off not to choose this mode. Arcade mode is what it is; pick a bike, tune it to your liking, pick a track, and race. The same goes for time trial. Plain and simple. There is also a Challenge mode, which features 125 challenges. And no, that’s not a typo, there are 125 of them. The challenges vary. Some are races against actual racers from the Moto GP and others are races in Arcade mode in which you must finish in first place. Those should keep you busy for a couple of months because they are pretty damn challenging.
The “Paddock” is where you buy your circuits, bikes and riders, watch your replays, look at your racing history, and see what’s in your garage. Overall, pretty standard stuff here. And of course, what’ a racing game without multiplayer. Split screen racing and LAN are the only available modes. Split racing is, of course, great, but LAN is pretty good. You can have up to 8 players online. Not bad, huh?
The controls are fairly easy and customizable. I would recommend using the analog sticks instead of using any of the buttons to go or stop. It just makes it easier to control the bike. The turns in the game can at times be a little tricky, so I would recommend practicing a little before you actually start racing. Other than that, the controls are good.
The sounds in the game are fairly accurate. During a race, you expect to hear the crowd cheering, but just as your leaving the crowd behind, their cheering fades and that just leaves you with the sounds of your bike, which sound just as good as they would in real life. As for the music, it’s pretty generic. They obviously didn’t go out asking for popular music to put in the game.
The graphics are actually good. Nothing too spectacular, but still really good for a racing game. When you’re racing in a wet condition, the visibility is lower, which is what you would expect in real life driving on the freeway. The drivers look great as well, as do the bikes and circuits.
There aren’t a lot of motorcycle game being made nowadays. And when a good one comes out, you have to take advantage of that and play it. For the price you’re paying, you get a whole lot. Realistic motorcycle gameplay, multiplayer action, and online play that will keep you locked in your room for months. I just hope that in MotoGP 5, I’ll get to relive those days of Road Rash and be able to knock a guy off his bike with a baseball bat, but until that happens, Moto GP 4 will have to do.
- The Most Complete MotoGP to Date: MotoGP4 features licensed professional riders, tracks, bikes, and all three engine classes from the 2004 season including MotoGP, 125cc, and 250cc engine classes. All 16 tracks from around the world are accurately recreated including 3 bonus tracks.
- Ultra-Realistic Racing Experience: MotoGP4 simulates realistic bike physics, rider motions, plus wet and dry weather conditions, delivering an unprecedented sense of realism.
Legendary Riders: Famous riders such as Kevin Schwantz, Wayne Rainey, Mick Doohan, and Wayne Gardner who made appearances in MotoGP3 are slated to be included, as well as the late great Daijiro Kato.
- All New Features: Conduct Parts Tests between races to upgrade bikes and improve performance. Experience 7 gameplay modes including the new Training and Melee modes. Plus, capture the most dynamic displays of speed with the player-controlled replay camera.
Tons of Unlockables: Earn and spend Grand Prix points to unlock hidden courses, bikes, riders, and more!
- Online Enabled: Test your skills and talk trash with online competitors for the first time ever. Up to 8 players and CPU-controlled bots may compete via the Internet with USB Voice Chat support.