PS3 Review: MotoGP 08

MotoGP burns rubber on the PS3 for the first time, but is it any good?

MotoGP puts the player at the centre of the MotoGP experience by letting them join a team and compete alongside their sporting heroes in all three race classes – 125cc, 250cc and MotoGP. Good results in qualifying and racing earn points that can then be exchanged for bike upgrades to improve attributes such as straight line speed, braking and cornering.

Moto GP for Playstation 3 Features:

Three different handling models – arcade, intermediate and simulation – provide varied racing experiences and accessibility for all

Ride as yourself and compete against riders from the world’s premier motorcycling championship

Select from 125cc, 250cc and MotoGP bike classes with each offering a different race experience

First time MotoGP series will appear on PlayStation 3

Set competitor AI to match skill level

Pit your riding skills against players from across the globe in a number of online modes

Includes new 2008 season additions of night racing and Indianapolis circuit

The MotoGP series has been quite good over the years, although not without a few complaints about control, realism and replay value. MotoGP 08 does a good job for the most part, but it feels more like an update than a true sequel. It seems to have fallen in an EA Sports-like trap where they release the same game each year but with some new additions.

A noticeable improvement that I found with 08 was handling, you can put the game into 3 different handling styles that will make it easier or harder to control, I personally stuck it on Arcade as I found the others to be extremely precise and difficult to handle. But I know there will be those who welcome the challenge, I would if I was any good at the game…but alas I never have been. I’ve always taken corners to fast, smashed into drivers and gone off the tracks. With 08, it hasn’t happened as much because of the tighter controls and the fact that the game handles much better with the PS3 controller than it did on 360 and PC, at least when I played it.

The game has all classic modes like career, online and championship. It also has a challenge mode which has 50 different challenges for you to do, examples can be to beat a lap time on a circuit or bypass a certain driver within a time limit. It’s difficult but adds a lot more to the overall game, it won’t be for everyone, but you could say the same thing about the game itself. Besides the challenges, the modes are fairly basic. You upgrade vehicles with career points that you earn in races and that’s all there is to it. The AI is improved and can even match your own skill level, which is impressive. But it doesn’t feel enough for your buck, I can’t help thinking that the game could have benefited from another mode to add just a bit more value. The PS3 version also lacks trophies for now, which is a shame as it might have enticed me to play it even more.

Visually, MotoGP looks pretty good. Although it can look a bit blurry when driving at crazy speeds…but what do you expect? Tracks are varied enough and the vehicles are detailed to a good standard, it just won’t blow you away as much as expected from a PS3 version.

The Verdict

MotoGP 08 is an impressive game with variety in the form of challenges and familiarity with career and online play. It might have benefited from trophy support and an extra mode, maybe a higher difficulty? It feels more of an update than a new game, which is a problem. Although if you are a PS3 owner, you won’t realise as it’s the first time that the series hits the console.