Screen Capture of Moto GP 10/11 on XBox 360

Moto GP 10/11 at First Glance

Visually, MotoGP 10/11 looks awesome, with smooth details and a comprehensive list of tracks, riders and bikes. There are more than plenty of views to choose from, and the feeling of speed on the straights is brilliant. It sounds great too, even if sometimes the incidental music is so incidental you can’t actually hear it over the very realistic engine note, which is authentic for whichever class of machine you happen to be riding.

Gameplay

The gaming engineers have apparently gone all out to make the feel of the game as authentic as possible which isn't always a good thing. We started on the easiest or ‘Gentle’ mode (the levels go up to ‘Insane’), but with everything from gears to braking, tucking-in and even anti-wheelie switched to auto, handling is still pretty difficult for beginners, though the controls are as basic as right trigger for ‘go’ and the left joystick for ‘steer’ if you have all the rider aids switched on. (Incidentally, a random 'wet' race seems purely cosmetic and doesn't mean wet handling.)

Cornering can be difficult as well, and following the suggested line the game gives you is very tricky, particularly when you come into a corner at high speed.

Not following the line makes no difference to the automatic braking, which still seems to apply itself as you’re trying to accelerate out of a corner based on where it thinks you should be. But turn off auto braking and you’ll spend most of your first races in the gravel as manual braking seems barely to have any effect, as does simply decelerating. 

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If you stay on the straight and narrow, passing other riders is pretty easy on ‘Gentle’, but make one mistake and the results can be a little frustrating as you watch the rest of the field saunter back past as you. It can also be hard to regain track position and just get upright without another ‘tank-slapper’ episode.

Time spent off the track is added up in a ‘red zone’ and is then added to whatever lap time you’ve done, meaning that any offs into the gravel are effectively punished twice. Therefore only a near perfect lap will see you anywhere near the front of the grid for the race. In the grand prix itself, such offs are still recorded but go unpunished (ie you don’t get a time penalty that changes your final position).

With a little patience and practice, it does get better – try starting with 125s, progressing up and then returning from MotoGP to a 125 bike and you’ll be surprised how much easier the smaller bike feels. Our only other slight gripe is that a crash can sometimes be compounded by the game putting you back on-track in the path of another rider, who promptly smashes into you – and during the whole time we played the game, we only saw one other accident that didn’t involve us in some way, which made coming last a lot more likely!

MotoGP 10/11 Trailer

Other Details

There are two-player split-screen, challenge and time trial modes, as well as a ‘Career’ mode, where you get a chance to register your own team name, design your bike, helmet colors and decals.  A nice touch is that you have former racer and now BBC MotoGP commentator Steve Parrish to calmly talk you first through practice races and then further into your career, telling you what’s going on off-track and giving you tips during races.

Another thing we like is that you can pick up credits for ‘showboating’ and waving to the crowd, who still cheer you even if you’re a distant 27th. You can watch replays of incidents and even whole races from a number of view angles, and if you’re a beginner and you stack it in a crucial race, the ‘Second Chance’ feature gives you the opportunity to rewind the race to a place of your choice (ie just before you binned it into the armco) and restart from there. And if you’re on manual and you don’t like the buttons they’ve chosen for you when you change your own gears and do your own braking, you can change them around to suit yourself.   

Positives

With such versatility, there’s an awful lot of bang for your buck, and despite crashing at least 100 times the game can become addicting enough to miss the real MotoGP broadcast.

Negatives

If you’re new to the format, you will spend literally hours just trying to stay on the track.

Overall

If you want to turn on the console and just go racing, this probably won’t be for you, but if you’re patient with yourself and the game, and want to take advantage of some its other clever features, it will.

Follow @redbull on Twitter for up-to-the-minute info and updates.

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