On PS4 currently, there isn’t much to enjoy in the racing genre past Need for Speed Rivals. MotoGP 14 helps fill that void with authenticity and an impressive amount of things to do. MotoGP 14 comes from the Italian studio Milestone, who developed last year’s entry, as well as the first two MotoGP games that were published by Capcom, so they are no strangers to the world of MotoGP racing.
Still, motorbike racing games have always been a harder sell than games that feature cars. This is mostly down to the fact that motorbikes are harder to control and less popular. To help combat this, Milestone has included many options to help newcomers get to grips with the bikes that feature in the game. MotoGP consists of three classes: Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP, which may seem confusing to people who don’t watch MotoGP in real life. But it makes intuitive sense: MotoGP-class bikes are the fast ones, and chances are you will need some of the included aids to wrangle these machines, at least initially.
Indeed, rider aids aplenty help players get to grips with the bikes. Aids including assists for braking, steering, and traction control, which can be adjusted on the fly while racing by pressing up or down on the d-pad. However, once getting used to playing, it is beneficial to turn off as many as these aids as possible, as they do slow you down. Another setting that can be adjusted is the physics, which can be set to Standard, Semi-pro, or Pro. The biggest difference is that Pro requires you to have all of the aids except traction control turned off and makes the bikes more likely to wheelie coming out of the corner, or crash outright. Part of the thrill is nailing a corner and using the DualShock 4’s trigger to ease through the exit of the corner before going full throttle and seeing the front of the bike lift up, gaining speed rapidly. If things do go wrong, you can use the rewind function to go back and fix your error but you can only use it a maximum of six times in a race.
The A.I. in MotoGP 14 is decent enough; they aren’t drones who stick to the road like glue and do make the occasional mistake, which helps make them believable. Racing is made even more fun on the harder difficulties as you have to be perfect on each turn or face the A.I.’s decisive punishment. The game runs at 1080p on PS4 and stays right about 30 frames-per-second throughout. The lack of 60 fps, standard, is a little disappointing but doesn’t ruin the game, as there are no noticeable framerate drops to distract from the action.
MotoGP 14 is by no means a true sim; if it was, only reigning MotoGP world champion Marc Márquez would be any good at it. Then again, the point of this game isn’t to be a sim, but to recreate the drama and spectacle of MotoGP racing. In regards to the bikes of MotoGP, there are both the 2013 and 2014 MotoGP models alongside the 2014 Moto3 and Moto2 class bikes, and their riders, included. All included bikes can be raced in the multi-race Championship mode and single-race Grand Prix and Time Attack modes.