Juan over at SwitchWatchTV has been racing away on MotoGP 20 on his Nintendo Switch, a motor bike racing game for our favorite hybrid console. It looks to be a lot of fun, but is this the racing sim your heart desires? Well, let me pass it to Juan for more details! You can also read his script here on SwitchWatch.co.uk.
I still remember as a teen playing Super Monaco GP on the Sega Megadrive and thinking at the time it was super realistic for a racing game. Ever since I have been drawn to sim racers, just as much as arcade racers, and then there are those that are in between like GRAN Tourismo, the greatest ever racing simulator game (or does that honor belong to Forza?). I will let you discuss that, but I am going off the beaten track.
I am a car man, but beastly super bikes also very much peak my interest. I am no avid fan or anything, but I do like playing games like these. However, is MotoGP 20 any good and is it worth your hard earned cash? Let’s jump into the Gameplay and find out.
First of all this is comprehensive so if you like MotoGP, there is a great chance you are going to like this. Here you have the official teams, face skins of the riders, and even the team managers. Think of this as the FIFA of racing games with all the official licensing to give it that authenticity some will want.
The first mode which really drew me in was the managerial Career Mode where you can either join a 2020 team and race together with the official riders or just join a totally brand new team. There are loads of customization items, from the number you choose, to the motorbikes, to the helmet, and what your driver looks like.
Once in the career menu, you have your calendar to see when your next events are coming up. If there is none, then you can go off for a spot of testing. Even the testing feels like you get something out of it, testing packs to see if you can improve your bike. You get to have your own personal manager and technical staff, and you can pour money into research and development.
It’s a very engrossing mode which will take hours and hours and hours of time if you let it. Each weekend consists of Friday’s free practice 1 and 2 where you can get to know the track. On Saturday, there are another couple of practice sections before going into qualifying 1 and 2 to see where you will place for Sunday’s race.
You can toggle whether you want to do all of these. Once into the race, the physics of the bikes feel weighty and pretty difficult to control, but it’s the nature of the sport. You need to understand the lines of the tracks and you can only do that with practice. At first, you will be coming off your bike more than staying on it as one touch of the grass can send you tumbling, hit another biker, and you are most probably flying like superman onto the track. Handily there is a bunch of assists you can turn off and on. There is assisted breaking, trajectory IDs, and a rewind button should you want to use it during the races. Some people will no doubt need these as it’s a tough game, but one I found very enjoyable. Before races you can play around with how much fuel your bike starts with to make it quicker if you start with less and you need to also manage tire consumption.
You can get your track engineers to sort things out that are bothering you, such as responsiveness and how the bike is leaning either fast or slow. It’s mind boggling some of the stuff you can do here. The races feel fast, but the AI is never so good that you can never get back into a race which makes it fun. I have to say the AI is rather good, and I was pretty impressed.
If Career Mode is too deep, then there are other modes like Quick Mode where you can take part in a local Grand Prix, time trial, or start a new championship. There is the option for Local Multiplayer, and there is also the Historic Mode where you can take part in a number of challenges which are randomly generated. Here you can unlock new riders and motorcycles. There is even a market where you can buy them with coins you collect in the challenges. Items are broken down into common and rare stuff, so it’s addictive trying to collect it all and I found this mode to be a very welcome distraction.
I was very impressed with the audio in MotoGP 20. The motorbikes sound powerful, and I love it when you let go of the throttle and hear those pops from the exhaust. Fantastic and really makes it feel so much more sensory. There are commentators at the beginning of each race setting the stall, and it just sounds very good indeed. A very well-rounded package.
VISUALS & PERFORMANCE
First of all, MotoGP 20 runs smooth, which is super important for games like these. Sure, the visuals are not going to be as good as elsewhere, but I am really impressed with how it plays in handheld. Docked is great too, and and I really liked all the little touches which are here, such as the rider turning his head as he leaves the pits or waving his hand when someone gets too close.
Sure, they are small touches, but it makes a difference. The weather effects like rain look great too and affect how slippery the tracks are. Of course the bikes themselves look excellent. The backgrounds are missing a little detail, but who cares! The game plays great and looks very good on Switch.
MotoGP 20 is $39.99 in the US or 39,99 in the UK. It’s cheaper than 19, which is still 49,99, so this one is a bit of a bargain then. Sure, the updates year on year are incremental, but if you don’t have 19 then I would say you are getting decent value for your money here.
A managerial mode which will take you many hours to complete, and modes outside of that which will keep you occupied. My main disappointment at the moment is the lack of online. There is no word from the developers to say it will be included on the Switch version, and the marketing only states local multiplayer, yet other systems look as if they will have online included. Here is hoping for a day-one patch.
Story - 8.5/10
Gameplay - 8.5/10
Audio - 8.5/10
Visuals & Performance - 8.5/10
Value - 8.5/10
I was thoroughly impressed with MotoGP 20. Sure, it won’t appeal to everyone, but nor should it have to. This is a sim racer pretty much at the top of its game. All the licenses you can shake a stick at, a comprehensive career mode which will have you hooked for days, weeks, and months, and other modes too which are all great. Audio quality was impressive and so were the visuals for the Switch, and the price is not bad either.
- Great racing sim
- Beautiful graphics
- Top quality audio
- Not for everyone
- Lack of online (for now)