I’m not a huge racing person as a gamer but I do remember fondly taking control of a bike in some classic games. I was awful then and I’m pretty awful now but I like to remind myself what it’s like to race every now and again. As I got going with my Moto Racer 4 review I was hoping that some of the nice ideas in the game make it a fun experience but, on a market with some big competition will this small studio be able to deliver?
Here at MGL we’re always ready to give the underdog a chance.
Ultimately though, the ideas never materialise into much more than an average racer. It’s overly arcade feel does lack some of the feeling of modern games. It’s not particularly awful and there are reasons to pick it up, especially if you’ve missed good old split screen multiplayer.
Check out my detailed thoughts below, and scores at the end. Fan of racers? Well drop me a Disqus or Facebook Comment at the end if you fancy this one or not.
Look and Feel – Interstate Of Mind
Graphically you do see a lot of really in-depth detail in racers on the market. They work hard on locations and vehicles with a lot of time and tech. Obviously, this makes it harder to stand out for other smaller teams.
While the presentation of Moto Racer 4 has some decent touches, nothing wows you like a modern racer.
The games locations have some really nice touches though. Sand and desert areas have a nice bright (and hot) feel to them. More forest areas are bright and green and there are some nice night time areas too. Lighting could be more dynamic but overall it’s nice.
The issue with the title is the level of detail around. Everything looks nice, but there is only the bare bones of visual items around the tracks. The backdrops are bland with nothing much going on. Plus the cameras more cinematic movements shows some rather pixelated plants and foliage as you get up close.
The bikes and “pilots” here are reasonably good again. Some vibrant colours with some options to customise are great and the animations on the pilots are nice.
As for performance as you get up your racing speed it’s pretty stable. I got some more trouble on more busy moments on split screen but generally it runs quite nicely. Nice is the key word here, it’s not spectacular but it’ll do.
Game Modes And Gameplay – Earn Those Stars
Where the game is great is giving you options to play. Multiplayer is both online and local, yes some split screen action! And it’s a nice mixing of the play up and you get to race against your friends actually in the same room.
There is also Career mode which offers up a nice twist on more traditional racing games. You pick your pilot, since they are not called racers here, and then get racing. To progress you actually rate your own performance before a challenge.
To progress through the challenges you need Stars, you earn them by picking your own challenge before an event. One star is easy, two usually coming second in a race or doing quite well. 3 Stars expects you to be first or do really well in a challenge.
Pretty simple, but the twist is you lose stars if you don’t get the position you want. This sets you back and have to repeat some other events to get them back. I liked this, it was something different and while it was annoying sometimes… It was my fault for choosing too many stars.
Floating Around The Track
Here comes my biggest issue with the game: the gameplay. It’s all rather floaty as you race and feels like overly arcade style for this generation of games. Controls are easy enough and you get a boost from doing tricks and such… But then it’s not full of crazy trick mechanics either.
It just sits in this middle ground area with not so serious racing and not much help more than a wheelie and a jump for tricks.
While you are playing you get the idea this is potentially the framework of a game that could be a lot better. The ideas are there, but in future they need to go in one direction or another. Here they don’t and it’s lacking in fun and thrills as you race along.
Had it been all about fun with crazy EA Sports BIG style action, with ticks and arcade madness then great. Or get serious with the racing next time out and make me work for those stars. On the other side, options wise there is a lot to do in the game, especially in career it’s just whether the middle-of-the-road gameplay will keep you going or not.
These are the worst kind of games to review for me. Because the development team clearly have a good set of ideas, but have not managed to execute the gameplay to the same level. It’s more than decent in terms of options and things to do, but the so-so nature of the gameplay lets it down.
It’s a decent game to play with others, especially with the local split-screen co-op optionality. The career mode also has some good ideas, if you can stay with it.
This development team though is on the right track. Next time out I feel the game could deliver more if they choose to go down with the serious racer or fun, full-of-tricks type game. Otherwise they will just continue to tootle along in the middle of the road.
Check out my scores below and let me know if the comments on what you think of this game.
About This Moto Racer 4 Review
Game Reviewed: Moto Racer 4 Digital Download – Provided by Publisher
Review Format: PS4
PEGI Rating: 7
Moto Racer 4 Verdict
Graphics - 6/10
Multiplayer - 7/10
Game Modes - 7/10
Gameplay - 6/10
Fun Factor - 5/10