After months of waiting, MotoGP 22 is finally here!
The official video game of the 2022 MotoGP season has launched today. There has been a lot of buildup and hype surrounding Milestone's flagship annual release. So, how does MotoGP 22 stack up against its rivals?
*Reviewed on PS5, game provided by publisher
It's fair to say that the MotoGP game consistently bring new features and content to the table each year. Amongst other things, this year's showpiece is the "Nine" Season.
We've been wanting more historical content from the MotoGP games for years now, and it appeared that MotoGP 22 has answered our call. Milestone chose the 2009 season because it's rightly considered to be an absolute classic.
As 2022 is the first season after the great Valentino Rossi's retirement, this game mode really puts into perspective just how good he was. It also shows how fierce the competition was between himself, Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo and more.
Nine opens with an introduction to the background of the 2009 season. Using archive footage, narrator Mark Neale sets the lay of the land going into the season-opener in Qatar.
From there, you're thrown into the overalls of Stoner, as he fights off Rossi in the closing stages of the Qatar GP.
There are several challenges for every race that season, all seventeen of them! This includes events at new circuits to the MotoGP series, such as Indianapolis in the USA and Estoril, Portugal.
This is the kind of historical content we've been wanting for years now. Nine really shows what can be achieved in an officially licenced motorsports game. Nine is the best new feature in MotoGP 22.
The only possible downside here is that these races are not easy, far from it. It could put some beginners off, but then again, you can always turn the difficulty down.
It's no exaggeration to say that the capabilities of the next-gen consoles are stunning. Both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X versions of MotoGP 22 are absolutely brilliant.
MotoGP 22 runs in full 4K and at 60 frame per second on both consoles, as well as gaming PCs if yours is powerful enough. These graphics are particularly striking when playing at night around circuits like Losail.
Even in the daytime though, MotoGP 22 shines through as one of the best-looking, best-feeling and best-sounding racing games on the market.
Something that we're very glad has been consistent in the MotoGP game is its AI. Ever since Neural AI was introduced in MotoGP 19, it has been improved upon year-on-year.
Neural AI ensures that the computer-controlled bikes in MotoGP act like humans rather than robots. That sounds relatively simple to achieve, but it really isn't.
Most motorcycle games struggle with this, but MotoGP, thankfully, isn't one of them.
Career & Managerial modes
While Nine will understandably make the most headlines, it's the Career Mode which is MotoGP 22's bread and butter. The Career Mode includes the full 2022 season calendar, including the new race in Indonesia.
New for 2022 also is the choice to go with the full (21), intermediate (15) or short calendar (8). This helps accessibility for new players while also keeping the challenge in for experienced pros.
Just like before, you don't have to jump in at the deep end if you don't want to. If you want to begin your career all the way at the bottom in Moto3, you can. Alternatively, if you want to start as Marc Marquez's teammate, you can.
However, pretty much all other aspects of MotoGP 22's Career Mode have remained largely the same. You still need to sign a personal manager, staff and manage development in the same ways as MotoGP 21.
Although, that being said, you can now establish junior teams within your Career Mode save. So, just like real life, your MotoGP team can have feeder outfits in Moto2 and 3.
It is slightly disappointing to see no real strides have been made in the Career Mode department for 2022. That said, if it ain't broke, don't fix it, and Milestone have certainly significantly improved other areas of the game.
So, with all that considered, is MotoGP 22 the best biking game ever made?
Well, when you consider everything, this is the best MotoGP game we've seen from Milestone. All aspects of the game have either been improved upon or been maintained from MotoGP 21.
The Nine Season steals the show, and understandably so. With the success of F1 2021's Braking Point, it's easy to see why Milestone joined this club, but they've put their own unique spin on the docuseries.
MotoGP 22 looks and feels better than any previous installment in the video gaming franchise. The graphics, sound, and overall gameplay have all been improved upon from MotoGP 21.
However, it has to be said that the game's Career Mode has taken a backseat, and it can't be ignored. While it's not bad by any stretch, to see no real progress here is disappointing.
Although, minor improvements to the game's accessibility do help it be more attractive to inexperienced players.
That still doesn't spoil the fun though, far from it. MotoGP 22 is a must-buy for fans of Grand Prix motorcycle racing and those who love to ride on two wheels.
RacingGames.GG Rating: 9/10