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MotoGP 23 Review: The best career mode on two wheels


MotoGP 23 review

It's been a longer wait than usual, but our MotoGP 23 review is here!

Milestone's annual Motorcycle Grand Prix game has moved from its usual April release slot to June this year. But has the Italian studio made the most of these extra two months?

This year, a large emphasis has been placed upon MotoGP 23's Career Mode and overall depth - but has it made big enough steps since last year? What about the experience as a whole, too? We cover all that and more in our full review!

MotoGP 23 Review

With the 2023 MotoGP season well underway, we've been excited to play the video game adaptation for some time now.

This is the only fully licenced video game based on the real-life top-level Motorcycle Grand Prix series. The game also has fully licenced teams, drivers and bikes for Moto2, Moto3 and other bike racing series.

Available from 8 June 2023 worldwide on a number of systems, MotoGP 23 is out now for both PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox Series X | S and the One, Nintendo Switch and PC via the Steam Store.

Career Mode levels up

MotoGP 22 placed a lot of emphasis on its Nine Career Mode. Sadly, this nor a similar game mode doesn't return in MotoGP 23. However, Milestone has put serious work into its regular Career Mode to make up for this.

The whole experience feels truer to life, with your actions impacting other teams and drivers more than ever before.

MotoGP 23 Career Mode
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As impressive as MotoGP has been over the past few years, the core experience of Career Mode hadn't changed a whole lot. However, you'll notice that things are different right from the off here as you're thrust right into the action.

Ahead of Moto 3 races in Malaysia and Qatar, you'll need to respond to your rival via a social media feed (dubbed the MotoGP Wall) With the championship out of sight, your goal is to finish ahead of your rival in the standings.

We'll go more in-depth on this in our Career Mode guide, but this is an ideal way to introduce a beginner to MotoGP 23 and sets the scene for what is an exciting single-player experience.

Other new features include Turning Points and Social Rivalries. Via the aforementioned MotoGP Wall, you can either form alliances or stoke rivalries via the digital world.

MotoGP 23 MotoGP Wall
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The responses you give to other riders' messages will either improve or deteriorate your relationships with them. This translates to how the riders race you out on track, so you may need to watch what you say.

There's also a new level system in which you'll climb from Rookie to Champion. This gives a great sense of progression, especially with the rewards system which accompanies it.

Depending on how you perform, you'll be promoted to either Moto2 or MotoGP for your second season.

Gameplay

With one notable exception, the overall gameplay is largely the same as last year in MotoGP 23. That's not a criticism, though, as MotoGP 23 is comfortably one of the best bike games in terms of both handling and graphics on the market.

The handling definitely takes some getting used to if you've played previous MotoGP games. There's more understeer, but this helps inexperienced riders and can be largely overcome with the right setup or changing the controller settings.

To Milestone's credit, the menus are a lot sleeker than before and the HUD while you're racing has been given a fresh lick of paint. When you get on the podium, the celebrations are better too, as are the cutscenes when you join a new team.

MotoGP 23 Celebrations
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The biggest addition to the gameplay for MotoGP 23 is easily the dynamic weather. A lot of racing games have had this for a long time, but this is the first MotoGP game to feature dynamic weather.

Rain can start at any point, leading to all of the drivers being called into the pits. This is the very definition of throwing a spanner into the works during a race and you'll have to be very careful not to slide off the circuit.

Something else that has gone relatively under the radar is the introduction of Sprint Races. Just like in real life, MotoGP 2023 has sprint races to spice up the action even more during a race weekend.

More content than ever before

MotoGP 23 has upped its game when it comes to the number of circuits included too. The entire 2023 MotoGP calendar is in from launch, including the now-cancelled Kazakh Grand Prix.

India makes its debut in the game as well, and tracks like Aragon, Estoril, Donnington and all those from MotoGP 22 are in MotoGP 23 as Historical Circuits.

MotoGP 23 Calendar
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MotoGP 23 continues to be impressively accessible too, thanks to its MotoGP Academy. If you're struggling around a certain circuit or specific section of track, you can practice it in the Academy.

This is available for every circuit and for every bike within the game. There's no excuse now - hit the track and practice your craft.

Verdict

Milestone has produced the goods yet again with this year's MotoGP video game. Nobody knows motorcycles like the Italian developers, and MotoGP 23 proves this.

Some will inevitably be disappointed with the omission of "Nine" and the lack of progress in some areas of the gameplay.

Despite this though, MotoGP 23 mostly makes up for this with marked improvements to the overall experience in Career Mode and other gameplay elements.

The large amount of content available will have us enjoying MotoGP 23 all the way until the release of MotoGP 24 next year.

MotoGP 23's biggest strides are with its Career Mode this year. This builds upon a solid core of a game that is still one of the best experiences on two wheels in gaming.
PS5
9 out of 10

For more articles like this, take a look at our MotoGP page.