The end of a console’s life span can go one of two ways in terms of the games produced. You can either get something which blows the rest of that console’s games out of the water and shows what could have been done all along (hello The Last of Us) or you get those games which seem to be released at the last minute just to make it appear like the development wasn’t a waste. MX vs ATV sits strongly in the latter camp, and while it comes from a decent line of fun games, this is one which maybe could’ve been thought out better.
The first thing you notice is the visuals, and the fact that they certainly don’t belong at the end of a console’s life. You might’ve accepted something like this in 2007, but not nowadays. Spectators are just huge slabs of flat, lifeless cutouts, tracks lack character and and riders themselves, while being one of the better areas of the games graphics, still look lifeless and quite rubbish. It’s a shame, but as someone who never lets visuals get in the way of a good game, I’ll press on.
Sadly, the second thing you’ll notice is how awkward the vehicles are to control. With the left stick controlling the lean of the bike and the right stick controlling the lean of the rider himself there are definitely plenty of chances to explore the subtleties of this style of racing, but it’s incredibly difficult to get the right balance between not leaning enough and leaning so far that you slide too much round the corners. In time you’ll learn how it all works, but with everything else being a little off-colour it’ll take a sport devotee to put the time in.
If you choose to though there’s a career mode, which sounds like it’d be a good thing to sink your teeth into but is actually just a series of races which get progressively tougher, with a podium sequence thrown in if you manage to do ok. There’s little to suggest you’re pushing on through any kind of actual career though, it just seems to be a method of delivering the races in a slightly more structured manner.
The multiplayer options are quite fun though, and pitch you against others who are struggling with the handling as well which evens things out quite a bit. I found it tricky to find a lobby with anyone in it, but there were some occasions when I found other racers looking for something to do and on the whole it worked well without much by way of lag to put you off.
Generally though, I didn’t connect with MX vs ATV Supercross at all. There’s fun to be had if you’re willing to put the time in, but this is one game which wouldn’t have been missed much on the PS3. If you want some decent racing on the PS3 then you’ve got Grid Autosport to keep you company, which is far far better, or one of the MotoGP games if you’re after fun on two wheels. But unless you’re a huge fan of this kind of thing, I’d stay clear.
Reviewed on PS3