MUD: FIM Motocross World Championship review - on your bike 0 Размещено: 14. Sep 2012 Добавил Nemo

It might seem like one of the unshakeable pillars of video gaming, but racing games have been on the decline now for the best part of a decade. Apart from two or three sure fire hits most other driving titles struggle to offer any new experiences and are routinely ignored by most gamers. 

For some reason motorcycle games seems to suffer even worse than their four-wheeled equivalents, but if MUD realises any of this it isn't really apparent. The early signs are positive though, with a good amount of motrocross showmanship in the simulated stadiums, enhanced by a raft of official licences. 

As soon as you start a race though it's clear the game is aiming to be more arcade racer than simulation, but at least that means the controls are nice and simple, and accessible. There's also a lot of emphasis put on the scrub, a move that looks absurdly dangerous and almost physically impossible but is in fact a real thing (just do a YouTube search for 'Bubba scrub'). 

It involves twisting your bike at 90 degree angles to the ground while in a jump and then quickly straightening out again to land. In real life this is just for showing off but in the game it gives you a little Mario Kart style turbo boost. 

The problem is that even though it is a real manoeuvre it still looks very fake in the game, in part thanks to MUD's unconvincing physics engine and jerky animation. When you end up have to string half a dozen of the moves together just to win a race it starts to get outright absurd, and you begin to wonder why Italian developer Milestone didn't go the whole hog and just add red shells in there as well. 

You can get extra turbo boosts by using up a stock of energy drinks, which is another common video game conceit but finally ruins any sense that this is actually a simulation. It's a shame because the stadiums are modelled fairly well after the real venues and the way that each bike's tyres dig great trenches in the dirt works much better than it ever did in MotorStorm. 

But overall the racing feels shallow and unrealistic, and it's not helped by the main career mode either. It's actually probably quite realistic but the World Tour is so miserly with its monetary rewards that you end up replaying races seemingly forever to unlock passes to new events. Not only that but you have to pay for character stat boosts like speed and stability, as well as new tricks, bikes, more powerful energy drinks, and new outfits. 

Since almost everything has to be paid for, rather than gained simply by winning a race, you end up endlessly replaying events and grinding out cash in the increasingly forlorn hope that the next race will be more exciting. 

You can opt to simply go and play a quick race or tournament but that won't help much in unlocking anything else. The two main race types are a standard checkpoint race and elimination mode, which work fine, but Trick Battle really doesn't. Scrubbing and the other mid-air tricks may look unconvincing during a standard race but when the spotlight is put on them they seem outright ridiculous. 

It seems almost unfair to mention Trails Evolution, given how it was never intended to be a serious race game, but it still looks and controls far better than MUD - particular in its multiplayer races. Motocross fans will still want a proper dedicated simulation of their sport, but they won't find it here. 

In Short: A classic case of a racer that doesn't know whether to be a simulation or arcade game and in the end never ends up a satisfying example of either. 

Pros: All the official licences you could hope for and some decent presentation. Plenty of game modes. 

Cons: The physics engine and animation are weak and the balance between realism and arcade racing is poorly handled. Frustrating career mode and rubbish Trick Battle. 

Score: 4/10 

Formats: Xbox 360 (reviewed), PlayStation 3 and PC 
Price: £39.99 
Publisher: Black Bean 
Developer: Milestone 
Release Date: 4th May 2012 
Age Rating: 16 


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