MotoGP 14 is the official game of the Moto Grand Prix World Championship. It includes all the circuits and riders which take part in the Moto3, Moto2, and MotoGP categories, as well as some game modes which allow commemorating some of this sport's the most legendary moments.
MotoGP 14 is also the last(?) attempt to correct the course of a saga which has fallen short for some years, and followed a path which has been erratic at best.
Game modes aplenty
MotoGP 14 has many game modes, sufficient to deliver lasting gaming and delight fans of the two-wheeled sport.
The game mode par excellence, as in previous installments, is Career Mode. In this mode, you must create your rider from scratch and have him progress from category to category until winning the MotoGP title. This includes not only the rider himself, but managing various aspects such as contracts, bike upgrades, and team changes.
In addition to the Career Mode, MotoGP 14 features the classic modes which allow racing in one or more Grand Prix or the entire Championship. In each of them, we can configure whether we want to complete all the training sessions or the whole race, and also configure the number of laps we'll have to race.
But without a doubt, the Real Events 2013 and Challenge the Champions modes are those which will appeal most to cybernetic bikers. The former sets up different real situations which happened during the 2013 MotoGP Championship, and in which the player must intervene to recreate what really happened. In other words, if Lorenzo was able to beat Márquez in the British Grand Prix even while racing with a dislocated shoulder, your task is to put yourself in the Majorcan's shoes and repeat such a feat.
Challenge the Champions is one of the modes which might bring tears to your eyes, especially if you've been following the sport for some years. In this mode, you assume the role of true motorcycle legends such as Mick Doohan, Kevin Schwantz, Wayne Rainey, and Freddy Spencer, and you must reenact some of their most legendary performances.
Lastly, MotoGP features an online multiplayer mode which allows up to 12 humans-controlled players to race against each other. There isn't much to say about this mode, except that it is quite frustrating to race against certain players who treat the races more like a game of bowling than as a fierce struggle between men and machines.
The saga doesn't quite strike a balance
In terms of game modes and environment, MotoGP 14 is an excellent game which has improved (substantially) on last year's installment. It's a pity that one can't say the same of the gameplay.
Control is a crucial aspect in all motorcycle games. It is quite a bit more difficult to recreate the physics of racing motorcycles, closely tied to the physics of their riders themselves. Unlike in car racing games, this is very difficult to get right. And MotoGP 14, though it is a great improvement on its predecessor, has hardly done so.
The game offers the player several riding options, from an arcade driving style, in which it is almost impossible to skid and fall, to Pro Mode, in which the slightest over-acceleration has dire consequences. Even so, it is very difficult to find the perfect balance between realism, fun, and difficulty - a problem endemic to all motorcycle simulators.
MotoGP 13 disappointed with its poor, bland graphics. MotoGP 14 has greatly improved in this regard, though the result is nothing to get excited over. The feeling the game has left us with is that Milestone (the Italian studio commissioned for the game) is headed in the right direction, but there are still details which aren't up to scratch, such as the weather, the level of detail in the circuits, and the rubber marks on the racetrack.
Sonically, the only good part is hearing Ernest Rivera (ex-motorcycle commentator on TVE) comment on the races. Everything else - the noise of the engine, the braking, the circuit environment - is pretty lousy and lacks luster.
The best choice for bike fans
MotoGP 14 has many shortcomings, especially in terms of graphics, sound, and gameplay, but still manages to convey a passion for this sport. Everything is very meticulous: the menus, the championship information, the statistics... everything. And if we factor in the opportunity the "Challenge the Champions" mode offers us to relive historical moments, the result is a game that motorcycle nuts will like a lot.