MotoGP 20 – Review (Nintendo Switch)
MotoGP 20 might just provide the Nintendo Switch’s best sim racing experience. But on a system best suited for kart racers, is that a notable achievement?
I’m lucky in this modern gaming landscape to own each current major home console. Each system has its strengths and weaknesses — whether you’re talking game library, raw power, extra services or online infrastructure. Whatever console you have, you have access to great games in every genre and style.
I love the Nintendo Switch. I also love racing games — especially sim-ish series like F1, Forza and Gran Turismo. The problem with the Switch, however, is that the controls are just not suited for sim racing. Shoulder buttons simply do not provide the same level of control as the pressure triggers available on PlayStation or Xbox controllers.
So why have I spent two paragraphs talking about the Switch’s controller limitations during a review of Milestone’s motorcycle racing game, MotoGP 20? Because I want you to know that, if you’re at all interested in playing this wholly competent racer, you should check it out on a different console.
As for what MotoGP 20 does offer on the Switch. It’s a deep, difficult racing game that can look stunning on the small screen in one moment, and rather drab on the small or large screen. It provides all the requisite thrill of zipping by a fellow biker, while feeling somewhat lacking when you’re zipping around the track on your own.
In the game’s deep career mode, you can start two rungs away from the top level in Moto3, working your way up to Moto2 and eventually MotoGP. This is the route I chose, in order to get used to the controls and circuits.
The game is heavily customizable, letting you finetune your own assists and AI difficulty, allowing for as competitive of an experience as you’d like. The career doesn’t hold your hand off the track, as it really took some trial-and-error for me to figure out how to upgrade my bike.
Career is as deep (or shallow) as you would like, as well, letting you run through every practice round, qualifying and the races. The main racing career mode I can compare this to is F1 or NASCAR Heat. I’ll add the caveat that I’m just more into the world of Formula 1, but the career mode just feels more alive in that game. In MotoGP 20, I feel like I’m going through the motions but I just don’t feel the same connection with my bike.
Part of this could be that I’m playing the game primarily handheld, and it lacks immersion in handheld modes.
The historic moments mode gives another less daunting way to play the game, while also learning more about MotoGP history.
MotoGP 20 for the Switch is a good game. There are times when I really have enjoyed the on-track action. But between some poor textures, vast loading times and the limitations of Nintendo’s controllers, it’s hard to wholly recommend the game.