Motocross fans already have an excuse to wear their helmets again, prepare their knee pads and get muddy up to their necks with this new racing proposal we bring you below. Like other sports disciplines, there is more than one studio developing a game on this subject with its particular vision. We’ve already seen (and tasted) Italian studio Milestone brings MXGP 21 to life. Now it’s up to Rainbow Studios and THQ Nordic to get their take on these bumpy, bumpy competitions.
MX vs ATV Legends is not the first iteration of the saga made by the studio, and since its first installment, called MX vs ATV Unleashed, launched in 2005, they have been improving and providing new features to each game. Well… or at least that was what happened until now. Without it being a setback, we have realized that his new game does not break with the playable or visual concept we have seen on other occasions. And with so much competition (and with current generation consoles), the game may be relegated to the background, appealing to those who have enjoyed installment after installment, but without that “punch” to recruit new followers.
The fundamental pillar of the title falls on its story mode. On this occasion, before entering to compete in each race, we will be able to enjoy the landscapes that surround our “operations center.” We can even breathe the air that the Californian coast gives off, metaphorically. Besides serving as areas where you can talk to other team members, it will be helpful to visit the tutorials or explore every corner in search of the unlockables that the game has hidden.
Through a calendar, we will select the different tests we will have at our disposal. We will start with the MX category, where the jumps on these two-wheeled bikes will be crucial to gaining good speed. Then we will unlock the ATVs, these powerful quads where we will learn to position our body well to draw the curves. And finally, we will be able to drive the UTVs, this type of car with large shock absorbers that resist all kinds of lines.
And although this is the first we see some variety, some factors weigh down the fun of MX vs ATV Legends. Although the study has ensured that in this installment, the physics have been improved, the truth is that I do not see the evolution. At least compared to other games in the same category. The jumps are simple, and the undulating and moulded sections do not offer the resistance to the inclination that we do see in other proposals. In other games of the same depth, even the grooves created by the motorcycles have their leading role. Even if we hit an opponent, he will most likely be thrown, and nothing will happen to us. There is an option that I liked, and it is the use of the clutch. In tricky situations, with ramps of great latitude, we can “pull the clutch” to make it easier to climb that peak.
I don’t see a story that ends up hooking either. Or a clear progression that “itches” you to get good results. There will be sponsorships, special events and indoor tests that break the monotony of the standard circuits. Still, we will not feel that completing these tests advances our career to be a legend, as the game’s title preaches. At least we have multiplayer with up to 16 players simultaneously, although unfortunately, we couldn’t test it because the servers were closed.
One of the aspects that have caught my attention the most is the Trails mode, where we will go out to compete in events that are formed randomly. In this aspect, the sections are implemented by the wishes of mother nature herself. As it was Forza Horizon, we will experience overtaking, skidding and hitting in the middle of the field.
I think that part of that “disenchantment” we have when starting the game comes precisely from its visual section. We are already used to seeing impressive racing games, and MX vs ATV Legends does not offer what we long for. It does not stand out in its technical aspect either, where I have had to suffer load times of 45 seconds before entering a race. Even the intro sequences go bumpy, and that’s video. A lot of polishing is missing in this section, and I hope they will soon release a patch to solve all the bugs we have seen.
By the way, I take this opportunity to mention the artificial control that UTVs have. I know these small cars must not weigh much to withstand all the bumps and ups and downs they suffer on each lap. But they consider it so tiny that they glide over the ground as if they were skating. And if we run into a stone on the road in the middle of that forced skid, our dreams of reaching the podium will be drastically reduced.
The mud runs brought back to us by the guys at Rainbow Studios leave me with mixed feelings. This is a game that knows how to balance realism with some more arcade touches. We don’t have to be motocross experts, but as we progress through the event calendar, we will require some control of our vehicle.
The worst thing that has made the game feel is its visual section, accompanied by the questionable technical area. The load times are very long between races, some vehicles behave strangely in certain situations, and even in that open world, we did not find the incentive to explore it. Without being a bad title, MX vs ATV Legends is designed for the closest fans of the saga, which are made to the faults and virtues of the series created by Rainbow Studios. The rest of the users may see this proposal differently and expect something more striking or spectacular. What group are you in?