MotoGP 22, the test of the new official MotoGP game

To coincide with the first Grand Prix of the season, we tested MotoGP 22, as always created by Milestone: what’s new for the 2022 championship?

The 2022 season started in the best way for Italian motorcycling: in the inaugural Grand Prix in Losail the Italian flag waved in all three categories. In Moto3 and Moto2 two VR46 Academy riders, Andrea Mingo and Celestino Vietti, won, while in the premier class Enea Bastianini won for the first time, crowning the beautiful rebirth of the Gresini team.

Milestone didn’t want to waste time and, as if to celebrate the success of our flag, has provided us with a code for the MotoGP 22 test. As you can easily guess, this is the official title of the most prestigious motorbike championship and its two lower categories, Moto2 and Moto3; therefore, all the riders who took to the track in Qatar are present.

First inside…

El Diablo Quartararo è il campione in carica, ma la Yamaha 2022 sembra in difficoltà

El Diablo Quartararo is the reigning champion, but the Yamaha 2022 seems to be in trouble

The version of the game provided was a bit immature, sometimes freezing during loading and with some audio issues. This could be due to a lack of optimisation with the Windows 11 operating system used for the test, or simply a build that still needs refining. Nonetheless, we were able to get a hands-on feel for what fans are most interested in – the driving model. The Milanese developer has been using the Unreal Engine for a few years now, and progress has been made with each new edition, particularly since the 2020 season.

First-rate work has been done on the physics. While there are still a few questionable oversights (such as the evolution of the rider falling off the bike), MotoGP 22’s driving model is extremely convincing, but also just as tough. At every change of direction the mass of the bike is perceptible, as is the strength required from the riders to tame these 250+ horsepower, 150kg behemoths. The Ride Hieght Device makes an appearance, the so-called lowering device introduced for the first time in 2018 by Miller’s Ducati Pramac, to improve acceleration on exit, but the entire suspension part as a whole has undergone refinement work. Tyres and their management obviously continue to play a central role, as does that of fuel consumption.

…gas hammer…

Marc Marquez alla sua stagione più difficile: dopo i problemi al braccio, ha sconfitto anche la diplopia

Marc Marquez at his toughest season yet: after arm problems, he also overcame diplopia

Extreme concentration is required when braking: not only do you have to find the right braking point, but you also have to balance the front and rear brakes when going downhill, because understeer is always around the corner. It is just as demanding to hold the cornering line, especially in fast corners, while acceleration is less pronounced than in the extremes of a few editions ago.

And don’t think that you’re going to be hammering the gas, as the good Guido Meda would say (the official voice of this edition too, who as always limits himself to reporting on the starting grid and the podium), right up to the last second. There’s no lightning-fast Formula 1 braking: you have to continually step on the accelerator to avoid ending up inexorably in the gravel. For beginners, there are a number of driving aids that soften the learning curve, but they are not always well implemented. At the Red Bull Ring the braking assist takes away power halfway down the straight, with the result that even at the lowest difficulty level you lose two seconds in a couple of corners.


The new tutorial, on the other hand, is appreciable and helps you get to grips with the driving model. Also introduced is the variable weather, which may require you to return to the pits to change the bike; also confirmed is the long lap penalty that you suffer after cutting corners too often.

…unleash hell!

Pecco Bagnaia con la Ducati ufficiale: sarà lui l'erede di Valentino Rossi?

Pecco Bagnaia on the factory Ducati: will he be Valentino Rossi’s heir?

Speaking of artificial intelligence: it continues to be aggressive, bordering on Marc Marquez’s entrance in his heyday, but perhaps a little less garibaldian than last year. The CPU-controlled opponents certainly don’t skimp on crashes either. It’s a pity that the crashes don’t permanently remove the rider from the race, as the greater dose of realism that permeates the entire Milestone production would like. Unfortunately, the visual rendering of the bikers’ faces, which in the selection menu are no longer represented by photos but by polygonal models, is still not satisfactory. From this point of view the improvements are minimal and we would have expected more attention from the designers.

As everyone knows, for the first time since 1996 Valentino Rossi is not on the grid this year: fans of the doctor, however, should not worry because Milestone has made available bikes and riders who have marked the evolution of the premier class since the nineties and in this list can only stand out the yellow 46, the only one to have imposed both with the half-liter and with MotoGP. In addition to Rossi, there are other iconic bikes from past decades, such as the Hondas of Mick Doohan and Marco Simoncelli, Kevin Schwantz’s Suzuki, and the Ducatis of Capirossi and Gibernau, spanning the period from 1992 to 2011. Obviously, the riding model is a little more approximate than that of the current MotoGP machines, and the races between the old glories will feature models that are temporally very distant from each other (such as Lawson’s 1992 Cagiva and Biaggi’s 2001 Yamaha), with the result that the values are somewhat levelled, but it is certainly a pleasant novelty.

The tribute

MotoGP 22’s variable weather will be an element to always consider

And that’s not all: to add even more substance to an already rich dish, a history mode has been introduced to retrace the highlights of the 2009 season, arguably one of the most hard-fought in recent years. This section, entitled Nine Season 2009, is one of the many tributes to Valentino, who won his ninth and last laurel in his career that year. In this case, the game will make us relive some of the highlights of each of the 17 races of that season, such as Stoner’s last seven laps in the opening race in Qatar, and only by completing certain objectives will it be possible to unlock the subsequent Grands Prix (in this case, win with at least five seconds ahead of the second classified).

There’s a lot more meat on the MotoGP 22 grill: the developers have taken on board the criticism of the previous game’s completeness and have reintroduced a substantial career mode, not available in our release, which promises to start from Moto3 with your own custom team, including a selection of technicians and satellite teams. Also back by popular demand is the vertical split-screen mode for challenging your sofa neighbour. Cross play between consoles in the same family is also available. The final release date is scheduled for 21 April for all major systems: PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and X/S, Nintendo Switch and of course PC.

MotoGP 22 promises to be a new benchmark, further improving an excellent driving model and adding those contents that were a bit lost in the 2021 release.

CERTAINS

  • The driving model has been further refined
  • Top-level realism
  • Lots of content

DOUBTS

  • Unconvincing driver animations and 3D models
  • A few bugs in the driving aids
  • Artificial intelligence to be tested