MXGP3 is the imaginatively-titled sequel to last year’s MXGP2 (reviewed by us over here). If you haven’t read the last review (or don’t particularly want to), MXGP is a series of realistic motocross racer games developed by Milestone games. The games are noted for their licensed franchises and queerly difficult learning curve. MXGP3 boasts 18 international tracks to ride on,132 real riders, and 24 different kinds of bikes ranging between two and four stroke engines. Right, that’s the down low, let’s get into the review!

One of the biggest changes to MXGP3 over last year’s game is the change in video game engine to Unreal3. While it still looked good, I decided to get a proper comparison by plugging in MXGP2. I found that the prior engine looked better with crisper colours and more realistic shadows, although detail in MXGP3 felt better, with more organic-looking dirt spraying up from under your bike’s tyres.

In single-player mode, the game’s AI pulls no punches, and unlike some racing games, MXGP3 doesn’t engage in any rubberbanding. If your steering and bike control sucks, expect to come stone last every time until you get your act together. That being said, I found controlling the bike a far easier experience this time around, and I didn’t feel as much of an immediate failure as I did when I played MXGP2. The more you play, though, the faster your rider levels up certain abilities, making it easier to control and giving you the opportunity to learn something other than how to fight with getting a bike around a 360 degree hairpin bend.

The game boasts a new dynamic weather system, which is supposed to change the way the track feels as you race around it. Sunny weather gives you a harder track with easier turns around bends, and wetter weather, naturally skids you around a bit more. I hate driving in the rain.

MXGP3 boasts the usual gamut of game modes, from Career to Grand Prix to Time Trials. One of the fun additions to the game is the Compound, which allows you to customize a bike and just get the feel for driving around and learn to control the bikes. Mostly, you’ll be either spending time in the career or grand prix modes in order to gain those sweet experience points for boosting your biker. You could also gain points in online multiplayer (untested due to empty lobbies). Sadly, the game doesn’t support local multiplayer.

Is MXGP3 enough of an upgrade over MXGP2 to warrant the purchase? I’d say yes, despite the minor graphical issues. It’s easier to control and some of the new features make it worthwhile if you’re into technical racer games. Naturally, if you prefer arcade style racers and couch multiplayer that you can just into and out of quickly, this one isn’t for you. May I recommend something else instead?