It says a lot about MotoGP 13 that the career option is the fourth entry in the main menu screen. Buried underneath more immediate, less committal modes, the game's campaign is functional, but is essentially just a series of races held together by a shallow progression system, much like the one we saw in MotoGP10/11.
It's a decent but uninspired update. You earn fans, team interest and work your way through the biking ranks, from the tame Moto3 bikes up through Moto2 to eventually land yourself a sweet gig in the impossibly fast MotoGP division, one of the most dangerous sporting categories on the planet. New off-track features like Parc Ferme and a walkable garage are nice, but are needless extras on the whole.
Despite the lacklustre structure, MotoGP 13's exciting on track action just about holds everything together and makes it a worthwhile sim game for invested bikers. Racing requires a heavy dose of patience and control. Corners are taken slowly to avoid the bike slipping out from underneath you and precision is key to success - one wrong flick of the analog stick will send you careering into another driver. Players that have just shed their stabilisers will appreciate the rewind feature.
The barrier to entry is high, even with a bevy of different driver aids to tinker around with in the main menu. Bikes feel heavy whatever aids you're using and the more manual control options you enable, the more skilled you need to be to even come close to the podium. Controlling both your rider's movements on the bike, tucking in on corners, and the two-wheeled beast's double brake system is tough, but getting it right feels great.
Stringing a section of meandering corners together can be immensely satisfying, too. The new dynamic helmet cam provides a great first person view of the insane position that bikers put themselves in, shifting around as you bump over chicanes. The courses are varied, but they're disappointingly sparse and lack character.
As does the game as a whole. The on-track action can be exhilarating, but the career is too functional to impress. MotoGP 13 goes just as far as it has to, but never becomes truly essential.
By Sam White
MotoGP 13 has great on track action, but offers little else
- Racing is exciting
- No character
- Presentation is average and inessential
- New additions don't add much