This weekend I’ve been sinking my teeth into MX vs ATV Legends. Now, full disclosure: this is not usually my type of game. The only real racing game I have ever played is Mario Kart and the only sporting game I have played is Wii Sports. So, I think it is pretty fair to say that I am a new hand at this genre. MX vs ATV Legends is the newest from Rainbow Studios and THQ Nordic. The game offers several racing experiences: bikes, ATVs and UTVs with career and open-world challenges to tackle. The game releases on June 28th, is available on PS5/PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC, and promises the deepest career mode in franchise history and an all-new trails mode.
The first thing I noticed in this game was how inclusive the difficulty levels are: there are five, ranging from very easy to very hard. Difficulty settings adjust how the AI reacts and drives, which is excellent for a newbie like me because it means that I can experience the game at a pace and a level appropriate to me. It also means that seasoned racers are presented with a little more challenge and can enjoy the game at a level which suits their abilities.
The second thing that came to my attention was the well-made open world, where you can go out and practice in between races. This is also where the tutorials were set, which were done in such a way that made them both fun and informative. Normally I find tutorials quite tedious but this managed to teach me the basics in a succinct and easy to digest way. You have to make your way to several waypoints, each of which will give you a tutorial on different skills and abilities. You can explore the open world in between and you are not forced to go through the tutorials in any particular sequence or manner. The only one I couldn’t quite grasp was the jumping tutorial: I simply don’t have the coordination for complex tricks and jumps requiring multiple joystick and bumper movements, but a more seasoned racer will likely enjoy this challenge.
Another fun thing about the open world is there are scenic points and tokens to collect. Some are simple and some require you to master a few tricks to collect. I think this is a really fun side quest-style addition to the game that a lot of people will enjoy, as it allows you to muck about and practice your skills. The open world is also an excellent place to test out your limits because littered throughout it are smatterings of different terrain where you can practice and get used to handling your vehicle.
From what I’ve played so far, career mode is really well done. You start with racing on a bike and unlock the career mode for other vehicles, customisations and career stats as you go along. You can also earn sponsorships and special invitational events. Each race is a different track which presents different challenges and it stops the races from feeling too samey. So far, the racing has been really fluid. I have not come across any glitches or bugs and the AI appears to be appropriately set to the ability level I have chosen, offering some challenge to a new player while not being too difficult to master. You can watch the other AI players jumping and crashing about and the whole physics of the game seem pretty spot-on. I haven’t had the opportunity to try out multiplayer mode but if it works as fluidly as the rest of the game, I can only imagine that it will be a lot of fun.
The only real issue that I have come across in the game so far is that the cut scenes can be a little juddery, but as this does not affect the actual gameplay it isn’t really an issue. Once everything is loaded, it all seems to render really well: the track looks realistic and the background is pretty without being too distracting. The graphics really do seem quite brilliant on this game.
Overall, I think MX vs ATV Legends is really well designed and developed. It offers an excellent starting point to those new to racing games and appears to offer a good challenge to old hands at this genre. Despite not being a racing or sports game fan, this game has really drawn me in and I anticipate playing a lot more of it over the coming weeks. As a first impression, for converting a new racing player to someone who is genuinely looking forward to picking up the game and conquering the next challenge, it gets a solid
9 / 10
Edited by Catherine.