The highest echelon of motorcycle racing belongs to MotoGP - the pinacle of who goes the fastest on two wheels.
MotoGP 19 is the most recent official video game based upon the racing series but the time has almost come for the next entry in the franchise to hit shelves.
We loved MotoGP 19 upon its release and awarded it a rating of 8.5/10 in our review back in June.
This is a hard act to follow but if steady improvements and innovations are made to what is already the best motorcycle game money can buy then 20 will also be a classic.
Here's everything we already know so far about MotoGP 20!
SOON: MotoGP 20 will be on shelves within a few months!
After THQ Nordic's purchase of Milestone SRL in August 2019, it was confirmed that MotoGP 20 will be released in 23 April 2020.
It was also revealed in the same press bulletin that MotoGP 21 will be released exactly one year later in April 2021.
Tracks, teams, & riders
The 2020 calendar will be replicated in the game, all of the season's record-breaking 20 grands prix will be available.
As this is the official game of MotoGP, all of the 11 teams and 22 drivers in the sport will be on offer as well.
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The April release date for MotoGP 20 means it will come hot on the heels of the season-opening Qatar GP. So get ready to go racing!
ACTION-PACKED: MotoGP's gameplay was a thrilling experience for all players to enjoy.
Information aside from the release date is hard to come by right now as the MotoGP games don't normally have much promotion involved prior to their release.
19 was a great game that did the magical thing of making you feel connected to the machinery. That isn't to say there weren't some faults with it but by and large the gameplay merely needs to be tightened up rather than radically changed.
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There wasn't much punishment for running off of the track, for example. This was in part to make the game more accessible, but less grip for surfaces like grass and gravel would be welcome.
A few turns such as Brands Hatch's first corner had inconsistent levels of grip, meaning you can crash or run wide when doing the exact same cornering approach.
Textures for off-track environments could certainly do with an upgrade to improve the atmosphere of the game. The pits need to be more heavily populated, and the track marshals could do with being more active, especially when there's a serious incident between multiple riders.
Neural AI 2.0
First appearing last year, Neural AI was a big hit.
Creating more realistic racing with smarter AI that could battle and surprise on-track, Milestone are taking it one step further this year with Neural AI 2.0.
In an interview with Producer Michele Caletti we were told:
“We strongly believe in the potential of neural networks applied to the world of video games. The previous version was smarter, faster and more efficient… and still it was not enough. So we decided to “go beyond”: MotoGP 20 will feature a Neural AI 2.0.”
MotoGP 20 takes the franchise to another level.
It's a stellar game with enhanced gameplay and more realistic AI. Combined with a deeper career mode it is a winner. Check out our full review for further details.
A teaser is currently up on the Milestone YouTube channel, so keep an eye out for it!
THE JOURNEY: Your career to become the very best is one you won't forget in a hurry
2019 brought about some big changes to the MotoGP video game formula and we'd like to see that stick for this year's entry.
The ability to skip the "Rookie's Cup" was most welcome, as was the addition of the challenging Pro Career mode.
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Like a lot of the modes that will be available in MotoGP 20, more of the same of what we saw in 2019's title is the expectation. The saying if it isn't broke don't fix it rings true here.
Maybe more of an option to create your driver's backstory would take career mode to the next level would be a worthwhile investment but this is unlikely to happen.
ONLINE ACTION: Competing with your friends to become champion of your lobby was as thrilling as offline
The MotoGP's online modes in the past had been disappointing but 19 brought with it a much better system. Gone were the lag-ridden lobbies of old and the number of people playing in multiplayer has unsurprisingly shot up.
A ranking system is the next logical step. If you've got someone who's spent over 100 hours on the game playing against a newbie, it doesn't seem fair and there isn't any way to stop it happening currently.
Customised lobbies where you can define the level of the players allowed to play would solve this issue as long as the ranking system is put in place. The ability to define what assists are allowed too like in F1 2019 would also be welcome.
Removing collisions would also be a good addition to public lobbies, that'll prevent the online trolls from ruining your race. Furthermore, if a ranking system is put in place, there can be greater punishment for those who incur penalties, such as experience points deductions.
NOSTALGIC: One of 19's best features was its historical challenges game mode.
Moto GP 19's historical challenges game mode was nothing short of fantastic. It's a game mode that we've been crying out for in other video game series such as the offical F1 game and Milestone proved it can be done to a great standard.
Over 50 legendary riders and 35 legendary bikes were available upon the game's release and it's safe to say we'll see this returning for 2020.
What we'd all love to see come April is more in the way of challenges to play, as only two were included in 2019's release. This was a brand-new game mode at the time, so it's understandable why Milestone didn't focus too much of their resources on this game mode.
Great games are those that stick in your memories and allow you to have a story to tell after each race. Equally though, allowing fans of two-wheeled racing to play through some of their moments throughout history is also key to this game's success.