MotoGP 09/10 First Impressions

We checked out Capcom's latest bike racer at GamesCom 2009 and found out about it's new arcade mode.

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When Capcom snapped up the MotoGP licence after it had been in THQ's garage for a number of years, it offered a fresh take on the sport that included solid physics and a good sense of speed--two things essential to racing enthusiasts. Unfortunately it also had a few limitations in the career mode and online offering. Since Capcom pushed the latest version back to March 2010, developer Monumental Games has been able to incorporate both the 2009 and 2010 seasons into the game (the latter via downloadable content). We took a look at the two-wheeled racer at GamesCom 2009 in Cologne, Germany.

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According to Monumental senior producer Greg Bryant, there will be four main modes included in the game, and while the team is mum on most of these, they were able to talk about the arcade mode. (We also know that there will be a career mode.) Eschewing the traditional approach in which your goal is simply to score the fastest time or best position possible, in each race, MotoGP's arcade mode is more of a time attack mode, similar to what you find in numerous classic arcade racing games such as Out Run and Daytona USA. You earn extra time through technically proficient racing that includes completing clean sections, slipstreaming, and smoothly overtaking. You can also earn extra time through aggressive manoeuvres such as burnouts, showboating, and aggressive overtaking. According to Bryant, it's about balancing risk and reward (a la Burnout). One interesting idea is that extra time will be accumulated and carried over to the next race in the season. The challenge, it seems, will be to see how much extra time you can carry into the season's final race in Valencia, Spain.

Fans know that MotoGP was originally meant to ship around the end of the year's season and instead slipped to a March 2010 launch window. The upside of all this is that not only will the game feature all of the events, tracks, and riders of the 2009 season, but Capcom has decided to release a free DLC pack that will include all of the 2010 riders, teams, and classes--including the new Moto2-class bikes. This means that you will get not only 2009's Donington Park (British GP) track, but also 2010's Silverstone Circuit (British GP) and Balatonring (Hungarian GP) tracks. For fans craving yet more content, premium DLC packs are also planned, with further details to be announced.

With blisteringly fast speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour, MotoGP needs a graphics engine to keep up with the pace, and Monumental has confirmed that MotoGP will support a fast 60 frames per second. The team is striving to make this stable in all situations, regardless of weather or traffic. The riders are already looking pretty realistic and natural, and their animations look rather lifelike. While licences of the major teams are still being worked out, we saw bikes from some of the smaller teams, and we're happy to report that the bike models are looking detailed and promising. The track also looks convincing, with various amounts of track degradation and plenty of score marks and burnout around the track.

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Moto GP 09/10 will also get a new control scheme, with the left analog stick dedicated to steering, the left trigger used for the front brake, and the right trigger used for acceleration. While MotoGP games have typically had a front and rear braking ratio of about 60:40, 09/10 will have a ratio closer to their real-life counterparts, around 90 percent front braking and 10 percent rear braking. There's still loads more we want to know about the game, including the weather effects, physics engine, career mode, multiplayer, and much more, and we hope to hear about these in the near future.

Moto GP 09/10 will be wheeling out of its garage in March 2010. Stay tuned for more information on the game in the coming months and check out all of our coverage from Cologne at gamescom.gamespot.com.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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