The sound is just plain weak. Why can't these developers seem to add some power to these engine effects. It's not the first time a motorcycle game has made bikes that sound like a mosquito buzzing in your ear. Especially the 125cc bikes. This game continues that horrible trend. Basically, all bike sounds need to be redone. Hmm... mod anyone ? also there is not an option to listen to music while racing.
The graphics are decent enough. There not the best ever but they get the job done. The games system requirements are pretty low and there are options that you can turn off or on in the setup before the game starts to optimize performance for your system, like motion blur, weather effects, bloom, hi-res textures, widescreen ect. - why they don't let you do this in game is kind of annoying but once you get it set where you want you won't have to mess with it again.
There are several standard game modes like time attack, championship and quick race but the game is centered around the career mode where you earn points to upgrade your bike and unlock new bikes and gear. The better you place the more points you get to make improvements. It starts off with you riding a 125cc type motorcycle that is kind of slow but is easy to handle and as you complete the series of races eventually you will work your way up to 250cc and then Moto GP bikes. The MotoGP bikes are beasts that absolutely fly and are very fun to ride.
There are plenty of real life tracks to learn and using the practice laps is highly recommended before you jump in to qualifying and then the actual race, The AI in this game is solid and despite what another person said they dont just follow one another in a line. Many times they will crash, pass and take different lines into corners ect.
In the end I give the game a 7.5 out of 10. The actual racing is quite good and I agree that is the most important thing in a racing game. But the game just needs some more style and flair to make it better. Future games in this series should add a choice for music in races, some special effects like fireworks during night races, airplanes or hotair balloons flying overhead, Flags waving in the breeze, post race celebrations and so on. Also a rewind feature like grid or dirt 2 has or even a crew chief talking to you during the race would be welcomed. Additionally some more in depth tuning for people who want to tweek every aspect of thier bike is needed or have a team mechanic you tell to tune the bike to make it grip more, turn quicker or increase top speed would be a nice touch for people who don't want to bother. Also a garage for your bikes and trophies, like the PGR series had with snapshots hanging on the walls you took would be add some emotional attachment for your accomplishments.
So if you are looking for a solid motorcycle racing simulation I would recommend the game. Just don't expect much flash and extra bells and whistles. The game is all about the racing and you can't beat the price its selling for now. MotoGP 08 offers alot of racing to test your skills and it will keep you busy for quite awhile.