Motocross is something I’ll never do before I die, which is why games are good — they gave us a way to dip into such experiences. MXGP3: The Official Motocross Video Game is out now on Steam and consoles for $50. It has you racing a motorbike through hilly dirt tracks alongside a crowd of competitors, just like the real sport … except without certain pain and suffering you would experience from crashing.
Also like the real sport, MXGP3 is all about speed and physics. And while you don’t have to worry about breaking any bones with this game, it can still give you a taste of controlling a powerful dirtbike through muddy turns and mosh pits of other riders.
MXGP3 is a racing game, which is well worn territory. But it stands out by focusing intensely on this one form of motorsports. When you take a turn, you can almost feel the work that developer Milestone put into it to ensure you come away with the sensation that your bike is digging into the earth.
When I watch motocross, I love to see the way the bikes grasp at dirt and how the riders throw their body weight downward to power through a tight curve. And MXGP3 nails that.
You can see what I mean in action in the video at the top. I run through a couple of races and try to figure out how to do some sick stunts all in 4K.
In addition to the act of racing, MXGP3 is attempting to appeal to fans of motocross with a variety of licensed tracks and riders. But the big standout is the introduction of bikes with two-stroke engines. These are typically lighter rides that have more power but are also more difficult to ride and require more shifting. And I’m glad they’re in the game because they confirmed that I’ll never sit on one in real life for fear of instant death.