The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
Even though Mud is the official game of the FIM Motocross
series, it's a title without a real identity. At first I thought it was a shill for
Monster Energy – that's just how uninspiring and unmotivated much of this game
Mud features 84 real riders and a dozen tracks on the
circuit, but it's the racing itself that reduces its scope and strangles its
ambition. The tracks may feature mud, undulating terrain, and hundreds of ccs
of bike power, but it looks and feels too stiff to be immersive. Riders don't
have a lot of range in their movement, and the bikes feel like they are almost
gliding on the dirt. The effect is that although the game delivers a sense of
speed and you'll fly through the air off of jumps (as well as gain speed boosts
for kicking out your back wheel in mid-air), as you're racing you don't feel
like you're sliding the bike through the dirt, bouncing the shocks, and
finessing the bike around the course.
Another disappointing aspect of the game is that although
the game modes are all-encompassing, they definitely leave you wanting more.
You can pick the races you want to comprise the FIM championship, but it lacks any
fanfare. The Mud World Tour mode lets you race as different "heroes"; upgrading
their stats and doing different types of races like checkpoint, trick battles,
and head to head, but it's not balanced well. The trick battles can be spammed
with the same basic tricks (negating the need to buy new ones), and although
the game encourages you to switch riders in this mode according to their proficiencies,
it's not always necessary.
I commend the developer for
including different modes, but their inadequacies reveal a title that doesn't
fully develop any one aspect of itself.
Email the author Matthew Kato, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.