Aiming for a fairly unused spot in today’s gaming market, the new MX vs ATV Alive title fires some new life into offroad motorsport racing. It might not wholly raise the bar for the genre, but for many racing fans it might just scratch an itch that few other titles can.
The single player follows the tried and tested format of starting right at the bottom with the lowest-spec vehicles, to working the way up right to the biggest international championships.
Races come in two types: Nationals and Short Tracks.
The former is a simple track race, but with a refreshing, arcade feel, and for the most part is good fun. Tracks are fairly varied, allow for large jumps and stunts and visually look great, though the main issue was its ease. After a few practice runs, I had enough mastery to take first place without much difficulty, as once you’re in front there is often very little stopping you pulling away from the rest of the pack, still barging into each other in an attempt to keep up.
This sorts itself out to an extent at the later stages of the career, but it’s definitely an odd difficulty curve (depending on your ability).
Short Track races are almost a totally different type of game, transforming from an ordinary race into a visceral demolition derby, as players crash and skid around short, narrow courses trying to stay ahead but also minding to avoid wrecking. It’s a little chaotic, but it’s fun, being sure never to become too frustrating with forgiving reset times and the ability to give out real punishment to other racers.
The choice in vehicles may be a little on the small side, but customisation is not. For every Quad or Motorcross bike also comes the ability to switch up the tyres, mud guards, suspension, frame – everything down to the number plates. It doesn’t have an incredibly indepth effect on the performance, but the sake of aesthetics it’s not bad at all.
MX vs ATV Alive offers plenty of hours for single player, but it doesn’t stop there. A host of race types are available in online multiplayer and, thankfully, in split-screen local multiplayer too, a feature all too often left out with recent racers. The casual, ‘pick up and play’ feel makes it a great party game, and the crashes can certainly provide some laughs.[nggallery id=57]
Published by: THQ
Developed by: Rainbow Studios
Number of Players: Up to 12
Available On: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3