Activision certainly seems to have their finger on the pulse of the extreme sports genre. Easily accessible gameplay, detailed character creation and level editors have provided a stable base of gaming athletes. From Tony Hawk to Shaun Palmer, their titles have conquered everything from snow to surf to street. Now Activision has its sights set on the Motocross world with their latest title, MTX Mototrax.
Mototrax looks like it has a lot in common with the typical racing title. There are single races for quick runs around the track or race series for players trying to go for a championship. Freestyle races let you hot dog on and off your bike, pulling the kind of tricks that youíve probably seen in Mountain Dew commercials. You can also do Supercross events in indoor stadiums and arenas, racing up huge ramps and leaping large gaps.
Wipe the level of mud away from your goggles, however, and youíll discover that itís a much deeper title. That is, if you decide to give your avatar goggles to begin with. The create a player mode has a number of faces, hairstyles and outfits that you can race in, including different gear for racing and freestyle events. Like most sports titles, your selection at the beginning is extremely limited, but successful racing will allow you to purchase new bikes and equipment through the career mode. Taking a page from T.H.U.G., Mototraxís career mode establishes you as a fledgling racer looking to make a name for yourself on the track.
Having recently signed up with a racing team, youíre sent to test your abilities with famous rider Travis Pastrana before you embark upon the circuit. This training level of sorts allows you to get accustomed to your bike and learn the ropes from one of the best in the sport, as well as practice your jumps and tricks. From there, however, youíre free to make your own choices as to how you want to make your way through the amateur ranks to become an ace rider. Win enough races and youíll attract sponsors from a number of companies, who will pay you bonuses to race in their freely donated gear.
While we still had preview code, the game is already running at a blistering 60 frames per second without any discernible slowdown whatsoever. Thatís with massive tracks and 8 simultaneous riders tearing around a level at different speeds. Riders are fully articulated, with rag doll effects similar to those found within the Tony Hawk series on particularly painful crashes. Music should be solid, with contributions from acts like Metallica, Ill Nino and Slipknot on board for adrenaline-infused racing. Plus, Travis Pastrana, Kenny Bartram and other top racers have provided their voices and likenesses for the game. Add to that online multiplayer competition, and you have a title that should burn up consoles this spring when it gets released next month. Check back soon for a full review!
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