MX vs. ATV Untamed
Rainbow Studios has given birth to the x-th MX vs ATV game and the pregnancy was no doubt not filled with rest and selfconfidence. With DiRT and Motorstorm some topgames have risen in the genre that attack the niche of the series with polished and exciting gameplay.
The makers have concentrated on offering more content and more variation in vehicles than are available in the competition. Too bad that this also means that there’s hardly anything revolutionary to be found, and that the quality seems to have had less importance than quantity.
No sad faces though, as those that like bikes and mud will rub their hands with the list of vehicles: all kinds of motorcycles, quads, monster trucks, stupid pocket bikes, buggies… I don’t think anything is missing in the game! The feeling is constantly arcade but you do get a different idea from a truck and a 500cc bike. The accessible controls and the handling show what this is all about: spectacular racing with the necessary impossible stunts and fears of heights-inducing jumps.
The latter are an important part of the game. You need to “load” jumps by pulling your thumbstick backwards and do them well by pushing forward a little later on. Believe me, you’ll often break your teeth with a bone-crushing crash! Doing these stunts, and accompanying combos, isn’t always as tight and finding out that a large part of the gameplay is based on this makes it all the more disappointing. Especially the stunt-specific events can be found to be quite frustrating.
Luckily there’s a lot to do and experience, both indoor and outdoor. The tracks are never jawdropping but there are several that are nicely built, with some inspiring series of jumps and ravines. Opponents react realistic enough and there are more than enough difficulty degrees to satisfy anyone.
Most of the time you’ll probably be spending in the X-Cross Tournament. This lets you play just about any sort of event and changes between the different available rides. That way you quickly get to know your favorite parts after which you can start playing them seperately, in specific events or in certain championships that concentrate on one type of race. If that’s not enough for you (and I dare to doubt that), and you’re one of those people with friends, than you can start up a game online (up to 12 players) of with whoever is at your house. Both splitscreen as LAN are supported and there are even a couple of minigames if you’re not fed up with those yet.
Graphically everything is quite ok. There’s some pop-up which will bother one person more than the other, but the framerate is high enough and also the vehicles and surroundings are good enough to feel next-gen. Don’t expect the level of DiRT though, nor a visual feast of variation, shadow play and color bursts. The sound isn’t memorable, suitingly illustrated by the fact that I have nothing else to say about it.
MX vs. ATV Untamed offers what you expect from an arcade, off-road racer. Accessible controls, lots of stunts and crashes, and decent graphics. The best part in this episode is that there are a huge amount of vehicles, events and races present, added with a good multiplayer. In the end more than decent, but nothing that makes our gamerheart truly beat faster.