MX vs ATV Reflex is the latest title in the long running MX vs ATV series and it is a whole lot of fun. One of the things that you will immediately notice when you are initially playing through this game is the amount of variety there is. As you progress through your “MotoCareer” you will immediately see that there are approximately 20 different series for you to compete in with multiple events within each series. Each series will present its own challenge and, as you progress, new vehicles to master. There is also a bit of customization as you can pick whatever name you want to be on the back of your jersey as well as your jersey number. This number will not only be on your jersey but it will make its way on to your vehicle and anything else that you might own. Additionally, once you pick the vehicle that you will use you can also tune it a bit to match your own style of racing. The level of tuning is nowhere near some other racing titles, however, you do get to mess with a couple of things. You also get the chance to mess with the graphics kit on your vehicle, how the handle bars will look, the different kinds of exhaust you will have, the different kinds of tires and more. You can definitely spend some time here until you get it looking how you want.
Once you get done with that you can explore the different types of series that are available and the different types of races within those series. You have waypoint series where you race towards flags and the first one across the finish line wins. This particular race is not on a traditional course and has more of an open world feel to it with the flags appearing on your radar at the top of the screen. The national series is more along the lines of outdoor motorcross on a traditional course. You also have the Omnicross series, freestyle, Supercross and more. As you begin to win the races within these events you will begin unlocking new races, vehicles and things of that nature. You will also unlock tracks that you can race on in the “arcade” mode of the game. The environments are pretty varied which will help to make sure gamers won’t get bored of the locations they are racing in and overall the graphics look really nice. As soon as you begin to race you will notice the incredible terrain deformation that this game has and how it can affect the race. As you go for a second or third lap in a race you will see the ruts and everything in the ground where people were during the first lap and it could potentially mess with you if you aren’t careful. If you want a good example of the terrain deformation in this game simply do a donut on your bike and watch the dirt fly up as you keep circling. It is a pretty cool thing if you are in a race with a bunch of different people and you can see what they all did because the ground is chewed up where they did a sharp turn or wiped out or whatever. It definitely adds to the realism factor of the game and the development team should be applauded for nailing this feature.
Of course, none of this would matter if the game didn’t control well. Fortunately, the controls for this game are really well done. When you are racing you can control both the vehicle and the racer independently giving you much more control over what happens during the race. You steer the vehicle with the left analog stick and you control the position of your racer with the right. You can control whether they lean forward or backwards or whether they lean left or right. This is a great feature because having your racer lean the right way at the right time will help you take tighter turns throughout the course or maybe jump a bit higher when you come across a big hill which could be the difference between you winning or losing the event. While you are in the air you can also pull off a variety of tricks by holding down the left bumper and then doing some combinations with the right analog stick. On the way down you won’t always land properly and you will be given a quick directional prompt. If you hit the right direction quick enough then your racer will get back on the vehicle and you will avoid a timely crash. Another great idea that was implemented was that you are in a empty motocross park as you wait for the game to load your event. It is in essence an interactive loading screen where you can practice some new tricks without the fear of losing the race or event when you wipe out. You can stay and practice as long as you want and then once it is loaded simply hit the start button to begin the event. At times the loading can be a bit slow, however, you really won’t notice all that much because you will be practicing your new tricks. MX vs ATV Reflex also features multiplayer with split screen, system link and, of course, play over Xbox Live. The playlist for multiplayer is just as expansive as the single player with you getting to choose from a variety of events such as Free Ride, Champion Sport Track, Freestyle and Mini-Games. It is a very robust multiplayer offering and one that should keep fans of the game busy for quite a while.
Overall, this is a fantastic off road racing title. No matter what type of offroad racer you are there should be a vehicle here for you to race with and/or perform tricks with. The terrain deformation is quite impressive as are the visuals and the overall feel of the game. Fans of this genre should give this game a serious look. Even if you don’t typically like this type of game you should download the demo and give it a try. Rainbow Studios and THQ have delivered a quality racing title that should keep offroad racing fans busy for a long time.
Originally posted on Totally Gaming Network