MX vs. ATV Alive is the latest iteration in the popular MX vs. ATV franchise. This new title also brings with it a new approach from the development team at THQ. MX vs. ATV Alive is set in the “budget” price range and allows you to create your own experience. What this means is that the game does not have as many features as previous iterations, at least initially. You still have your single player offering with standard races and free ride competitions. There is no career mode this time though and there are going to be some people that are really disappointed with that decision. The reason for that is the development team wanted you to play the game you wanted. What that means is that they sell the core title to you at a reduced price and then you pick which content you want in the game through all of the downloadable content offerings that will be available. If you purchase a brand new copy of the game than you will also get the “MotoClub Pro Membership Access” along with James Stewart’s MX Compound.
Even though there isn’t a traditional campaign in this title you will still get that feeling of progression through the races that you complete. As you complete more races and/or challenges you will gain Rider XP. As you level up you will gain access to better gear, better parts for your vehicle and things of that nature. When you aren’t racing you can customize your vehicle to maximize its potential as well as customize your rider and swap out your “skills”. There is, of course, online multiplayer which features a bunch of different playlists. You have your “Rookie MX”, “Free Ride,” “Amateur ATV,” “Versus” and more to choose from. Not every playlist is available from the start and you can unlock playlists by getting your rider level to the required number. Versus, for example, requires your rider to be at level 25 before you can use that playlist. After playing for a while online I can also happily state that the online mode works really well and that I didn’t experience any lag at all. I was also able to jump into a match pretty quickly and it was pretty fun in the free ride segments to watch other people try and perform tricks as I was trying to successfully land my own.
The “Motoclub Depot” is where you would purchase all of the content that I have been talking about in this review. This is where you can buy different events, gear, helmets, vehicles and more. One of the interesting aspects here is that some of the downloadable content is available for free while the other stuff you need to purchase. There are also bundles that you can download which is cheaper than if you bought things individually. You also get an achievement the first time that you go in to the “Motoclub Depot”.
Graphically speaking, MX vs. ATV Alive looks really nice. As I am writing this review I have my biker sitting on top of a dune and I’m watching the blades of grass sway in the wind with the ocean in the distance. The bikes have some nice detail to them as does the rider. The environments look nice as well although I hope we get some more environments in the future with DLC. As far as actual game play is concerned MX vs. ATV Alive controls really well and they have improved on the formula from their last effort. It is a little harder to get thrown off your bike now and the developers continue to try and make this title as realistic as possible. With their “Rider Reflex” system you have control of both the biker and the rider so that you can lean in to turns, do tricks and different things like that. There is a “wreck avoidance” feature where if you are about to crash an arrow will briefly flash on the screen and if you respond quick enough you won’t fall. The game also features real time track deformation although it doesn’t have any consequence to the race itself. Still, it can be pretty interesting to see how beat up the track is towards the end of the race and all of the ruts in the dirt caused by racing around hairpin turns and landing big jumps. Another new thing that was introduced with this version is the “bar to bar” racing where you collide with your opponent to try and take them out. You need to be careful doing that though because they can easily do the same thing to you.
Overall, MX vs. ATV Alive is a fun title. If you have enjoyed previous entries into this series then you should enjoy this one as well. If you are a newcomer to the series then you should have some fun as well and you will probably like the a la carte downloadable content so that you can play what you want and forget about the rest. THQ has promised that this game will have tremendous support as it relates to downloadable content, so I can see this game being supported for quite a while. It will be interesting to see if other publishers try similar experiments with their respective titles. There isn’t anything ground breaking about this title but the fact of the matter is there doesn’t need to be. The developers keep refining the series with each new iteration and I enjoyed my time with MX vs. ATV Alive.
Originally posted on Totally Gaming Network