The third instalment of this popular motorcycle racer comes with more unique game modes to try
- A diverse range of game modes for all player types
- Realistic game physics and sound effects
- Intensely competitive with difficulty settings and excellent racer AI
- Controls are easy to learn, but difficult to master
- Set records with lap times
- Slow, awkward loading screens
- Poor UI layout for menu navigation
- Poor choice of tracks
- Framerate drops and clipping prevalent
Moto Racer 3 is a free motorcycle racing game for PC, developed by Delphine Software, in which you race motorcycles against your friends in a fast-paced, adrenaline-fueled racing environment. The game is available here as a demo version, with limited gameplay features. The full version can be downloaded elsewhere.
An Authentic Motorcycle Racer
Classic racing games have become more and more popular in recent times, and this game can now legitimately qualify as one. The game represents the motorcycle racing genre quite well in terms of layout, the variety of courses and motorcycles, game mechanics, graphics, and the overall feel of the game.
Visuals, Graphics and Sound
In terms of visual and graphical quality, the game is quite hit and miss. The dirt tracks that motorcyclists race on are quite poorly defined, even on a high-specification PC, and often appear quite pixelated. Graphics also take some time to load for distant objects, rendering them as a blurry mass for a couple of seconds. The billboards spread around the racetrack, while legible, are also quite grainy in texture. The racers themselves, on the other hand, are presented rather well, through attire, sponsors, clothing, lighting and shadowing, smoke from tortured tyres, and other features.
The sounds in the game are quite realistic for the motorcycles, with the familiar hum, buzzing and whirring sounds typical of motorcycle engines and with appropriate frequency shifts when accelerating, decelerating or coming in for a landing.
One feature that is lacking in the game from a visual perspective are environmental features. The game has no graphical support for either weather effects or day/ night transitions, offering instead a default bright sky and dry weather setting as a backdrop for gameplay. While hardly game breaking, these features all contribute to the realism of a game.
When you are ready to play a race, you can choose from a variety of different modes with three tracks per mode including blacktop racing, supercross, motocross, traffic mode, trials, freestyling and more
The on-screen UI is extremely basic. Like most racers, it offers lap times and best lap scores, the lap number, the position a racer is in, and a speedometer at the bottom right of the screen. On the left there is also a course map which you can use to track your racer.
When you are ready to play a race, you can choose from a variety of different modes with three tracks per mode including blacktop racing, supercross, motocross, traffic mode, trials, freestyling and more, each of which demonstrates the focus of the game on the unique tropes of motorcycling. Speed mode also lets you hurtle through long paved racecourses at incredible speeds to achieve new records. Supercross and motocross modes let you race through particularly difficult undulating tracks.
Freestyling lets you test your skills on a variety of ramps, moguls and knolls to see how long you can remain airborne. Next, we have trials mode, in which your skills as a player will be put to the test with a series of highly difficult obstacle courses where even the slightest error will result in failure. For those who like a challenge, this game mode is for them. Finally, in traffic mode, you will race against a single opponent in downtown Paris and try to reach the finish line before he does.
This level of variety is unparalleled in motorcycle racing and remains the game's best feature. The physics of the game also complement these modes. For high speed modes like traffic, the game rarely sends you motorcycle where it ought not to be. For more precise modes such as Trials, the amount of control you can exert over your bike is quite impressive. While no damage physics or animations have been incorporated into the game causing drastic shifts in momentum, it is possible for you to lose control of your motorcycle if you land poorly or make contact with another motorcyclist. The game can be played in first person and third person, allowing you to make the game more realistic when making death-defying leaps. If you're a gamer who enjoys difficult games, the various game modes on offer also allow you to modify difficulty and driver speed settings from the garage.
More than other games of this type, Moto Racer 3 emphasizes control and precision, requiring a great deal of practice to master. This is particularly true for modes such as Trials. The AI of your fellow racers is also not that bad. On higher difficulty levels they will rarely crash into obstacles or err at all.
In addition to single player modes, the game also offers an online multiplayer mode, but it is poorly developed. Requiring LAN and TCP/IP connections with no dedicated servers or match-making service, it is rather difficult to set up a game.
Gameplay does present some issues, however. The framerate in the game is generally quite unstable. While playing even low traffic game modes where there is only a single cyclist, the game often exhibited slow downs, framerate drops and some clipping. Next, the game's user interface is very poorly designed. Menus are not intuitively placed and are often difficult to locate and/ or navigate. Loading times are also uncomfortably long at times, forcing a player to sit through several animations before the game even loads up. Next, the game offers a distinct lack of variety with just 15 tracks and no track creation facility. This is quite a surprise given that its predecessor offers almost three times as many tracks and the ability to make your own. The realism of the game can also be called into question. The appearance of environments, the reactions of the drivers and motorcycles, and the game's physics are all at odds with an authentic racing experience.
If the game could be judged solely on the basis of its variety of modes, its steep difficulty settings, and its realistic racing physics, then it would be by all accounts an excellent racing game. Unfortunately, there are many features which bring this game down. Framerate issues and clipping make gameplay choppy at times, requiring lower graphical settings. In-race animations could definitely be more polished. The user interface is also extremely difficult to navigate, with a barrage of loading screens and awkwardly placed menus getting in your way. As if taking a step back, the game lacks a track creator and has significantly less tracks than its predecessor, offering just three. Despite this, gameplay is solid and rewarding, and if you're not overly critical as a racer it still impresses. Its variety alone is enough to keep players entertained for hours on end.