With well over 10 motorcycle racing games to its name, Milestone is nothing if not experienced in the world of virtual counter-steering. Primarily, this Italian studio has focused its attentions on road racing - MotoGP and the Superbike World Championships - but with MUD back in 2012, Milestone traded in the knee-sliders for a pair of motocross goggles. The result was an arcade racer that wasn't about simulating the complexities of keeping a 450cc missile upright through a trench-like hairpin so much as it was about boosting down a straight with the aid of an energy drink.
With MXGP, Milestone has ditched the gimmicks in favour of a more authentic motocross experience. It's clearly built upon the MUD foundation, but while that game represented motocross in the same way that SSX portrays real-life snowboarding, MXGP invites you to respect the fundamentals of the sport. It does this through three gradients of riding physics: Base, Medium and Pro. As you'd expect, Base is the least demanding and lets you off with the odd overcooked corner or poorly landed jump. But while MUD made crashing a rarity, MXGP conveys a greater sense of temperamental traction.
Despite being an avid biker who's owned everything from a two-stroke Yamaha TZR125R to a hefty Kawasaki ZX-12R Ninja, my first-hand experience of motocross bikes is fairly limited. I've torn across a makeshift circuit (aka a field) a couple of times on a borrowed pair of wheels, but I'm in no position to judge how accurately MXGP replicates the art of motocross. What I do know for certain, however, is that this isn't MotoGP 13 with slippery handling. With the physics set to Pro and the rider weight set to manual, you have to tackle every corner, jump and berm with an entirely different mindset.