Milestone is back on track after MotoGP and MXGP

Once upon a time there was a Milan software house that in the mid-90s shocked the computerized four-wheel world forever with the Screamer series: it was called Graffiti and it was led by Antonio Farina. After changing your name A teacher targeting a world of two wheels Obtaining the Superbike World Championship license, a series that was very popular at the time and even able to undermine the popularity of the World Championship, despite the fact that Valentino Rossi was in the first division (500 cc). Milestone chose the Factory-derived Championship because it was the only license available on the market and with the World Superbike Championship, it exceeded the expectations of Foggy fans, Corser and affiliates.

Impressive to see it on the PCs of that period, it blew us away in terms of the realism of the simulation and gameplay. So memorable is the artistic commentary of Giovanni Di Bello (“the black comma” is still etched in our minds) who was the official commentator on television. The levels of excellence that Milestone reached in the 2001-99 triennium are only sporadic: after ten years the Milestone team is trying again With Superbike ChampionshipThanks to the great results obtained with the MotoGP and Ride series. So let’s delve into the world of SBK 22.

SBK 22 and MotoGP22: same, very different

Superbikes have evolved in a surprising way in recent years (engine and electronics), and often, in some circuits, the best riders in the championship have managed to get close to MotoGP times (the difference is calculated in a few seconds). Proposed tire recycling package from production derivatives It is easier to manage than a prototype of the highest class Which requires a very clean driving style: SBK bikes, on the contrary, tend to move around a lot, are more jerky and less stiff.

And above all indulgent: it is much easier to find good feeling and maximum with these racing cars than it is with motorcycles. That’s in a nutshell what happens in the expected SBK 22 from Milestone, especially for those coming from the MotoGP series developed by the same house. A few laps in Misano are enough to notice the differences in video games between Alvaro Bautista’s Ducati Panigale V4R proposed in SBK 22 and Pecco Bagnaia’s Ducati Desmosedici in MotoGP 22: The physical model is different (regardless of weight/biker) It can be estimated by removing any type of electronic aid.

permissive leadership model

From braking to top speed, you immediately feel more tolerance for mastering Johnny’s Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR or Toprak’s Yamaha R1 than on a MotoGP bike.

Warning: This does not mean that you can enter the curve at full speed while braking on two wheels at the same time that legendary Kevin Schwantz has been doing. This means that the file Chassis / Framethe braking system (disks are simply steel for Superbike, carbon for MotoGP), and and and (Pirelli on one side, Michelin on the other) E Motorcycle weight (The derivative weighs 168 kg versus the 157 kg of the prototype) It has a different effect on game physics. To reproduce this allow chose Milestone Less punitive approach (who has RiMS Racing Review, for example) and less complex than its simulation for MotoGP: the implemented physical model is probably a revised and modified version of the one developed for the first class of prototypes. In fact, it’s possible to do trials, tracks and rope points in SBK 22 that would be impossible in MotoGP 22. Needless to say we expected something more elaborate, perhaps halfway between trials in RiMS Racing or in the MotoGP series itself.

Fairly familiar drawing

The player accompanies a feeling of déjà when he moves onto the track: bikes (they are beautiful), cut scenes (animations and faces can certainly be improved) and some tracks look quite familiar to those who have played one of the latest MotoGP editions. Tested on PlayStation 5, the SBK 22 was appreciated from the first laps on the track for good fluidity, even the “wow” effect experienced with other titles was lacking (here F1 review 22): pop-ups and glitches were not present, while the asphalt in some circuits – as in the MotoGP 22 – is marked Very strange “faint” effect.

Rain on some tracks has credibility, less so on others. In any case, the track contour has been improved and the twelve championship tracks have been nicely reproduced. as a greeting Animations by Rinaldi, Redding, and other SBK phenomena There is little to complain about: They are good overall and compared to the MotoGP 22 riders, there is less tendency to separate the leg before braking. The faces of the 24 pilots are very similar to their real counterparts (hair spaced apart), with some very similar and some not.

Where is the explanation?

If rider animators feel that Milestone has borrowed several traits from the MotoGP 22, over the sound of a Ducati Panigale V4R or a Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR there is no doubt: they are new. It should be noted, then, that unlike the MotoGP 22 in the SBK 22 there is no kind of technical commentary, nor Max Temporali, nor Edoardo Vercellesi. Also positive feedback for AI operated by ANNA (The system based on neural networks launched in MotoGP 19) which limits the formation of trains and tail collisions on the track.

CPU-operated pilots “notice” the presence of the player and other opponents and no longer follow the usual, predetermined path and also prove that they can Exploiting the mistakes of others. The production’s thirty-year history is punctuated by epic duels (Foggy and Chili at Assen in 1998) and connections at the extreme between riders, like the ones we’ve seen this season between Rea, Bautista and Razgatlioglu: in SBK 22 there’s no shortage of touches , rear collisions (we happened to take off climbing on the back of an opponent’s bike) and ignorant entrances. Unfortunately, hand-to-hand combats on the helmet have not yet been added…

Little content but good

SBK 22 content offer is rather meager: lessons, quick modes (possibility to play full tournament, weekend race or time trial), Usual basic occupation and multiplayer sector. However, it is possible to customize the on-track and off-track experience according to your needs: from the aggressiveness of the AI ​​to the intensity of the racing direction (black flags and long lap penalty) or the available assistance, there’s nothing to complain about. Milestone gave plenty of room for customization even if the editor seemed limited.

As for the additional content, we still don’t know if it will be added Other secondary categories (Supersport 300) or some SBK legend but we remain optimistic. The career aligns with what we have already seen in Milestone productions. Our pilot has the opportunity to Find a contract in an official team Or start your own team. We find ourselves managing contracts, improving the technical staff available, developing the bike and achieving pre-set goals: all Taking into account the budget and schedule of commitments. A simple and playable Career mode very similar to the MotoGP 22 mode: innovations have been postponed to next year. On the multiplayer front, challenges are available in Superpole, Races, Time Trials, and more: more or less than what you’d find in the Prototypes version of the same event.