MX vs ATV All Out - Video Game

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First Impressions: MX vs ATV All Out

First Impressions: MX vs ATV All Out

Hot on the heels of Milestone's release of Monster Energy Supercross: The Video Game comes THQ Nordic's latest MX vs ATV title, MX vs ATV All Out. It has been clear from the marketing and early preview videos that this was going to be a bit of a change of pace for the MX vs ATV franchise, as the physics and main concept of MX vs ATV Supercross were dropped in favor of returning to both a more traditional MX vs ATV physics engine and a general focus on all of the activities that can be done with MX bikes and ATVs, rather than Supercross being the main focus. Below you'll find my first impressions of the game, along with some gameplay videos. All of my thoughts were gathered from about four hours or so of playing. All of the gameplay videos are of my first time playing in each mode, so keep that in mind. I'll have a full review out in a few weeks.

If you'd like to check out the first 30-minutes of the game, which primarily includes the tutorials and me getting used to the controls/bike handling, you can do so directly below.

MX vs ATV All Out Features:

  • Single Event
  • Series
  • Online
  • Time Trial
  • Split Screen

Physics

Let's just jump straight into what everyone cares about, shall we? The biggest debate about MX vs ATV games since the release of MX vs ATV Reflex has been the physics, and THQ Nordic's last release before All Out, which was Supercross, probably got the most flak for its physics. So, as you might expect, they basically did a complete physics overhaul. And the result is actually not bad. Everything is a lot less awkward than Supercross, and in general it makes the game much more fun.

The in-air physics do seem less floaty than I was expecting. You have a lot of control and you can maneuver, throw whips, whatever you want to do fairly easily, but there's clearly some weight to the bike. Some may not like that, but I'm a fan. I don't want the bike to feel like it's weightless when it's flying through the air. That brings me to another hot topic when it comes to physics: whips. It always takes me a while to master whipping in MX vs ATVgames. I don't know why, but it's just how it is for me. So right now I'm not the best at it, but from what I've thrown, or attempted to throw, I do like it. I was a bit worried when in every pre-release gameplay video I saw the rider was bringing the whip all the way around and was essentially backwards, because when I race I prefer to do whips that you'd actually do in a real life race, so throwing it completely backwards isn't exactly at the top of the to-do list. But you get a fair amount of control over it so you can whip in however style you prefer. Now, it's not the same level of control or realism as the whips in Reflex, but it's about as close as we've gotten since. I will also say that when I first started playing I was trying to control the whips the same way as it's done in Reflex, and while it is somewhat similar, it's not done exactly the same way, so prepare to spend some time getting used to it if you're still a Reflex player. Overall, after my first four hours or so of playing I'm pretty satisfied with the in-air physics. Sure, there's always room to improve, but this is the best the in-air physics have been in a while, so I'll take it.

Where I'm a bit iffy with this game so far, are the ground physics. While it's fun to absolutely rail the outside line and blast by another rider, or go four-in to a rhythm section, there is no skill required to do it in this game. I can go into a corner on a national track wide open and hold it wide open all the way through if I take the outside line, and it's not because I'm a god at this game...it's because it's extremely easy to do. Also, the bike is practically glued to the ground while you're going through corners. I'm not sure if there is a variety of traction in this game, but if there is I haven't encountered it yet. Every track I've ridden the bike corners like a dream in every corner. It's clear to me that THQ Nordic really wanted to focus on making sure non-MX people could pick up this game and play without getting too frustrated trying to learn how to ride. Because not only is it easy to obliterate corners and get enough speed in corners to do big rhythms, but it's rather hard to crash in this game. Sure, if you fly off of the track in Supercross and hit the bales you'll probably hit the deck, but there were several times while I was playing where I no doubt would have eaten dirt in the past few MX vs ATV games, and somehow I magically rode out of it. I get trying to appeal to a mass market, I really do, but I do think a lot of hardcore MX game fans are going to take issue with the ground physics of this game, despite the physics enabling us to do some pretty sweet stuff by MX standards. 

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Game Modes

Somewhat reaffirming THQ Nordic's commitment to making arcade style MX games is their decision to once again not include a Career Mode. With the direction they decided to take the game, I understand opting to just do a Series Mode opposed to a Career Mode. The Series Mode operates very similarly to past MX vs ATV games. You join a series that will be a certain amount of races, and there are point standings for the series and you get credits based on the positions you finish in throughout the series. Pretty simple stuff, but it gets the job done. You can do a variety of different series, though, and I'm sure that they'll hold your attention for nearly as long as a Career Mode would. 

 

Single Event Mode, as you might expect, is where you can just race one single event without having to do an entire series. From what I looked at, it looks like every track is unlocked in the Single Event Mode, though, opposed to you having to progress and unlock different tracks in the Series Mode. Again, it's pretty simplistic, but it gets the job done. 

 

Unfortunately, due to the smallish amount of time I have played the game, I haven't had time to test out Online, Time Trial, or Splitcreen yet. But, from what I've heard from people who have been playing Online already, they've been dealing with some server issues. It could be isolated to just them, but I have heard this from multiple people.

Gameplay

Now, this....this is going to be a rough section for this game, because I can't understand how a full release can be put out for a game that is not graphically daunting and somehow it still has some serious lag issues. If you take a look at my gameplay videos you'll notice some serious lag/stutter in the National Series gameplay, and there's also some in the Supercross gameplay video, although noticeably less. The bottom line is that it's flat out unacceptable in my opinion for this to happen. Surely, they did several tests of the game before they submitted for release? Surely, they noticed all of the lag? I sure hope so, and I hope that there is a patch released very soon that fixes the lag. It's hard to enjoy a game when my attention is drawn to the drastic drop in frames that I'm getting throughout the entire race. 

Next up is the AI, and don't be shocked when I tell you that it's exactly what you'd expect from an MX game. The AI isn't as bad as Reflex, but it's not all that great, either. I was able to beat the all-time difficulty my first time playing on a stock open class bike. Now, I will admit that if you give the AI a bit of a head start, or crash early in the race, it's a bit harder to come back if you have a shorter race length set, but if you get a decent start you should be able to blow away the AI without worrying too much. Someday, yes, someday we might get an MX game with decent AI. 

As I touched on briefly earlier, playing this game is fun. It's very arcade-y, it's very easy, and it has some lag issues, but it is fun to play. I had a blast in my first four hours of playing this game. How will it hold up as I play it more and more, though? I guess we'll see. 

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Graphics

THQ Nordic didn't try to go for near-photo realistic graphics like Milestone did with Monster Energy Supercross, but that's okay because I quite like how this game looks visually. How it looks very much fits how it plays. If it looked photorealistic, but played how it does, then I feel like reactions would be overwhelmingly negative because the expectations change with how the graphics look. It looks like an arcade MX game, but at the same time it looks good. Especially the gear, which looks fantastic in this game. 

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Tracks

The tracks that I've played so far seem pretty wide, which once again fits into the arcade feel THQ Nordic was clearly going for. A lot of hardcore MX fans are not going to like this, but I think it'll be great for casual players. Personally, the track width doesn't really matter to me as long as it's not as narrow as a high school hallway or as wide as an five-lane highway. If it falls in-between those two, I'm pretty indifferent. 

I do quite like all of the layouts of the tracks that I've played so far. The national tracks have a nice flow and are straight up fun to play, and the Supercross tracks generally have a nice flow to them and feel like actual Supercross tracks (as in they don't have crazy arcade style layouts). 

One thing that I noticed the social media for the game pushing before its release is how the tracks had "real deformation", and while I haven't played a long race yet, the races that I have played haven't had actual deformation as much as visual deformation. I've seen the tracks break down, I've seen little ruts form, but they haven't actually impacted my gameplay experience. I'll have to do some ultra-long races before writing my full review to see what happens, but as of right now this feature is a bit of a disappointment.

Customization 

I don't know if this is a good thing, but the most impressive thing about this game so far to me is the extensive level of customization options. I haven't been able to delve super-deep into customizing my bikes because I haven't accrued a ton of funds yet, but from what I have looked at, the bike customization looks great. The graphic kits look cool, and there are several options for each part of the bike. The real star here, though, is the gear selection. My goodness, I was in heaven as I was scrolling through all of the brand options. Not only is every gear brand you could possibly want to wear in this game, but they also added a lot of 2018 gear. Also, as I mentioned earlier, the gear looks great. I can't wait to see how many sick gear combos I can make. 

 

Overall

So far, there seems to be a lot of good and rather disappointing things about this game. It's fun to play, but it has lag issues. The AI is not very talented. It's fun to rail berms and do big rhythms, but there's not a whole lot of skill required to do it. For every positive, there seems to be at least some kind of negative. Hopefully, THQ Nordic can fix the lag issues through a patch, but we'll have to wait and see how my thoughts on the rest of the game develop as I put more and more hours into it. 

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As I said at the beginning of this article, look for a full review of this game within a few weeks.


Words, Screenshots, and Gameplay Videos by Grant Dawson



Specifications

Product MX vs ATV All Out - Video Game
Platforms Xbox One, PS4, PC
Game Modes Single Event, Series, Online, Time Trial, Splitscreen
Studio THQ Nordic
Miscellaneous
Price $49.99
More Info

​MXvsATV.com