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Xbox 360 Game Review

MX Vs ATV: Alive


Format: Xbox 360
RRP: £29.99
4 005209 147804
Age Restrictions: 12+
Available 13 May 2011

Own the competition as you wrestle for position with tightly contested racing in the fifth iteration of the MX vs ATV franchise. Feel the realism of the revolutionary real-world physics engine which has defined the racing genre. Live the sport as Alive captures the spectacle of motocross and the essence of competitive racing while providing the best riders and gear from the latest manufacturers...

Before you even think of picking this game up you should be aware that this is primarily a DLC game - in that to get the most of it you're going to have to spend more money and download more content. Sure you get a limited amount of vehicles, parts, clothing and maps to ensure you can have an entertaining game without buying any more items, but for hardcore gamers who want to get high on the leaderboards you're going to have to pay for extra content.

I'm in two minds about this game. On the one hand the fact that THQ are going to be adding extra content on a regular (?) basis sounds great, but if the game isn't popular it's very unlikely that they'll be adding much once they realise it's not financially viable. So you could end up with a rather poor game with not as much content as you'd like.

The actual game doesn't start off very promising. The graphics aren't overly impressive and look more like an old Xbox title. The single player game is fine and to progress you need to earn experience point in order to unlock further maps and vehicles.

The online races were a little disappointing. I played this after the official release day and the first game I joined into had one guy racing on his own. Several games later and the most I managed to race against were three others. So it already looks like THQ may not be investing much time or money in producing extra DLC as it appears that not that many people are playing this online yet.

The free roaming levels are also rather bland and I couldn't really see the point of them. Sure it's nice that there's something extra to do... but I was expecting a little more of an interactive landscape.

Now for the plus points. The developers have gone for realism when it comes to the actual racing. This isn't an arcade game where you can whiz around the laps without any real effort. It takes time to get used to the controls and master the handling of the vehicles and this, depending on your view point, is either the best thing on the market or sucks big time. Personally I enjoyed the fact that realism was being injected into the racing genre, but it does get a little frustrating when you're leading the pack and then you're flat on your face because you made the stupidest of mistakes.

While the computer AI opponents are okay, you're going to get the most out of this game online against other players... and that's where my previous concern comes into play. As I mentioned, I couldn't find that many people to play with and when I did they were all way more experienced than me. There doesn't appear to be any matching of skill levels involved to make you want to continue playing. It's quite embarrassing to watch people lap you because they are way more experienced and have way better vehicles.

So, depending on your gaming preferences, you're either going to really love this game or really hate it. This is one title that is well worth renting before you decide to buy. In some aspects it's a huge leap forward, in others it's a giant step backwards.


Nick Smithson

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